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    Post #1 - September 2nd, 2005, 3:56 pm
    Post #1 - September 2nd, 2005, 3:56 pm Post #1 - September 2nd, 2005, 3:56 pm
    I just visited this new store -- Bouffe -- (on the short strip of Leland between Western and Lincoln) for the first time. It's a small gourmet food store with a nice selection of items (although not a selection of prepared salads or meals). Although they do not a huge selection of items, everything is displayed very nicely. They offer Red Hen breads, a selection of cheeses (not as large a selection as The Cheese Stands Alone, but it's displayed well with great descriptions and a good enough variety), olives, roasted peppers, etc. They have a dried food area with some pastas, pasta sauces, oils, different types of chocolate bars (gourmet), etc. I also noticed a number of Charlie Trotter items typically found at his to go store. They have some meats (rack of lamb for instance) and some smoked salmon and prosciutto (pre-packaged). My favorite spot in the store however was the frozen case where I found the gelatos -- particularly the Bananas Foster gelato (made by Capogiro Gelato) which I bought and raced home to try. It is insanely good and incredibly creamy. The owner had also recommended their Cappucino Gelato which I can't wait to try on my next trip back. All in all, I think it's a great addition to the Lincoln Square area.
  • Post #2 - September 2nd, 2005, 9:22 pm
    Post #2 - September 2nd, 2005, 9:22 pm Post #2 - September 2nd, 2005, 9:22 pm
    BR wrote:All in all, I think it's a great addition to the Lincoln Square area.


    I'm curious to see how it does. I was in The Cheese Stands Alone this evening, and remembering that Bouffe should now be open, inquired of cheesemonger Matt Parker whether he had been. He hadn't; I strolled over.

    A cute place for sure, with a nice selection of stuff, I suppose. But it struck me as very expensive, both for what was on offer and for the kind of stuff I buy. I doubt I'll visit much. I may be back for cheese, however...I'm interested to see how she handles her modest assortment. It all looked to be in quite good shape, befitting a place only open a week.

    Time will tell if shops such as this, and the handful of new boutiques that appear to be on their way in, show Lincoln Square taking the next step up the gentrification ladder.

    I would have loved to snag a pint of Capogiro, but $10 is tough to part with for a pint of ice cream.
  • Post #3 - September 3rd, 2005, 7:47 am
    Post #3 - September 3rd, 2005, 7:47 am Post #3 - September 3rd, 2005, 7:47 am
    It is pricey, certainly at least with respect to their cheeses, although I did not notice whether the cheeses are priced higher than elsewhere -- just that they carry expensive cheeses. As for the gelato, it was expensive, but I'll run back for it -- it really was that good (at least the Bananas Foster). I couldn't believe that this gelato had been packaged and shipped. I was checking out Capogiro Gelato's website and they had some great flavors listed. I am just hoping that Bouffe will carry them.

    http://www.capogirogelato.com/
  • Post #4 - September 3rd, 2005, 5:14 pm
    Post #4 - September 3rd, 2005, 5:14 pm Post #4 - September 3rd, 2005, 5:14 pm
    Aaron Deacon said
    A cute place for sure, with a nice selection of stuff, I suppose. But it struck me as very expensive, both for what was on offer and for the kind of stuff I buy. I doubt I'll visit much.


    I stopped in shortly after Bouffe opened but decided not to post because of the limited selection and high prices. Aaron Deacon's reaction was very similar to mine. A small bottle of sherry vinegar for $12.99 and some very pricy fancy mustards and jams did not appeal. I, along with most LTHers, have better options. The cheese prices made The Cheese Stands Alone look like bargain city. I seriously doubt that there will be enough turnover to keep the cheese selections looking good a month from now. This stuff is for people who buy food at places like Williams Sonoma. I would love to have the place bugged during the German Festival next weekend. I can just hear the comments.

    Fairly soon after The Cheese Stands Alone opened, Matt Parker told me that he located where he did because the rents on and around the mall were much higher and he doubted that he would get enough incremental sales there. I suspect that Bouffe has a pretty high nut in terms of occupancy costs and will be very dependent upon sales to visitors to Lincoln Square. Chopping Block may attract enough people from outside Lincoln Square with similar interests to be a big help. I expect a shakeout in the area when interest rates rise, payments on adjustable rate mortgages go up and discretionary income goes down. We haven't seen anything yet. The restaurant churn is just the beginning.
  • Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 9:12 am
    Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 9:12 am Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 9:12 am
    LTH,

    Stopped at Bouffe after a very nice lunch at Rosded the other day, I'm really starting to like the store. The proprietress is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and, while the selection is not large, what she carries is top notch. For example, she carries Molinari Italian Salametti, nothing you can't get at dozens of places in Chicago, but her's, unlike most, is not in plastic shrink wrap choking the life out of the sausage.

    Molinari Italian Salametti
    Image

    Nice selection of cheeses, not as deep as The Cheese Stands Alone, but well tended, small, but well thought out selection of dry goods, including Carmelina Brand San Marzano, which I learned last weekend from Mark Bello, pizza maker extraordinaire, are the best of the best.

    Bouffe
    Image

    Carmelina Brand San Marzano
    Image

    Capogiro Gelato and Sorbetto spoken about in glowing terms in thread, and my new favorite butter made from the same milk as Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.

    Capogiro Blood Orange Sorbetto
    Image

    Delitia Butter
    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Bouffe
    2312 W Leland Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-784-2314

    Rosded
    2308 W. Leland Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-334-9055

    The Cheese Stands Alone
    4547 N. Western Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-293-3870
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - July 27th, 2007, 11:17 pm
    Post #6 - July 27th, 2007, 11:17 pm Post #6 - July 27th, 2007, 11:17 pm
    LTH,

    While in The Cheese Stands Alone last week Mat, owner of TCSA, mentioned Bouffe had been sold to Provenance Food and Wine. So, after a terrific lunch at Rosded, I stopped in for a look. Sure enough, Tracy Kellner, owner of Provenance was there getting things straightened away.

    Tracy Kellner
    Image

    Tracy said they will be expanding the product line to be more of a reflection of their California Ave shop, including a selection of wine. She added they will change the name of the shop to Provenance in short order. I liked Bouffe, even if the focus was narrow, I get the feeling I will like Provenance even more.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Bouffe (Soon to be Provenance)
    312 W Leland Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-784-2314

    Provenance Food and Wine
    2528 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773-384-0699
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow

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