While sightseeing in Washington, we had drooled and salivated over an exquisitely delightful chicken crepe served by one of the food trucks lining the Mall. This tempting morsel shaped the menu choice of my travelling companion on the various stops we made through North America this fall. When we got to Chicago he was in the early stages of withdrawal… he had been sorely teased by the French Crepery in a little eat street in Toronto which had shown so much promise but proved to be closed on the one day we had left! Being Miss Tech Savvy, I let my fingers do the walking and browsed Google for options likely to offer this menu choice in downtown Chicago. I was thrilled when I lighted on Bistrot Zinc – the web site was comprehensive with a current menu, walking directions and even an online booking system!!!
We were very pleasantly surprised to find this charming little restaurant after winding our way through the Magnificent Mile awash with glamorous boutiques and quirky bars. My eyes lit up when we were promptly directed to a table by the window where my people watching habit could be properly indulged. I was even more excited to see a Barnes & Noble book store just across the road, the perfect browsing spot for weary travellers contemplating a long flight back to the land of Oz.
We didn’t really need to study the menu as we had already studied it at length before arriving but we did succumb and shared a plate of pate and fresh bread as an appetiser which was sensational, delightful flavour and wonderful texture.
While my companion had been championing the delights of Savory Crepes, I had been on my own little journey sampling dishes of mussels across the Northern States. I had not been overly disappointed with any of the mussel concoctions served along the way, but I was absolutely thrilled with the burst of flavour that erupted with my first scoop of broth. The mussels were plumper than the Prince Edward versions served elsewhere, our wonderfully informative waiter advised they were west coast mussels chosen for their size and flavour. The sauce was so good my companion, who is not a huge fan of molluscs (expect for oysters – which I suspect he believes have amazing aphrodisiac powers… a belief I am happy to encourage, I am very fond of oysters!) anyway, he is not generally interested in food unless it is a fabulous crepe or glass of cold milk, so I was quite surprised when after a tiny taste of the sauce he proceeded to dip the left over bread into the bowl and ended up spooning out the remains! He was equally in awe of the chicken and mushroom crepe which was enormous and could easily have served as a main meal for us both.
I do hope to be able to return to Chicago, I thought it was a beautiful city with still so many things to do and see, Bistrot Zinc will definitely be on my list for a repeat visit.