Friday, January 10, 2014

La Grande Vie

Location: 215 E Chestnut
Cost: Normally about $30 per person

It had been a while since Josh, Lonnie, and I had gotten together. Fortunately, a newer restaurant a few blocks north of the hospital asked me to come by with some friends. That's how we ended up at La Grande Vie. Despite the cold weather and snow pile up, my friends made the trek from the West Loop to join in for a whole bunch of creative small plates.

LGV is on Chestnut a bit east of the Hancock. There are a wide variety of seating options, and we pulled up in "lounge" area next to the bar. Our server, Cheikh, was very welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu. It's broken down into a variety of medium sized "small" plates, mostly in the $10-$15 range. We got enough to get a good feel of the menu, but a dish or two would probably be enough per person.

The Food
We put a lot of faith in our waiter who got us started with the Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Parsnips, the Chorizo Mac n' Cheese, and the Meatball Flatbread. The brussel sprouts had this great crisp and subtle sweetness. The mac n' cheese normally comes with pork belly, but they improvised with some smokey chorizo. The flatbread had these great juicy meatballs over a crispy base.

The Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Parsnips

 The Chorizo Mac n' Cheese

The Meatball Flatbread

Our next course included the Slider Burger Trio, the Chicken Meatballs, and the Spicy Tail-On Shrimp. The sliders had one with beef and cheddar, one with lamb and goat cheese, and one with veal and blue cheese. The chicken meatball was crispy and served over a celery root puree with fresno chiles. The shrimp was one of my favorite dishes. It came over quinoa with avocados and peas.

 The Slider Trio

 The Spicy Tail-On Shrimp

The Chicken Meatball

In case we were still hungry, they brought out Poached Mahi Mahi, Seared Strip Loin, and a Cherry Walnut Salad. The mahi mahi was buttery and flaky. The strip loin came with these great cheddar potato cakes. Finally, for dessert, we got this light and rich flourless chocolate cake.

 The Butter Poached Mahi Mahi

 The Cast Iron Seared Strip Loin

 The Walnut and Cherry Salad

The Flourless Chocolate Cake

La Grande Vie is hidden away in a quiet corner of the Gold Coast. It's within a stone's throw of the hospital and has a creative menu. Since they treated us, there will be no Pearl rating, but I suggest you check it out sometime soon.

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