Chicago Eats: Taureaux Tavern | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Taureaux Tavern

While I haven't mentioned it much over here (I definitely need to rectify that soon!), Cochon Volant Brasserie has been one of my favorite restaurants in the Loop practically since the day it opened in 2015. Between the charming space reminiscent of a Parisienne cafe and the perfectly executed dishes, it's such a great spot for everything from a leisurely breakfast with friends to an afternoon coffee break to a mouthwatering pre-theatre dinner. So, it should come as no surprise that as soon as I heard the owners of Cochon Volant were opening another French restaurant, Taureaux Tavern, I immediately added it to my must-try list.

Tucked into the Financial District, the massive two-story restaurant offers diners an elevated but still inviting environment with multiple areas of service, including a year-round covered patio (a rarity in that area!), and a gorgeous decor with cute nods to the district. With Chef Mike Sherrin (formerly of Blackbird) at the helm, Taureaux Tavern offers a variety of French-inspired fare, ranging from classic dishes such as escargot and steak frites to lighter options such as smoked whitefish salad.

 Gigi and stopped by for a Friday lunch and immediately fell in love with the beautiful light-filled dining room, plush suede booths, and sleek bar complete with bankers lamps and a mirrored wall reflecting the train tracks. 

We kicked off our lunch with a round of cocktails (of course!); Gigi stuck with her favorite combination of Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlua...

...while I chose the classic French 75, made with gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar.

Lobster Thermidor Bites: butter poached baby lobster in sherry wine sauce with spinach and lemon. We started with what is quite possibly the richest dish on the menu, as well as one of the most delicious! It's also a perfect example of Chef Sherrin's ability to put his own spin on classic French dishes; while the sauce has the same creamy and velvety taste of the original, it doesn't leave you feeling ridiculously full after only a few bites.

Oxtail & Bone Marrow: braised oxtail and bone marrow served with country bread. As I mentioned on Instagram, We’re only two weeks into 2019 and I’m already adding the Oxtail & Bone Marrow to my list of best dishes of the year! The braised oxtail is so satisfyingly tender and flavorful... plus, who doesn’t love bone marrow, aka meat butter?! 🤤 Quite honestly, I don't always love bone marrow (I've had some super gelatinous/goopy versions in the past), but this was superb. It was Gigi's first time ever trying bone marrow and she absolutely fell in love with this dish - so much so that she attacked the leftovers only an hour after leaving the restaurant!

Mussels & Frites: P.E.I. mussels with roasted garlic aioli and chili butter served with charred bread. There are few dishes I love more than mussels; it's one of my go-to winter favorites (well, I crave them year-round, but especially gravitate toward the spicier versions during the winter!). If I still worked in the Loop, I could easily see myself escaping to Taureaux almost daily during the winter for a comforting and warming bowl of mussels.

Smoked Whitefish Avocado Chopped Salad: house-smoked whitefish, avocado, pickled onion, cucumber, radish, and champagne vinaigrette. Speaking of dishes I could see myself eating over and over again, this smoked whitefish salad is officially my new favorite salad in the city. The crisp and refreshing champagne vinaigrette perfectly complements the delicate and moist fish and there's definitely no shortage of avocado. While you may be tempted to skip over this salad for flashier options, it is such a delight and definitely a must-order!

Foie Gras with apple mostarda, candied cocoa nibs, and toasted brioche. While at one time I hated foie gras (I found it far too rich and fatty tasting), I've developed a bit of a taste for it over the last few years. I'm definitely not a fanatic, but I've learned to appreciate its buttery, melt-in-your-mouth quality, especially when paired with a sweet element (my favorite way to eat it). It was Gigi's first time trying foie and I will say she wasn't entirely convinced, but I enjoyed the combination of the sweet, salty, and buttery elements.

Le Patty Melt Royale: 8 oz prime Angus beef topped with American & gruyere cheese, caramelized truffle onions, 1000 island dressing, and b&b pickles. We ended our meal on a high note with this decadent patty melt, also known as a lovechild of a grilled cheese sandwich and a burger. Although we were stuffed, we absolutely had to make room for a few bites of this gooey and beautifully meaty creation (if you can't tell, we totally hated it 😆). Hands down, this is the best patty melt I've had in Chicago!

If you're looking for an innovative and approachable take on French cuisine (or really just want some delicious food at a fab new spot), Taureaux Tavern absolutely should be on your list!

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Taureaux Tavern: 155 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL. 

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