Good Eats at Café Touché: The inviting French bistro in Edison Park makes for a great night out
6731 N. Northwest Highway
The scene: This tribute to the casual eateries of France is the pride of Zagat award-winning chef Joseph Calabrese. Make sure to hit the gorgeous, spaced-out sidewalk patio while the weather cooperates. The string lights and colorful flowerbeds provide a warm, European ambiance. Inside, Café Touché has the feel of a cozy French bistro with a long bar that’s ideal for a cocktail while waiting for your table or for friends to arrive, as well as stylish lanterns and slow-swinging fans. The complimentary valet service and acoustic guitarist were an added bonus.
Food and drink: For an appetizer, we got things started off with the fritto misto, a tempting plate of fried calamari, shrimp and scallops. Other appetizer favorites include the house påté, Prince Edward Island mussels and escargot served in a ceramic crock of garlic butter.
An entrée decision proved difficult, as the menu is full of mouth-watering options. After much deliberation, we selected the chicken & frites and the walleye special.
The mild onions and thick-cut bacon tips add a superb blend of flavors to the juicy chicken, and the frites could easily be a meal in their own right.
The chicken and frites consists of a half-roasted, all-natural chicken with herbs de provence, bacon, pearl onions and mushrooms, arriving at your table buried under a mound of fries sprinkled with sea salt. The mild onions and thick-cut bacon tips add a superb blend of flavors to the juicy chicken, and the frites could easily be a meal in their own right.
Café Touche regularly offers two fresh fish specials every night (ranging from salmon and Chilean sea bass to whitefish and blackened snapper with a Cajun corn relish), and on this night we were fortunate to be able to enjoy a large fillet of walleye sautéed in a white wine garlic sauce with a touch of lemon, and served on a bed of rice that is boiled in chicken stock with leeks, jalapeños, tomato and red and green bell peppers to give it a slight kick that complemented the light, delicate fish perfectly.
Café Touche also offers a range of house cocktails and martinis to go with an extensive wine list.
We’ll be back because: The etouffeé or jumbalaya with shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage is calling our name for a little New Orleans flair. Weekend brunch, too, is a big hit with the atmosphere and items like the brioche French toast with bananas foster sauce, chorizo skillet or Belgian-style waffles with fried chicken.