Signature dishes: The chicken and frites at Cafe Touche, short rib grilled cheese at Tavern on the Point, and zuppa di pesce at Boston Fish Market
Above: Chicken and frites at Café Touché
By Trent Modglin
A look at some favorite local menu items that usually prove too difficult to turn down
Chicken and frites at Café Touché
This tribute to the casual bistros of France is the pride of Zagat award-winning chef Joseph Calabrese. Make the most of a warm fall evening or weekend afternoon on their gorgeous sidewalk patio, where the string lights and colorful flowerbeds provide a warm, European ambiance.
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.
6731 N. Northwest Highway in Edison Park. 773-775-0909. CafeTouche.com
Short rib grilled cheese at Tavern on the Point
Don’t expect an ordinary bar menu at the spacious new Tavern on the Point in Edison Park. Labeled as “a slice of River North and the Gold Coast mixed with Edison Park,” the focus here is elevated American comfort food with a flair.
Despite being tempted with entrees like the bourbon-glazed pork chops and sauteed Lake Superior whitefish, we found ourselves in the mood for a particular sandwich on a recent visit. And the short rib grilled cheese did not disappoint.
A generous portion of tender, braised short rib is slathered in a sweet onion jam that we may have to steal the recipe for. Crispy bread and melted white cheddar make for a lip-smacking combination.
A generous portion of tender, braised short rib is slathered in a sweet onion jam that we may have to steal the recipe for. Crispy bread and melted white cheddar make for a lip-smacking combination. Seasoned fries and a giant pickle spear complement the sandwich well.
6724 N. Northwest Highway in Edison Park. TavernOnThePoint.com
Zuppa di pesce at Boston Fish Market
Arguably the best spot for fresh seafood anywhere in the area, Boston Fish Market is a local favorite for family dinners, date nights and special occasions.
One of the more popular dishes here is called zuppa di pesce, which is listed as an appetizer but could easily be shared as an entrée by 4-5 people. Owner/chef Louie Psihogios cooks up a generous portion of calamari, New Zealand mussels and Manila clams with four Mahi filets and a half-pound of jumbo shrimp and half pound of scallops in a tomato broth that’s infused with Mediterranean herbs.
Insider’s tip: Make sure to ask for extra bread. You won’t want to leave any of the broth behind.
1225 E. Forrest Ave. in Des Plaines. BostonFishMkt.com