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There is no such thing as a pretty good omelette.
—French Proverb

The newest edition to South Loop dining, Brasserie by LM must have a perfect understanding of this proverb.

Yesterday was opening day for the restaurant and we couldn’t wait to check it out. Located at the Essex hotel, in the space formerly occupied by Tribute, Brasserie kept much of the look Tribute created. They replaced the couches in the windows with hi-top tables and moved the film strip chandeliers to the back of the restaurant. They also expanded the seating a little more by replacing the large table that was under the largest chandelier with a few smaller tables and opening up the private dining room for every day use, I believe this can still be closed off for private parties.

The staff was warm and welcoming. They are very excited to become part of the South Loop.

There are only three specialty cocktails on the menu. I hope this will expand. The Orange Martini was very well balanced. It is comprised of vodka, orange liqueur, and champagne. It was neither boozy, too sweet, nor too sparkly and it paired very well with chocolate.

The Twisted Frenchy; St. Germaine, Champagne, and Chambord was more on the sweet side, due to the Chambord, but also very good.

Some companions of mine enjoyed both the charcuterie plate and the cheese plate.

The cheese plate came with fig spread and candied pecans. The charcuterie came with mustard. My companions were pleased with the variety of flavors and one especially liked the spicy salami. We noticed that the prosciutto was sliced thicker than normal, but agreed that it was easier to handle that way and just as tasty.

One dish I did enjoy a few bites of was the Macaroni Gratin. It was heavenly. I think the picture speaks for itself!

For dessert I asked for the Crème Brulee, but they had sold out so I tried the Chocolate Mousse.

My mom and I spent a semester in Paris when I was in Jr. High. During that stay everytime we would go out to dinner for dessert I would order mousse au chocolat, to the point that my sister still teases me from time to time. I had it a few times after we returned to the states, but stopped eating it shortly after. Last night I figured out why! Brasserie has the chocolate mousse I remember from Paris. I have never had such a prime example in the states. It’s served with fresh, unsweetened whipped cream. The mousse is rich with flavor and its texture is smooth and thick. The key is in the texture.

Brasserie serves the same menu for lunch and dinner, but the bartender informed us that there is a breakfast menu from 6:30–11:00 including Julius Meinl coffee, crepes, and of course omelets.

If you are still reading and haven’t run out the door to try this amazing food for lunch yet there is one more great reason, the prices! The cocktails are $9 and so were the cheese plate and charcuterie plate. The Macaroni Gratin and Chocolate Mousse were only $5.

I’m looking forward to the warm weather to return and stay so I can enjoy an afternoon at an outdoor table with an Orange Martini and some Chocolate Mousse. Hope you can join me!


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