Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

Bistro Battle-Tournesol and Bistro Campagna

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Bistro Battle-Tournesol and Bistro Campagna

RevrendAndy | Jan 10, 2003 11:51 PM

I've recently eaten at these bistros located in close proximity to each other in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Bistro Campagna scored a nice victory in the 1st battle, but after dinner tonight, Tournesol has won the war. Bistro Campagna did everything right but the menu was very limited and the seating extemely cramped. It was basic Bistro food-escargot,smoked salmon, steak frites, etc.-executed well but not exciting. Tonight I dined at Tournesol with Gwiv, his lovely wife Ellen and our friend Jan from Houston. The room is much more spacious, with the specials and wines by the glass listed on chalkboards next to the ceiling. The menu is more varied, including a variety of organ meats. The wine list is well thought out with reds and whites listed from light to full bodied. There are many good wines in the $20-$40 range, including a whole slew of dessert wines by the glass. Appetizers included an escargot and mushroom dish with a beautifully balance parsleyed butter, lentils with smoked ham, and a very nice Lyonnaise salad. My appetizer was the weakest-sauteed frog legs with tomato concasse. The frog legs were very small, tough, and pretty much tasteless. After relaying this info to our waiter, who must have apologized 4 times, he brought me a chicken liver mousse. It was rich, but not too rich-smooth, silky, and came with capers, chopped onions, and nicely toasted bread rounds. Outstanding. We continued with a classic bistro trout, duck confit, braised rabbit and mustard sauce, and steak frites. The frites were very impressive-crispy on the outside, soft on the inside(if only they were fried in duck fat). Desserts were solid with a good profiterole and an interesting bananas foster bread pudding. As General MacArthur said-"I Shall Return"!

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