One of the things I rarely get to do on business trips is eat out. That’s because most of my meals are part of the conferences I attend, and those that aren’t usually involve a telephone and my hotel room.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve actually had some really good food during these trips. But I really love when my schedule affords me the opportunity to get out of the hotel and find a restaurant slightly off the beaten path.
Chicago seems to be a great restaurant town, and my pre-trip research yielded dozens of quality establishments. However, many were easy to knock off. First, because my wife was accompanying me, steakhouses were out. Considering how steak-centric Chicago is, I know that decision is upsetting to many of you, but it had to be done. Second, I had to put my foot down on price. We’re in a recession here, people and the $100 per person dinner is not helping my wallet.
After getting the list down to about half a dozen, we chose the French-inspired Aigre Doux. Following some delicious bread and butter (what would you expect from a part-time bakery?), we peppered our server with menu questions while sipping our wine. As soon as our appetizers arrived, I knew we had made the right restaurant choice. I ordered the
, I ordered the
Somehow we convinced ourselves that we had room for dessert. We probably didn’t, but all the reviews I had read uniformly warned to not skip the meal-capping sweetness. Boy am I glad we went for it! Not only did we inhale a wonderful fantasia of chocolate and banana flavors, but we got extra chocolate pots de creme as partial compensation for the pork problem. I was so stuffed full of sugary goodness by the time we were done, I could just about roll out of there.
Even with the one entree misstep, Aigre Doux gets my unqualified recommendation. If you ever get a chance to go to a Chicago and steakhouses aren’t your thing, give this place a shot. It’s got flavor to spare.