Dominique Tougne on Chez Moi and the Bistro Biz
For 15 years, the names Bistro 110 and Dominique Tougne were practically synonyms. But when the Gold Coast staple closed last August to make way for Bar Toma, Tougne was ready to break out. He’s still in the bistro biz, but this time it’s all about him: Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted St.; 773-871-2100).
Aren’t you tired of cooking bistro food?
No. And this will be a unique bistro.
What is going to make it unique?
Me! I like to say that I am the Obélix [a French comic book character] of the cooking world. He fell in a magic potion, and I fell in good wine and in good food since I am from Alsace—a great culinary region. We will have dishes that you don’t find everywhere.
Matelote d’anguille. That’s an eel stew. Small portions for people to try.
Any other bold dishes?
Pig’s feet for gastronomes. I cook them until the meat is very tender, remove the bones, and cook again with garlic, parsley, and veal stock. I will wrap the meat in caul fat with foie gras inside and serve it over sautéed potatoes. Very traditional, but no one does it because it’s a lot of work.
Photograph: Anna Knott