Dish Flash: Bistro 110’s Dominique Tougne to Open Chez Moi in Café Bernard Space

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation with Dominique Tougne about his upcoming opening in Lincoln Park…

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation with Dominique Tougne about his upcoming opening in Lincoln Park:

Dish: What kind of restaurant are you working on?
Dominique Tougne: A unique French bistro.

D: What is going to make it unique?
DT: Me!

Appropriately for that answer, the restaurant is called Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted St.; 773-871-2100), and it’s occupying the space that was Café Bernard until it closed for renovations recently. Tougne, who cooked at Bistro 110 from 1996 until it turned into Bar Toma last year, bought the business from Bernard Le Coq, who has been spending a lot of time in France and is becoming a farmer, Tougne says. The current remodeling project will refresh the space, making cosmetic changes and introducing new tables and some new equipment. He hopes to open in early May.

For the menu, Tougne plans French bistro dishes that aren’t found at every French bistro, such as an appetizer-size eel stew called matelote d’anguilles (“It’s kind of different, so it’s just a smaller portion,” Tougne says) and pigs’ feet that are cooked, deboned, and cooked again with garlic, parsley, and veal demi-glace, then served with foie gras, caul fat, and savoy cabbage. He also plans to serve what he says is a new bread from the French Pastry School called la fournette.

Except for the bread, the uncommon dishes really do reflect Tougne himself—they were served at his grandmother’s restaurant in Bordeaux. Tougne, however, comes from Alsace, a region known for porky dishes like the pigs’ feet. “I like to say I am the Obélix of the cooking world because I fell in good wine and in good food, since I was from Alsace,” he says, referring to the French comic-book character who fell into a magic potion that gave him superstrength. In the pork-organs-beer times we live in, being an Alsatian chef really is like having superstrength. Or at least an early tolerance for superstrong flavors.

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2 years ago
Posted by Pam F

So thrilled to 'see' Chef Tougne back in the kitchen! Will be first in line on opening day to see what this splendid chef will do when given the opportunity to use full range of his inspiration.

2 years ago
Posted by ollie021038

Having been a fan of Domi Tougne when at Bistro, I'll be flying in from Virginia to enjoy his creations at Chez Moi. Pazoo from F'burg, VA

2 years ago
Posted by sosomoto

Cannot wait to try out the new menu and venue! Run wild in a kitchen of your very own, Dominique!

2 years ago
Posted by Kid A

I can't wait to try Dominique's new restaurant. His food was excellent at Bistro110 and I look forward to seeing his personality shine all the way through! This man was born to make people happy through food! :)

2 years ago
Posted by Pam F

Had our first dining experience at Chez Moi the other night - can guarantee it won't be our last. A few old favorites re-imagined, many new things to try (order the Anchoyade - a huge hit with our party). The space is lovely and mellow, the attention to detail is spectacular, the food delightful!!

2 years ago
Posted by delicious

we just had dinner at Chez Moi...it was delicious and we had a great time with Dominique (who graciously humored me with my french) Paige and Michael were good company too. So happy to have them in the neighborhood!
We had french fries to start that were served in a sugar bowl and still piping hot! followed by a pear salad, with fresh herbs and golden raisins and a great soft cheese to add a salty taste. I had Scallops with polenta that was very good....flavorful but not too rich and my husband had the trout which he liked very much. Desert was killer, salty caramel cake with ice cream.
I recommend this highly and I would go fast before you have to make reservations a month in advance...

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