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La Petite Folie (Updated): This Is Hyde Park’s Most Reliable French Restaurant

You’ll love the duck pâté and apple tarte Tatin at this simple yet upscale spot.

photo: courtesy la petite folie

Step back, sit down, and enjoy a fine meal in La Petite Folie’s pleasant dining room. 

La Petite Folie 1504 E 55th. Hyde Park. 773-493-1394. French.

(two stars)


Time doesn’t just stand still at La Petite Folie, it goes backward.

As the neighborhood changes around this reliable strip-mall spot, the old carpet and yellow walls feel like artifacts from another era—a simpler and warmer one, wherein the Alsatian onion tart with Gruyère was heartier, the duck pâté thicker, the whole trout Grenobloise more buttery, and the Bordeaux less expensive.

The quiet room often fills with University of Chicago big shots, and the servers are endlessly professional. Whether the scene feels outdated or not is beside the point. Get there early for a $32 prix fixe menu.

Dishes We Liked: Alsatian onion tart ($7.50), smoked duck and spinach salad ($8.50), duck pâté ($9.50), trout Grenobloise ($23), apple tarte Tatin ($8)

New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, as well as on our website. Listed restaurants are rated from one to four stars, where one is good, two is very good, three is excellent, and four is superlative. La Petite Folie was previously rated two stars. The review appears in the October issue, on newsstands now.



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