The shtick French-ified brunch near DePaul’s campus? Mais oui.
The vibe On a Sunday morning, the customer base at this French stalwart skews a bit older—a great place for a twenty- to thirty-something to take his parents but not an ideal one to bring a group of his friends. As a result, it’s mellower and quieter, and you can easily converse over the French pop tunes wafting out of the speaker system. Also, skip your Lululemon leggings and hoodies—the clientele keeps it a little spiffier. 7 out of 10
The food There are a few misfires among the bistro classics dominating the brunch menu. Case in point: the ham, cheese, and egg crêpe ($12.50). The thin pancake was rubbery instead of delicate, covered in an overdressed spinach salad that made it difficult to appreciate the way the breakfast trifecta of meat, dairy, and yolk meld together. And the croissant French toast ($11.50) tasted gummy instead of indulgent, a textural issue that couldn’t be reversed even with a healthy drizzle of the accompanying raspberry coulis. Your best bet is the croque madame ($13.50), an egg-topped take on the ham-and-cheese-and-béchamel croque monsieur, where every ingredient manages to make its presence known while also ensuring you’ll require a late-afternoon nap. Gorge on the gratis, rustic bread that’s delivered to your table at the start of the meal as well. 6.5 out of 10
The drinks Good coffee. The $5 price tag for Bloody Marys and mimosas entices, but skip the Bloody in favor of its Champagne companion. A mimosa is pretty hard to mess up, and this Bloody Mary’s tomato base barely registers. 6.5 out of 10
The service Our cheery, speedy server kept things moving without rushing us out the door—a positive, if not exceptional, experience. 8 out of 10
Overall It’s a pleasant place to pass a morning, but right now the food’s not compelling enough to merit a repeat visit. 7 out of 10