Springing up like one of the first crocuses of 2014, Troquet River North (Hotel Felix, 111 W. Huron St., 312-202-9900) opens Friday, the first fruits of the newly formed partnership between the LM Restaurant Group and chef Martial Noguier (Bistronomic). It replaces LM Bistro in the space.
Although it carries the same name as the LM Group’s other Troquet (1834 W. Montrose Ave., Ravenswood, 773-334-5662), near the Montrose Brown Line stop, the River North Troquet will slant a little more sophisticated—and also a little more sophisticated than a troquet in France. “When you are in Paris and you go to a troquet, [it’s] more like a neighborhood wine bar,” Noguier says.
Alongside a wine and beer focus, the new Troquet will serve simple French food, Noguier says, such as a shredded celery root and apple salad with horseradish and mayonnaise, or roasted quail with quail egg, savoy cabbage, pancetta, and fingerling potatoes. He projects the average per-person check to run between $30 and $35, including a drink. Chef Benoît Fliou, a recent Paris transplant, will run the day-to-day in the kitchen.
Noguier says that when he opened Bistronomic, all the chefs in Paris were opening bistros. Now they’re all opening troquets. He and LM have a 2-0 head start on everyone else in Chicago.