At a time when restaurants were trending downscale, chef Michael Lachowicz, whose Restaurant Michael had become a North Shore fixture, went in the opposite direction. In 2015 he opened George Trois, a quiet, jackets-required side room with a staid fireplace and regal chandelier where he astounded diners with a series of menus that mined the rich past of the Jean Banchet–era Le Francais while lightening up both the manners and the flavors. In doing so, he managed to modernize the what had been stuck in the past and lead a whole new way forward for Gallic cuisine.
One typically winning brainstorm: a cushiony, steamed potato-sage dumpling filled with liquefied foie gras in reduced duck jus with preserved truffle purée and shaved summer truffles—what Lachowicz calls “French matzo ball soup.” The servers at George Trois strike the same chord as the food: sophisticated and warm, with a dose of whimsy. Chef Lachowicz himself comes around to every table to crack jokes and remind his customers that, yes, it can still be fun to put on a tie and act like an adult for an evening.