Maybe it’s just the sniff of spring we got a few days ago, but there seem to be a lot of things coming full circle lately. Case in point: Stephan and Nicole Outrequin Quaisser, the owners of Lincoln Square’s LM Restaurant (4539 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-942-7585), are partnering with Bradford Phillips, who was the chef at LM from its opening in October 2009 to last July, to oversee their restaurants. (Phillips’s last day at his current gig, The Pump Room, will be next week.) And that’s “restaurants,” plural—the Outrequin Quaissers hope to launch two projects before March goes out like a lamb navarin.
In another full-circling, the Outrequin Quaissers, who both worked at The Drake, are returning to hotel dining, planning Brasserie by LM (Essex Inn, 800 S. Michigan Ave.; no phone yet) for the space that most recently saw the short, rocky life of Tribute. “When we started with the brasserie project, Stephan called Bradford for his input,” Nicole Outrequin Quaisser says, “and he got more into [it], and he said he might be interested.” The traditional French brasserie menu will feature plats du jour such as boeuf bourguignon or steak frites, and crème brûlées for dessert. A prix fixe costing in the neighborhood of $25 will be available for lunch and dinner. Being a hotel restaurant, it also will be open for breakfast, with items such as a breakfast croque-monsieur and jambon beurre. If all goes well, the brasserie will open March 28.
On an even quicker turnaround will be Troquet (1834 W. Montrose Ave.; no phone yet), where Wolcott’s now stands near the Montrose stop on the Brown Line. The Outrequin Quaissers’ team, already in place, will operate Wolcott’s until this Saturday night, after which they will close for just a few days to repaint, relight, and put new art on the walls. They hope to reopen for business as Troquet on March 8, with a menu of French bar fare, to match the name. “‘Troquet’ is actually the French word for bar,” Nicole Outrequin Quaisser says. “It will have your croque-monsieur in different varieties, and we will have traditional baguette sandwiches. And we will have something like a small plate, like a pork belly or veal breast with traditional french fries and some salad.” French, German, and local beers will be offered on tap, and chalkboard menus will give the place a traditional atmosphere.