Tucked between the rumbling El tracks and comparatively quiet Wells Plaza, Taureaux Tavern (155 W. Van Buren St.) is an escape from the commotion of the city around it. But the name undersells the place: Taureaux is much more than a tavern. It’s the kind of place you might pop into for an after-work drink, then decide you’re going to stay for dinner, and by the end of your meal, you’re considering having your wedding there. Luckily, they’d be able to take care of all of that for you — the sprawling space includes a multi-level interior, year-round covered patio, long corner bar, and room for 400-some guests, making it as adept at hosting your solo happy hour as big events.
Separate menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner feature a variety of classic and French-inspired dishes, from the standard bar burger — on a brioche bun, naturally — to foie gras pate and filet au Roquefort. (Taureaux is from the team behind Cochon Volant and Francois Frankie, explaining the French slant.)
On the drink side, the extensive wine list skews French but offers more than 75 bottles from around the world, with two dozen wines available by the glass. A handful of creatively named cocktails will help take the edge off after the 9-to-5, like the Scotch-based Sympathy for the Devil (the legendary Rolling Stones song said to be inspired by the works of Charles Baudelaire) or the tequila, Lillet Blanc, and ginger liqueur concoction Nietzsche’s Dilemma, a solid choice for an evening of nihilistic contemplation.