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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bread pudding and all that jazz at M Vie

Posted By on 07.24.13 at 02:36 PM

Bread pudding
We hadn't actually wanted the bread pudding. What we really, really wanted was to get the hell out of M Vie. The jazz combo had started playing again. It was loud. My dining companion was telling me a story. I had moved around the table to be closer to her so I could hear. We were sitting less than a foot from each other. There were still times I had to resort to lip-reading.

There are no windows in M Vie and just one tiny door. Outside, it was a glorious summer evening. Inside, the jazz reverberated off the wood paneling where the window should have been. We were trapped.

And then, in the middle of our main course, the jazz combo broke for dinner. Such bliss! Of course, it was still loud because it's a small space and there were a lot of people in it and they were talking, but we could finally hear things besides some noodling through "My Girl." It didn't matter that her salmon was dry except in the middle and my pork chop was dry all the way through. (OK, it did.) The assault had ended!

Our server, a very talented lip-reader, must have been keeping track of the musicians' progress, because she brought us the dessert menu before we'd even finished dinner. Normally, we wouldn't have considered dessert, but our honor as critic and accomplice compelled us to make a full survey of all the restaurant's offerings. (Also, we were going through a breakup and an apartment hunt and are both, much to our shared sorrow, stress-eaters.)

My dining companion is not a huge fan of bread pudding, so we asked for the creme brule.

"Sorry," our server said. "We don't have it today." (For the record, this was the second thing we'd requested from the menu that was not actually available. The first thing was the lemonade.) "But the bread pudding is really, really good."

We shrugged. "OK, let's do it."

About the same time the bread pudding arrived at the table, the jazz combo started playing again, even louder, it seemed, than before. M Vie's southern-style comfort food must have given them new strength.

The bread pudding was excellent. The top was crusty. The inside was custardy. (Maybe that's where all the moisture that was missing from our entrees had gone.) The caramel drizzled over the whole thing had just the right amount of sweetness. The raisins were easily picked out. Even my companion took multiple forkfuls.

Unfortunately, our server was prompt about delivering the check and running the credit card. We were faced with a conundrum. Should we eat or should we run?

It would have taken too long to ask for a box. We ran.

M Vie, 1372 W. Grand, 312-265-0159.

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