KOJ1970 | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Cafe Selmarie

Host seemed generally disinterested in being there. We have enjoyed this place for years and really miss some of the old staple dishes like the stew. We found our salad to be too intense. The endive was way too bitter. Seemed not to be the freshest. Walnuts were over spiced and too much dressing. Could be a GREAT salad. We think it needs to be reworked. All the flavors seem to be fighting eachother for dominance. Our entrees were a bit disapointing. Both cuts of meat were tough, fatty and stringy. We had some sort of beef special and pork tenderloin. The vegetables were quite nice. Liked the french string beans, asparagus and liked the potatoes. The sauces were also quite tasty.

Our server was nice and helpful. She is one of a handful of friendly staff. She was the bright spot in our dining experience. We happened to catch a couple who approached a manager about a dining issue, and as soon as they were out of his sight, we watched him roll his eyes. Anyone who was sitting outside and happened to be looking in the general direction also got that view. Granted problems happen, not all customers are nice. Perhaps they even deserved it. But, we weren't privy to the details of the incident and it makes the resturant look bad. At least to us. It showed the same theme of general disinterest.
Perhaps behind closed doors would be a good place to vent.

We are sad to see a place we have loved for so many years go through such a big change in quality and in service.

Overall, great place for dessert and coffee. Come on weekends for the breakfast, it's great! (but be prepared to wait!) I would skip dinner. It doesn't seem to be their strong suit.

Posted by KJS on 07/03/2002 at 11:57 AM

What a gem! Excellent service from the entire waitstaff.
Our reservation was for 7pm on a Saturday. We didn't have to wait a single second. Our table was ready and waiting for us.

The resturant had very recently acquired their liquor license and were still allowing guests to "bring your own bottle" Which we opted for. They had a chilled bucked right beside our table. There weren't any corking fees and we were very impressed with their newly added wine list.

Two of us chose to have an first course of soup. The french onion soup was one the best I have ever had. My friend got the special of the day which was spiced butternut sqaush. It was delicious.

The main courses had nice presentation. Even more appealing was when you tasted them. My husband got the salmon infused with asparagus, I had steak au poivre, the other couple we were with had filet mignon with hotel butter & pomme frites and she had the mussels in cream sauce as her main course. It was a food lovefest. YUM!

I dont even particularly like mussels, and these were fantastic. All of the entrees were awesome. My personal favorite was the salmon. (also their garlicky mashed potatoes are spectacular. )

On to dessert- none of us could decide on which one to have so we picked the two favorites to share. We choose the trio of custards and the profiteroles. Hands down favorite for me was the custards. (don't get me wrong the profiteroles were very very good) But the custards were divine. You have to split this. It looks small, but don't let the size fool you.

The first one of the trios is a traditional vanilla creme brulee... mmmmmmmm. The second is a tradtional french custard (similar to a flan) nice texture with a slightly carmelized top. The third and final of the trio was like slipping a chocolate truffle center into your mouth... but this is much more dense and the overall flavor is simply perfect. Not too sweet, not too bitter. YUM! This one is really tasty if you scoop up a little creme brulee on your spoon after you have scooped up some of the deep chocolatey truffle like stuff. MMMMMMM!!!

Could not be happier to have such a gem on the northside! We are looking forward to going to Tournesol again very soon.

Posted by KJS on 07/03/2002 at 11:19 AM

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