We braved the snow, because this little place is so worth it. When you happen to be in Mundelein, you must stop in and visit Chef Claude’s Taste of Paris Restaurant & Bakery (161 North Seymour Ave 847-949-9991). The lovely Lynnette was a smidge intimidated by the idea of French cuisine, but I assured her this culinary adventure would be full of delightful comfort food, and it did not disappoint.
The chalkboard Specials menu at the entrance announced $5 mimosas, so of course I decided to partake. My lunch date and driver opted for the blood orange soda, so basically both of us were being healthy and getting our vitamin C. (humor me, people!) We started off with the rich French onion soup. The croutons, the sweet onions, the melty cheese. This was a perfect beginning on such a wintery day. While waiting for our next course, we browsed the bakery shelves and chatted up the girls behind the counter. Seductive flavors wafted over us and I nearly broke down and bought a croissant right then and there. A blip of self control emerged to save the day and I promised myself I would leave with some of these baked goodies.
We wanted to try several different things from the menu, however neither one of us could pronounce most of them. Thankfully the waitress rescued us. And before you comment, YES, I did take 2 years of French in high school. However, I also took 2 years of Spanish in college so my mind is one big jumble of romance languages. Que paso? Oui. EXACTLY. OK, back to the food. Our greens, Salad d’Epinard, was divine! I mean spinach, bacon, egg, red onions, goat cheese and house made vinaigrette; I love it all! In fact I bought fancy bacon and pricey goat cheese this week just so I could attempt to make something similar at home. By this time, I finished off that tasty mimosa an opted for a pomegranate soda, another refreshing concoction. Now, we needed a bit of comfort food and a bit of out-of-our-comfort-zone food to get the whole French experience. For comfort food, we tried the Croque Monsieur, a decadent take on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Not for the faint of heart, or maybe even those with a pacemaker, but perfect for this crazy cold weather. For something out-of-our-comfort-zone, we tried a savory crepe: Poulet et Fromage. The crepes we’ve known were always sweet – full of berries and things like Nutella (oooohhhh, Nutella… what dreams are made of) but this was made with chicken, swiss cheese and Béchamel sauce- just a tad different. It was a creamy indulgence of different, to be exact. Similar to the decadence of the sandwich but with the class of a crepe that only the French can provide. Our own little taste of what it might be like living the cultured life of a Parisian. But without needing to actually travel there, or speak French. Because we all know how that would turn out for me.
And then came our grand finale, our pièce de résistance, the Chocolate Mousse Dome. Enveloped in chocolate ganache and garnished with berries we savored EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. Let’s be honest, we nearly licked the plate. You can see for yourself in the photos. You must get one of these when you go there. Even if you’ve stuffed yourself silly on the other scrumptious food. Buy one and take it home or you will be sad, sad, sad. In fact, I am sad, sad, sad that I don’t have one right now. Maybe I will have to remedy that asap. hmmmm…. Well, after we finished our fantastic meal and lingered for a few moments to let it all settle, we each bought a box of French pastries at the bakery because this kind of sweet goodness was meant to be shared with loved ones. Trust me on that 🙂