Saturday, June 1, 2019

Chez Joel Authentic French Bistro Cuisine

Chez Joel Authentic Bistro Cuisine with High QPR Wine Selections

For pre-(White Sox) game dinner, we dined at one of our favorite eateries in the City (Chicago), Chez Joel on Taylor Street. As usual the service was outstanding, food was delectable and the price was agreeable.

Chez Joel is quaint, artsy, intimate, tasteful, comfortable,  authentic yet unpretentious in its French Bistro setting and faire. We love sitting outside in the adjacent courtyard but tonight we had our favorite front window, corner round table so we opted to each inside.

Fellow 'Pour Boy', Dr. Dan and I had the Duck Confit, Linda A had the strip steak with pomme frits and Linda J had the grouper.

All the entrees were excellent - well prepared, artful presentations, ample portions, served hot, and with appropriate accompaniments.

Chez Joel main dining room offers comfortable,
intimate dining.

For the starter courses, Dan had the frog legs and I had the beet salad.

From the small but carefully crafted winelist, we selected the Mason Les Alexandrins from the Northern Rhone appellation of Crozes-Hermitage which is a 100% Syrah.

The Chez Joel winelist is small and limited but the selections are carefully chosen such that they represent excellent values and appropriate accompaniments to the menu at good moderate price-points. The winelist offers such reasonable values, that we don't feel pressed to BYOB as we do in so many establishments.

Artful presentation of Linda's Grouper

Maison Les Alexandrins Crozes-Hermitage 2017

While not as elegant, concentrated, complex or intense as some of the recent Syrahs featured in these pages, this is a fraction of their price. A fun and fitting comparison that holds its own very nicely against the pair of Croze-Hermitages we tasted in Paris last week (and the second one). 

Crozes Hermitage is the biggest vineyard among the Northern Rhône appellations with 3200 acres. It is spread over 11 different communes situated in the department of La Drôme on the left bank of the Rhône River.

Deep purple ruby colored, medium bodied, bright vibrant black berry and black cherry fruits, notes of smoky, spices and hints of black pepper, nice balance of acidity, turning to smooth silky tannins on a long finish. An outstanding QPR, high quality to price ratio wine.

RM 90 points.

Reviewed by: Jeb Dunnuck - 90 pts
Reviewed by: The Wine Advocate
- 90-92 pts

Chateau Mangot St Emilion Grand Cru 2014

For the entree course we selected this label which ideal with the steak and duck courses. We've had this wine before from the winelist at Chez Joel over the years, in several vintages. It consistently represents great value in a quality appropriate selection at a fair and moderate price-point.

This cru, is from the St Emilion Grand Cru appellation, crafted  from the Estate's 4 terroirs spread between the foot of the slopes, slopes, terraces and plateaux. It is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the 21 different plots that of the Estate vineyards.

Bright garnet colored, medium bodied, tangy black berry and black currant and plum fruits, spice, floral and notes of anise and cedar, dry with cloying tannins on the long finish.

RM 90 points.

After dinner we had the sorbet, almond gateaux and cappucinos we had from the BTG (by the glass) winelist selections, the Late Harvest Semillon, Château Haut Sarthes, Sauterne, Bordeaux, an ideal combination.
 As can be expected at Chez Joel, a wonderful, relaxing fun wine and dine evening.