Friday, December 10, 2021

Intimate dinner Suzette’s Creperie French Bistro Wheaton

Intimate dinner at Suzette’s Creperie French Wine Bar, Bistro, Wheaton

We took dear friend Marlene out for her birthday celebration dinner to Suzette’s Creperie French Wine Bar and Bistro in adjacent Wheaton (Illinois).

We dined al fresco on their quaint patio last summer for a authentic french bistro dinner with a special BYO bottle and a special selection from their winelist. 

Suzette's Creperie, inspired by the Paris street vendors selling crepes, opened in 2000 in historic downtown Wheaton. Originally only seven tables and a counter, they quickly outgrew the space and expanded into the adjacent storefront to 17 tables, counter, bar and outdoor patio in the summer.

The adjacent Suzette's Boulangerie & Patisserie offers authentic french inspired artisanal croissants and breads and sweets with coffee, espresso, latte and café au lait. 

The restaurant features a Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence unique and carefully selected wine list of close to a hundred French wines from an inventory of nearly 600 bottles, as well as champagnes, sherries, French beer, French Ciders, Cognacs, Armagnacs and spirits, They offer wines in all price ranges from modest house W-B-T-G (wines by the glass) or bottles from basic to to super premium vintage first growths. 

Some of their interesting and premium winelist selections include:

  • 2000 Vosne-Romanée, Michel Gros, Clos des Réas, 1er Cru, Monopole
  • 2001 Echézeaux, Devillard, Domaine des Predix, Grand Cru
  • 2003 Châteauneuf du Pape, Vieux Télégraphe
  • 1999 Pauillac, Mouton Rothschild, 1er Cru
  • 2003 Pauillac, Ponet Canet
  • 2001 St. Julien, de Pichon Longueville
  • 2000 St. Emilion, Château La Gaffelière
  • vertical selection of a half dozen vintages of St. Emilion, Château St. George dating back to 1990.
When we dined there last summer, we took one special bottle BYOB and then ordered from the winelist a special select Chateau La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, which was one of the highlights of our visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape was a tour and tasting at Chateau La Nerthe where we tasted this special limited release bottle Chateau La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir.

Suzette's atmosphere is cozy and intimate with leisurely paced European Style service by an attentive staff for a relaxing enjoyable dining experience. 

The delightful atmosphere was amplified by holiday decorations of a Christmas tree, holiday bows and a table set with quaint table decorations included lighted snowglobes. This was especially appreciated for our festive holiday and celebration dinner as Linda had taken a friend to Naperville's Egg Harbor cafe earlier in the day for a similar outing and came away deeply disappointed by the complete lack of holiday recognition and a unsympathetic uncaring response by staff responding to her comments.

The menu features small plates of Escargot Suzette’s Style, Three Cheese Soufflé, Fondue for Two, cheese plate and my choice, Pâté, all great accompaniments to a wine course. 

There is a soup and salad selection and the main course features their specialty selection of Crêpes, chicken, ham and cheese, vegetable, salmon, spinach and my choice, Beef Bourguignon.

They also typically offer a couple special entree selections from which we typically order. 

Tonight, Linda ordered the 'Special' crabcakes, while I passed on the Lamb Special for the traditional Crêpe Beef Bourguignon. Last summer, we feasted on their delectable Special Sole Meuniere.

Marlène & Nicolas Chevalier Les Voleyses Crozes Hermitage 2018

Never mind we were dining and celebrating birthday of friend Marlene, I chose this wine for the appellation, varietal and style to accompany my beef bourguignon, not for the producer's name, although its irony is part of the fun and enjoyment of/with wine!

Once part of the cave co-operative at Tain-Hermitage, since 2008 the family vineyards of Domaine Chevalier are gradually being reclaimed by the brother and sister team of Nicolas and Marlène Chevalier. Nicolas tends the vineyards and crafts each cuvee, while Marlène handles all of the sales and marketing for Domaine Chevalier.

Following his formal agricultural studies in France, Nicolas spent four years honing his winemaking skills on estates in Australia, California and South Africa. After completing studies in agronomy and enology in France, he headed to South Australia’s Clare Valley where he mastered various techniques for fermenting Shiraz (Syrah). He then worked with Kendall Jackson in California crafting white winemaking skills. To further his post-graduate wine studies, he spent 2002 in South Africa working at legendary three-hundred-year-old Boschendal estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa, a winery renowned for its superb Syrah-based wines.

Marlène and Nicolas Chevalier farm three small vineyards at their meticulously tended family property comprising 3 1/2 acres in Crozes-Hermitage from which they produce on average 500 cases of red and white Rhône wines in tiny lots which are highly allocated. Their wines are found only in a couple of importer direct wine clubs and renowned restaurants in North American.

Nicolas works with several distinct parcels for their wines: La Motte, Marius, Petite Pend, Les Pends and namesake source for this label, Les Voleyses. These vineyards have clay and limestone soils with excellent exposure, known to produce ripe, high quality grapes with great aromatic character and freshness. The Domaine Chevalier site has been producing grapes for notable wines gaining high praise and critical acclaim for more than three centuries.

The 2018 vintage was top rated in the Northern Rhône.
Importer notes: The 2018 Domaine Chevalier Les Voleyses Crozes-Hermitage sports a brilliant purple robe and a captivating aroma redolent with the scents of blackberry, plum, violets, and exotic spices. Sensuous and seductive in the mouth, the 2018 Les Voleyses graces the palate with a silky texture and pure floral, fruit, and forest floor flavors that have aptly been described as hedonism in a glass. Moreover, the 2018 Domaine Chevalier Les Voleyses is juicy and harmonious to the finish, as it makes an exit with joyful panache.
The Voleyses Cuvée is 100% Syrah made from younger vine fruit and aged in stainless steel.

Deep inky purple colored medium-full bodied, full round layers of blackberry and plum fruits, notes of black tea, spice and leather overtake the fruits, turning to soft chewy textured tannins on a medium finish. 

RM 91 points.