8.3
CHI

Entente

Perfect For: Date Night Special Occasions
PHOTOS: Sandy Noto

Mixing random stuff together doesn’t usually work. Frank Sinatra? An iconic singer. Tupac? There will never be another rapper like him. But nobody wants a Frank Sinatra x Tupac club remix because that kind of sh*t is crossing the line. At least that’s usually the case. But then some exceptionally talented person comes along who can pull it off in a way we would never expect. Entente is the restaurant version of the Sinatra x Tupac remix that sounds like a terrible idea, but manages to work.

Entente is a place where you can eat fancy tasting-menu quality food at reasonable prices while listening to Kendrick and A$AP Rocky in the background, all on a quiet street in Lakeview. If this sounds a little like Schwa to you, you would be right. The chef in charge used to be the chef at Schwa, and whether he meant to or not, Entente feels like a less ridiculous and more civilized version of his former home.

The food at Entente is also a bunch of combinations that don’t sound like they go together, but the second plates start hitting the table, you’ll forget about the fact you weren’t sold on the menu up until this point. Pumpernickel pretzel with beer cheese fondue sounds like cheese dip from a bar, but the arrangement of homemade bread and floral studded ham looks like a plated piece of edible art that also tastes great. And carbonated grape sauce with perfectly sliced duck? Not many people can pull it off.

There are two rooms at Entente, and the only real detriment here is the fact the vibes aren’t consistent throughout. The front room has a high ceiling and huge open windows, but it can be awkwardly quiet and a little weird at times. Instead, get a table in the smaller back room right next to the kitchen where it’s a little more energetic and fun, kind of like a Schwa “Light.”

Drink-wise, get involved with the wine list, especially because Entente is ideal for a nice date. Maybe don’t splurge on the “let’s move-in together immediately” bottle of wine, but go for something close to it. And if said date mentions this place doesn’t really make sense, you can bring up your New York x California Love remix theory. After a few meals at Entente, maybe you’ll be the one to pull it off.

Food Rundown

Wedge Salad

Sounds boring, is super not-boring. Big chunks of bacon with a great green dressing makes this a perfect starter for the table and to let the people you’re with know that you don’t always eat vegetables, but when you do it’s covered in dressing and fatty pork.

Pumpernickel Pretzel

The fanciest pretzels and beer cheese fondue you’ll ever eat. You want it as an appetizer.

Lobster

Chunks of perfectly cooked lobster with a green curry sauce. We enjoy the fact there’s no shell-cracking involved for this kind of a meal, so don’t worry about making a total fool of yourself trying to crack open a lobster. Save that for when you’re wearing lobster bibs on the coast out East.

Carolina Gold

Keep an eye out for this on the menu. If you’ve ever had the standard quail egg ravioli at Schwa, this tastes almost the same, but instead of ravioli it’s a creamy carolina gold rice with truffle, cheese, and a quail egg. It’s excellent.

Duck

None of the meat dishes are too gluttonous here, and this duck is no exception. It comes with a little bit of maitake mushrooms and dirty rice as a base.

Tiramisu

This dessert has asparagus in it and is incredible. I know you think I either don’t know what the words “asparagus” or “incredible” means based off that sentence, but you’ll just have to take a leap of faith and get this. Plus, any leap of faith that lands in tiramisu should be done anyways.

Cheesecake

If asparagus tiramisu doesn’t get you going, try a slice of cheesecake that we’ve seen on the menu in a few different variations. No matter the specific flavors it often looks like a piece of Jackson Pollack artwork in cheesecake form.

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