Trying to think of anything bad to say about Brendan Sodikoff and Hogsalt Hospitality will leave you feeling like Wile E. Coyote. Even in our deft analysis of all the restaurants they crank out, complaints are limited to nit-picky issues. It's why we often find ourselves eating at or recommending the group's restaurants, because it's pretty much a guarantee you'll have a good meal.
Maude's is Sodikoff’s French restaurant in the West Loop, but for it's not your classic French restaurant, in the group's tradition of breaking down societal norms. It's technically a French restaurant, but you won't get that old school French feel. There are plenty of traditional French options and preparations, but you can also spring for appropriately named "Almost French" dishes like French onion fondue, which is probably the kind of thing Napoleon dreamt about while trying to take over the world.
Almost everything on the menu should be in play when ordering, including the classics such as escargot and pates. Sharing is also caring, so don't mess things up and order your own solo meal. The last time we ate at Maude's, Patrick Kane was treating a lady friend to a nice Sunday meal - so do your best off the ice Kaner impression and treat that special someone to a can't miss night.
Our only nit-picky complaint on Maude's is the chairs on the main floor. The wiry frames and close proximity to the ground make us feel like third graders. You’ll get over it, but we still recommend trying to snag a booth upstairs.
If for some reason you think you don't want French food, Maude's is also a solid bar to stop in for a cocktail while waiting for your Au Cheval burger practically next door. But if that's the case, you need to reevaluate your feelings towards French food. And your life as a whole.
East Coast v. West Coast, Biggie or Pac. Either way, we love good oysters, and these are good oysters.
A simple escarole based salad, except for it's topped with a soft boiled egg and a giant piece of grilled pork belly.
That familiar French onion soup taste but in a completely new form. Think more of a sophisticated caramelized onion and gruyere spread than a gooey fondue.
Maude's serves the same fries as Au Cheval, which means they also come with the same addicting garlic aioli.
Yes, yes, yes. We are not just recommending the mussels, but straight up telling you to order them. A thin broth that’s heavy on the lemon, it's one of the best sauces around.
As always, we stand by our "eat chicken at French restaurants" rule. You are encouraged to order this juicy bird.
A traditional cassoulet is a rich, slow cooked party of meat and beans. This version comes with braised white beans, duck leg confit, garlic sausage, and pork belly. The meats in this dish are all well done, but it's the braised white bean base that will make you not want to stop.