The time has come, Chicago: Starting Tuesday 22, no more foie gras for you. That is, unless you find the loophole: The much-debated ban of the gluttonous delicacy only extends to the city limits, which means foie can still be found in the suburbs. We visited top suburban chefs for a foie fix and got their take on the controversy surrounding the aldermanic war on restaurants.
8989 Archer Ave, Willow Springs, 708-839-8000
Foie fix If you’re eating at the bar, try the cold foie gras terrine with toasted brioche, organic peaches and aged balsamic. In the dining room you’ll find a daily foie gras special, such as seared foie gras with a cherry-caramel sauce, brioche and sprinkling of house-made licorice salt.
Chef Jonathan Harootunian’s take “Either you eat it or you don’t. If you don’t, no pun intended, but I’m not going to cram it down your throat. If someone were to call me tomorrow and say, ‘You can’t use Osetra caviar because it’s on the endangered list,’ I’d understand why it’s not a good idea to use it. It’s not just a group of people saying, This is inhumane.”
269 S Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, 847-541-7470
Foie fix Sample your way through foie fixed in three different preparations: cold foie gras terrine, sautéed foie gras with fresh figs and cherries, and foie gras ravioli with port wine sauce.
Chef Roland Liccioni’s take “If we [ban foie gras], what’s next? There will be no more restaurants serving food. Fine-dining restaurants, even bistros, are going to have to close their doors.”
519 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, 847-367-5755
Foie fix For a foie-filled meal, start with the chilled foie gras terrine appetizer drizzled with a balsamic reduction before moving on to the decadent filet mignon topped with foie gras and truffle butter.
Owner Rick Jansen’s take “There’s right and wrong on both sides. But my issue is with a government agency that decides they’re going to figure out which side of this debate to fall down on—and not just warn people, but limit them. I question that.”
4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs, 708-246-2082
Foie fix Here you can have your foie gras exactly how you want it. Order it hot or cold, served with fruity country-style preserves such as raspberry-chocolate jam, strawberry-pinot noir jam or Meyer lemon marmalade.
Chef-owner Paul Virant’s take “It’s a difficult conversation, there’s no question. The world consumes a lot of animals for food, and to some extent, there’s some cruelty in that. It’s just the way it is. I just feel like there are so many other issues that could be looked at.”
The Stained Glass Wine Bar Bistro
1735 Benson Ave, Evanston, 847-864-8600
Foie fix For a completely different (and decidedly accessible) take on the upscale ingredient, this upscale yet friendly spot serves a miniature BLT sandwich with a seared slice of foie gras, applewood-smoked bacon, cherry tomatoes, micro greens and white-truffle mayonnaise, all piled on golden toasted brioche.
Chef-owner Victor Hernandez’s take “Actually, we’ve seen an increase in foie gras sales since this began. There are people who’ve never had it—all of a sudden they hear about it, and now they wonder what it’s like.”
Le Titi de Paris
1015 W Dundee Rd, Arlington Heights, 847-506-0222
Foie fix Run hot or cold with options of seared foie gras with toasted brioche, strawberry-rhubarb jam, port wine syrup and caramelized apple and pear;or a chilled terrine of foie gras and Perigord black truffles, served with brandied peach compote and balsamic-dressed greens.
Chef-owner Michael Maddox’s take “I grew up on a farm, so to me, we raise animals to be eaten. For us as a restaurant, we do it for our livelihood. If people stopped eating carrots, I wouldn’t order them. But if there’s a demand, we serve it.”