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Yesterday the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux came to town and some 100 French vintners and their agents arrived with a particular hankering. The trade group, which represents the most historically esteemed winemaking region in the world takes a spin across the States every year around this time, offering industry buyers and oenophiles a taste of the new vintage (2009 in this case). So, what do these discriminating palates want to eat for dinner when they come to our great city?
“Meat! Big!”—Etienne Priou, Chateau Beaumont
“Harry . . . uhhhh?—an Italian steakhouse”—Claire Thomas-Chenard, Chateau Larmande
“Steak—and the legs from Alaska”—Antoine Merlaut, Chateau Citran
“We are French people and we need to eat meat.”—Lise Latrille, Chateau Prieure-Lichine
”We love meat in France. But we don't have too many steakhouses”—Ronan Laborde, Chateau Clinet
Just a few had different plans. "I know Chicago is very hot for food right now,” said Sophie Schyler-Thierry of Chateau Kirwan. She was going to Les Nomades. One hipster was going to Goosefoot, but 13 out of 18 surveyed were headed to one of our fine cow palaces (Gibson's for the most part). Stephan von Neipperg of Chateau Canon La Gaffelière went to Chicago Cut last night, and asked for recommendations for another (we told him to check out Primehouse.)
If you saw their eyes light up at the thought of it, you could hardly fault them. But what does this say for our ostensible internationally renowned dining city? One thing was certain, the Michelin Guide Chicago wasn't helping. Not one of them knew it existed.