LTH Home

Café Cancale - Coastal French Seafood in Wicker Park

Café Cancale - Coastal French Seafood in Wicker Park
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Café Cancale - Coastal French Seafood in Wicker Park

    Post #1 - May 14th, 2019, 8:28 am
    Post #1 - May 14th, 2019, 8:28 am Post #1 - May 14th, 2019, 8:28 am
    My friends and I dined at Café Cancale last night at their grand opening. One-Off definitely pulled off what can be an impossible feat for others and transformed the space in under two months since it's last iteration as Publican Anker. Gone are the dark wood and gastropub fare, in are upholstered booths and a plethora of coastal French seafood dishes. Everything we had was delicious: for starters we had a chef's selection of oysters, charred leeks with mussels, walleye quenelles and a duck terrine. Our mains were the steak frites, the roasted chicken, the halibut and the trout. The portion sizes for the steak and chicken were drastically larger than those of the fish mains.
    Overall, it was a pleasant meal. However, it was definitely a different price tier than Publican Anker and the feel of the room is different from the relaxed, casual atmosphere. I wish them well, but I wonder if this restaurant may be better suited to a different area of the city than the chaos of the Milwaukee/Damen/North intersection.

    Café Cancale
    1576 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773.904.1121
    https://www.cafecancale.com
  • Post #2 - May 14th, 2019, 3:25 pm
    Post #2 - May 14th, 2019, 3:25 pm Post #2 - May 14th, 2019, 3:25 pm
    Why would the location be better suited elsewhere?
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #3 - May 15th, 2019, 7:25 am
    Post #3 - May 15th, 2019, 7:25 am Post #3 - May 15th, 2019, 7:25 am
    My guess would have to do with the fact that they don’t feel comfortable posting their prices. If it’s that high, will the local demographic support it?
  • Post #4 - May 15th, 2019, 7:29 am
    Post #4 - May 15th, 2019, 7:29 am Post #4 - May 15th, 2019, 7:29 am
    Quite expensive to live in that hood these days. I know. Just moved from it after 13 yrs.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #5 - May 15th, 2019, 8:05 am
    Post #5 - May 15th, 2019, 8:05 am Post #5 - May 15th, 2019, 8:05 am
    it's one of the priciest hoods in the city, if this place fails it will because of a lack of flat screens
  • Post #6 - May 15th, 2019, 8:35 am
    Post #6 - May 15th, 2019, 8:35 am Post #6 - May 15th, 2019, 8:35 am
    AlekH wrote:it's one of the priciest hoods in the city, if this place fails it will because of a lack of flat screens
    AKA Division St and one reason I moved were the douchebros akimbo. The other was the rents were nuts.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #7 - June 5th, 2019, 11:44 am
    Post #7 - June 5th, 2019, 11:44 am Post #7 - June 5th, 2019, 11:44 am
    All sort of douches (including ourselves) were in the neighborhood mix outside of Cancale when we stopped in for their weekday Happy Hour special: Oysters $1/each (otherwise $3/each) from 4-6 pm, M-F. It's a bit of an unconventional set up. No specific oysters are designated. Instead, they offer single varieties from their list, one at a time, until they run out of them. After one variety gets 86'd, they serve another, and then another, until the bell tolls at 6 pm.

    As you'd expect, there's a mix of east and west coast bivalves. Quality is high across the board. Shucking was skillful, with relatively few shards of shell and decent liquor retention, and it got better as our session went on.

    In addition to several dozen oysters, we had a few rounds of the Martini Classique, which is made with a choice of Citadel Dry Gin or Village Vodka (plus Dolin dry vermouth and orange bitters). I'm not sure how a martini made with vodka ever gets classified as a 'classique' but that's probably a debate for another thread. In any case, the martinis were well made and at $11, a decent value, especially for the neighborhood. And I'm fairly certain this is their regular price, not a happy hour offering.

    We didn't have any other food or beverages but I'm guessing we'll be back for some of that sooner than later. Bottom line, though, if you like oysters, and martinis, Cafe Cancale is a really nice happy hour option.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #8 - October 25th, 2019, 1:48 pm
    Post #8 - October 25th, 2019, 1:48 pm Post #8 - October 25th, 2019, 1:48 pm
    We had one of the best dining experiences in recent memory at Cafe Cancale last night. Our server was warm, knowledgeable and attentive. He steered us towards the seafood selections and his specific picks were spot on. We had some oysters, the dressed lobster, mussels a la Normandy (white wine, orange), scallops with soubise and delicata squash, trout amandine, and split the rye crepe for dessert. Everything was excellent across the board. The trout, in particular, blew me a way. It was perfectly cooked, crispy on the skin side, with brown butter sauce and “peach olives”—tiny brined until peaches that were delicious (and totally novel to me). I could have licked the sauce off the plate. Instead, I sopped it up with their excellent bread. As a side note, bread and butter (from Normandy) were excellent. I’m not a person who minds paying for good bread ($5) and this was worth every penny. The lobster, a sort of deconstructed lobster salad served with brioche toast, was also a highlight. It’s hard to pick favorites given the consistently great flavors. Our server recommended the dessert which I wouldn’t have picked and it was outstanding. I thought they did a great job with the classic bistro decor. Definitely a high energy vibe but noise level wasn’t too bad. Prices are more than fair. We will definitely be back (and I’ll be ordering the trout again)!
  • Post #9 - October 25th, 2019, 4:38 pm
    Post #9 - October 25th, 2019, 4:38 pm Post #9 - October 25th, 2019, 4:38 pm
    We have been here four or five times since they opened and absolutely love it. We are fortunate to eat in nice places often, so it takes a lot for us to love something and return over and over. But they just so expertly prepare the high quality seafood and nicely blend in seasonal updates (like the scallops with delicata mentioned above, which we also had this week, an autumnal revamp of the scallop dish). The frisée aux lardons is actually served with smoked eel in addition to delicious lardons, and is extraordinary. The menu doesn't list it, but you can generally order a green side salad, a much needed fresh note (since the only salad on the menu is the frisee that is larded with lardons, smoked eel, poached egg). The duck is also lovely if someone in your party doesn't eat fish, and the oysters are the nicest, most interesting selection, including one the chef collaborates with the farm to cultivate. This is especially valuable at the oyster happy hour - where they are legitimately way better sourced than comparable offers around town. Just a fab place.
  • Post #10 - October 28th, 2019, 1:51 pm
    Post #10 - October 28th, 2019, 1:51 pm Post #10 - October 28th, 2019, 1:51 pm
    Echo annak's sentiment: fab place!

    We ordered:
      Trout tartare
      4 different types of oysters
      Scallop entree
      Trout entree
      Walleye entree
      Rye crepe
      Strawberry sundae, sea salt ice cream

    Loved the scallop and trout entrees. The desserts were scrumptious. The ice cream was wonderfully savory. Really captured the sea salt flavor, as promised.

    Can't wait to return!
  • Post #11 - December 29th, 2019, 8:51 pm
    Post #11 - December 29th, 2019, 8:51 pm Post #11 - December 29th, 2019, 8:51 pm
    My husband, daughter & I celebrated my 50th birthday here tonight. My expectations were surpassed. We shared fresh oysters, mussels & frites to start. The seafood was pristine, even on a Sunday night. Excellent bread with the mussels as well. Husband had the Beef Daube and my daughter & I shared the Omelette. We “fought” over the trout roe. Service was excellent- professional but warm. Great timing on everything- we never felt rushed or like we waited too long between courses. Dessert was good, not great. Drinks-wise, they did a very nice “kiddie cocktail” for our 7-year old, I enjoyed a Sancerre, husband a red blend and the cappuccinos to finish the meal were quite good.
    I had not been in this space since 1998 when I left employment there. Some restaurant job experiences are so intense that it’s difficult to go back as a patron. Took me 20+ years to feel neutral about it but definitely glad I chose to try it tonight and won’t hesitate to go back.
  • Post #12 - December 30th, 2019, 7:17 am
    Post #12 - December 30th, 2019, 7:17 am Post #12 - December 30th, 2019, 7:17 am
    LynnB wrote:I had not been in this space since 1998 when I left employment there. Some restaurant job experiences are so intense that it’s difficult to go back as a patron. Took me 20+ years to feel neutral about it but definitely glad I chose to try it tonight and won’t hesitate to go back.


    Was it still Soul Kitchen in 1998 or Francesca’s Forno?
  • Post #13 - December 30th, 2019, 10:25 am
    Post #13 - December 30th, 2019, 10:25 am Post #13 - December 30th, 2019, 10:25 am
    Pretty sure it was Soul Kitchen, based on this Trib article from 98 https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1998-02-04-9802060056-story.html

    Good soul food isn't confined to the South and West Sides anymore, either. Entrepreneurs like the Nickson family at the two Wishbone restaurants (1800 W. Grand Ave. and 1001 W. Washington St.), and chefs such as Monique King at Soul Kitchen, 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave., and Kelvin Moore at Shark Bar, 212 N. Canal St., are creating dishes based on soul classics.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #14 - December 30th, 2019, 2:07 pm
    Post #14 - December 30th, 2019, 2:07 pm Post #14 - December 30th, 2019, 2:07 pm
    Al Ehrhardt wrote:
    LynnB wrote:I had not been in this space since 1998 when I left employment there. Some restaurant job experiences are so intense that it’s difficult to go back as a patron. Took me 20+ years to feel neutral about it but definitely glad I chose to try it tonight and won’t hesitate to go back.


    Was it still Soul Kitchen in 1998 or Francesca’s Forno?


    It was Soul Kitchen.
  • Post #15 - December 30th, 2019, 6:49 pm
    Post #15 - December 30th, 2019, 6:49 pm Post #15 - December 30th, 2019, 6:49 pm
    @LynneB-
    Was it still Soul Kitchen in 1998 or Francesca’s Forno?
    It was Soul Kitchen.

    I miss Pam & the lovely vibe she generated at the 2nd iteration of Soul Kitchen.
    Having known Pam Scariano- creator of Soul Kitchen (#1 & #2)-
    since High School, I've always been a fan of her JOY and spirit,
    which she transmitted to the Restaurant she ran,
    until certain nefarious character(s) "stole"
    her Liquor License from beneath her.
    (.....sigh)
  • Post #16 - June 29th, 2020, 6:01 pm
    Post #16 - June 29th, 2020, 6:01 pm Post #16 - June 29th, 2020, 6:01 pm
    Closing with Blackbird =
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more