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Dear Margaret

Dear Margaret
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  • Dear Margaret

    Post #1 - January 21st, 2021, 8:30 pm
    Post #1 - January 21st, 2021, 8:30 pm Post #1 - January 21st, 2021, 8:30 pm
    Took out a wonderful dinner for 4 from this brand new Lakeview spot and WOW! It’s been sooo long since I looked to a meal for anything other than comfort, that I almost forgot what it was like to be excited by something new and special. The food is French Canadian with Midwestern ingredients. The chef is Ryan Brosseau, who’s worked at Perennial Virant, Found, and Table, Donkey and Stick and was the opening Exec chef at Le Sud.

    Every dish was perfectly prepared and packaged and we loved every bite. Can’t even remember saying that pre-pandemic.

    We ordered:

    Duck Liver Mousse
    apricot jam, 9-grain toast, smoked pickled onion

    Charred Broccoli
    lemon emulsion, pine nuts, parsley, mint, chili flakes, lemon and coriander pickled radish

    Braised Cauliflower
    wine and lemon braised cauliflower, roasted eggplant purée, arugula, pine nuts, candied pearl onions, parsley, dill, tarragon, cherry tomato confit, Grana Padano

    Fried Smelts
    fried pickles, fried in beef tallow, tartar sauce, lemon

    Braised Beef Shank for Two
    red wine, maitake mushrooms, arugula salad

    Roasted Half Chicken
    Amish chicken, lemon and herb local rice, jus

    Tourtière
    Canadian meat pie with a mushroom, potato, herb, and pork filling, lard crust, petite salad

    Nanaimo Bar
    graham cracker, coconut, and walnut base, custard icing center, chocolate ganache top with whipped crème fraîche

    Cookie Trio
    two each oatmeal dried cherry, peanut butter, chocolate chip

    Butter Tart
    maple, dried blueberries, European butter, lard crust, quintessentially Canadian

    Hope they get a following quickly—can’t imagine what it’s like to open a real restaurant with serious food in this environment. If you’re looking for something special, I highly recommend.

    Dear Margaret
    2965 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60657
    (773) 360-8213
    Website: www.dearmargaretchi.com
    Delivery/pickup: www.exploretock.com/dearmargaret
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on February 9th, 2021, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #2 - January 22nd, 2021, 7:19 am
    Post #2 - January 22nd, 2021, 7:19 am Post #2 - January 22nd, 2021, 7:19 am
    I've been excited to try Dear Margaret since reading about it. The braised cauliflower and putsins (chicken and dumplings) sound especially delicious and weather-appropriate. I'm so glad they were able to open and your positive review has me texting my boyfriend at 7:15am asking if we can go tonight.
  • Post #3 - January 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm
    Post #3 - January 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm Post #3 - January 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm
    This must be the place that has a hanging sign that simply says DM. I wondered what that was! Glad to hear it's an exceptional new restaurant in the neighborhood.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #4 - January 22nd, 2021, 5:25 pm
    Post #4 - January 22nd, 2021, 5:25 pm Post #4 - January 22nd, 2021, 5:25 pm
    Sounds intriguing. I heard "French Canadian" and thought they would only have twelve versions of poutine, which I consider one of the worst travesties in the food world. Glad to hear they have food that actually sounds good.

    Thanks for the report!
  • Post #5 - February 9th, 2021, 12:44 pm
    Post #5 - February 9th, 2021, 12:44 pm Post #5 - February 9th, 2021, 12:44 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Lakeview’s New French-Canadian Bistro Dear Margaret debuts thanks to a decorated chef and a public relations representative turned restaurant owner.
    Dear Margaret, 2965 N. Lincoln Ave.
    https://chicago.eater.com/2021/1/20/222 ... tos-images
    I'm excited for this one. The chef here really had things humming both at Table, Donkey, Stick and then later when Le Sud first opened.

    $9 for a Nanaimo Bar is a bridge too far though - got me online to order a container of Bird's custard powder.
  • Post #6 - February 9th, 2021, 2:23 pm
    Post #6 - February 9th, 2021, 2:23 pm Post #6 - February 9th, 2021, 2:23 pm
    admich wrote:$9 for a Nanaimo Bar is a bridge too far though - got me online to order a container of Bird's custard powder.


    Fairly insane. I'm the last person to complain about restaurant prices, but the trend of overpriced versions of childhood treats sold at upscale joints is off-putting. Yes, I've paid a ridiculous amount of money for Thomas Keller's upscale Ho-Ho and Laduree's factory-made macarons, and always feel like a sucker afterward.
  • Post #7 - February 9th, 2021, 3:56 pm
    Post #7 - February 9th, 2021, 3:56 pm Post #7 - February 9th, 2021, 3:56 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    admich wrote:$9 for a Nanaimo Bar is a bridge too far though - got me online to order a container of Bird's custard powder.


    Fairly insane. I'm the last person to complain about restaurant prices, but the trend of overpriced versions of childhood treats sold at upscale joints is off-putting. Yes, I've paid a ridiculous amount of money for Thomas Keller's upscale Ho-Ho and Laduree's factory-made macarons, and always feel like a sucker afterward.


    Not sure I’d get so hung up on the name—it was a proper dessert, a generous portion and completely delicious. I am unfamiliar with the original food so just got to enjoy something that I’d definitely order again.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 6:56 pm
    Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 6:56 pm Post #8 - February 9th, 2021, 6:56 pm
    We ordered from Dear Margaret and really enjoyed it! Highlights were the smoked carrot dish, the Tourtiere and the lamb. The desserts were solid but not my favorite. I generally enjoy savory things more than sweet so that may be more of a personal preference. They were definitely a 'childhood treat' type of dessert (my 6 year-old loved them). Also, the dessert portions were huge. I think there were 6 good-sized pieces (or maybe 4, I had a couple glasses of wine that night ) of the Nanaimo bars. We also got the cookies and there 6 large cookies.
  • Post #9 - February 11th, 2021, 3:40 pm
    Post #9 - February 11th, 2021, 3:40 pm Post #9 - February 11th, 2021, 3:40 pm
    Got Dear Margaret last night, thought it was delicious. We had the carrots, broccoli, smelt, pate, kale salad and putsins, the last of which was indeed perfect for the weather. Was it Joe Beef? Not quite, but it was a nice change of pace with some great ingredients, sympatico flavors and refreshingly simple preparation. Look forward to trying again as the seasons change!
  • Post #10 - February 12th, 2021, 5:57 pm
    Post #10 - February 12th, 2021, 5:57 pm Post #10 - February 12th, 2021, 5:57 pm
    Glad this thread got bumped (not that it's old to begin with) -- my Montreal born-and-raised husband and I dragged our feet on figuring out Valentine's Day plans and a lot of the great looking takeout places were sold out. We'll give Dear Margaret a try!
  • Post #11 - February 23rd, 2021, 10:10 pm
    Post #11 - February 23rd, 2021, 10:10 pm Post #11 - February 23rd, 2021, 10:10 pm
    Did takeout from here last weekend and enjoyed a near perfect meal. The fried smelts and soupy chicken and dumplings dish were my favorites of what we tried on the savory side. The pork pie and duck liver mousse were both nice too while I personally didn’t care much for the smoked carrots.

    boudreaulicious wrote:Butter Tart
    maple, dried blueberries, European butter, lard crust, quintessentially Canadian


    Then there were the butter tarts which we liked so much I stopped by for two more orders the next day (dropped one off with my parents). I love blueberries and everything else described up above can make for a divine dessert so yeah I loved these. Cute space too. I could feel a French Canadian - Quebec City type vibe pulling up on it in the middle of a snow storm.
  • Post #12 - November 3rd, 2021, 12:21 pm
    Post #12 - November 3rd, 2021, 12:21 pm Post #12 - November 3rd, 2021, 12:21 pm
    I'm surprised that there's been no update on Dear Margaret in almost nine months. I recently found out about the place, so my wife and I went there on Sunday evening. It turned out to be in the same location as an old favorite of ours, Bistro Dre. Dear Margaret was still BYOB as of our visit, although they said they had just gotten their liquor license, so would be instituting a corkage of either $25 or $35 a bottle.

    Food was excellent. Photos are below. For starters, we ordered three items.
    [*]Fried Smelts with fried veggies
    [*]Salt-roasted beet salad
    [*]Grilled cabbage salad

    There were probably as many fried veggies as there were fried smelts in the dish, which was fine. The beet salad threw me off because in the low light, I couldn't see the beets. It turned out that what I thought were croutons were actually cubes of golden beets. I didn't try any of the cabbage salad, but my wife thought it was good.

    For mains, we ordered two items.
    [*]Smoked carrots
    [*]Rabbit ragu

    My wife has a small appetite, so she chose to go with another starter, the smoked carrots. These were really good, with good mouthfeel that wasn't at all mushy. The rabbit ragu was extremely tasty, but was very salty, which I mentioned to the server who happened to be the owner.

    We will definitely go back, even with having to pay a corkage fee. There's a lot left to try on the menu.

    Fried Smelts
    Image

    Salt-roasted beet salad
    Image

    Grilled cabbage salad
    Image

    Smoked Carrots
    Image

    Rabbit Ragu
    Image
  • Post #13 - November 3rd, 2021, 1:28 pm
    Post #13 - November 3rd, 2021, 1:28 pm Post #13 - November 3rd, 2021, 1:28 pm
    Smelts without the tail is not right. Those are like crispy chips and the commercial ones always don't have them. Maybe they don't freeze well, although not my recollection (the rivers near Houghton on Lake Superior). We used to catch them by the bucketfuls. The local bar would have deep fried ones out for the patrons like they would peanuts or popcorn for those couple of fantastic weeks.
  • Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 7:16 am
    Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 7:16 am Post #14 - November 4th, 2021, 7:16 am
    Puckjam wrote:Smelts without the tail is not right. Those are like crispy chips and the commercial ones always don't have them. Maybe they don't freeze well, although not my recollection (the rivers near Houghton on Lake Superior). We used to catch them by the bucketfuls. The local bar would have deep fried ones out for the patrons like they would peanuts or popcorn for those couple of fantastic weeks.


    There were tails. They just didn't fan out.
  • Post #15 - November 6th, 2021, 4:35 pm
    Post #15 - November 6th, 2021, 4:35 pm Post #15 - November 6th, 2021, 4:35 pm
    Thanks to this thread bump, enjoyed a great dinner here last night. The 2 of us went with:
    [*]Fried Smelts
    [*]Smoked Carrots
    [*]Beet Salad
    [*]Duck Liver Mousse
    [*]Grayson Cheese
    [*]House Cultured Butter
    [*]Bone-in Pork Chop
    [*]Nanaimo Bars

    All in all, a fantastic meal with no misses....would happily order all of the above again. They recommended a small/charcuterie and large plate for each person and we skewed that a bit by going way heavier on the small plates and charcuterie...was a tad too much food for 2 but definitely manageable. Not sure how much longer they will stay BYO as the bar was stocked and they even dropped us a wine list to preview...a good selection of wines by the glass ($10-17 for the most part) and by the bottle (~$42-180 with a lot in the $50-70 range).

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