Splurge on a special occasion at this formal French dining room in the Holiday Inn..
A largely 50-and-older crowd patronizes this elegant restaurant, which has been in the Holiday Inn since the late 1960s. Rose-brown colors dominate the decor, and a strolling violinist will play requests on Friday and Saturday nights. Food is heated tableside and served sizzling. The waitstaff is attentive and reserved.
Outstanding appetizers include fresh lobster cocktail, smoked salmon and goose liver pate. But oysters on the half shell can taste like cold water, while the spinach salad suffers due to a vinegary hot bacon dressing (think sauerkraut). Entrees and desserts, however, redeem the meal. The tender veal marsala is well-flavored with its mix of mushrooms, shallots and wine. Scallops are sweet and supremely tender. Desserts include vanilla ice cream inside crepes Sushard and the creamy chocolate mousse.
Bad food at Chanteclair.
I recently moved from Chicago and maybe I'm a bit spoiled, but I have to say that the food at Chanteclair was terrible and just as expensive as any nice restaurant in Chicago would cost.
The food was highly spiced with garlic and oil, but all you could tast was the garlic. I've lived all over the world, including France and have had escargot prepared many different ways. We couldn't even bring ourselves to finish the escargot appetizer we ordered because it tasted so bad.
The staff were very friendly and attentive, but the food just wasn't good, at any price, and the ambiance was lacking.
Romantic and Unique. Serves wonderful French food, prepared table-side--I am not aware of anywhere else in town that has this. Order the Ceasar salad for the best Caesar you've ever had and for the fun of watching the server prepare the salad. Service is excellent and professional. Ask the violin player to share a joke with you when he comes to your table for requests. The atmosphere is relaxing, pink, and romantic. My regret--there are no non-smoking sections. I've been here several times in the past three years and had consistently good experiences. It is expensive, so it's our "special occasion" restaurant. I make reservations, but this doesn't seem to be necessary except on holidays.
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