On a whim Jessica LaShawn of Such is Life invited me to dinner at the new South Loop restaurant Alain's. I was hearing about Alain's and anticipating the opening because of Alain Njike who previously was Chef over at Park 52 and co--owner Former Chicago Bear player Israel Idonije. I knew with these two powerhouses, this restaurant could not go wrong.
Inside white linen and curtains against a vibrant backdrop of pink and gold colors with paintings greeted me. The vibe is very intimate and I love that you can sit in the window and take in the neighborhood while being romantic with the accompanying low lightening and soft music.
I was expecting a dinner to catch up with Jessica but instead was greeted to the private's Chef's table inside the kitchen! We were able to sit back and enjoy watching the Chef create his wonderful menu ( top pic). I wasn't ready for the flood of flavors that excited my pallet and kept me excited for the next item.
I was running behind so I did miss two courses BUT Jess saved me some portions of with chicken, risotto is one of my favorite dishes- but it can go easily wrong with hard or overcooked rice. This dish was perfect. Also I had a little of the Steamed Mussels Bourgeoisie which made me want to lick the plate, the sauce was so good.
We were also presented with with couscous, Wagyu beef with a cauliflower and mash pairing (Pic), creamy and succulent Mac And Cheese (pic), a delicious chicken breast and finally a dessert Of bread pudding and strawberries (pic).
I noticed staple items the Chef's uses in all the dishes such as his purple cauliflower and creams. What set each dish apart is the oils, seasonings and pairings of the ingredients together.
Alain's sits on the corner of 13th and Michigan in the heart of the South Loop and I must say the cuisine and ambiance is very much needed in this area. It will bring a fresh new take to the Loop.
*excuse the photos- I didn't know this was waiting on me!
1355 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. Tel: 312-922-1185.