Bistrot Zinc

★★★★☆
  • 1131 N State St

    Chicago, IL 60610

    Map & Directions
  • 312-337-1131

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4.15 20
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we were looking for a french restaurant and we couldn't have been happier to find this gem. great food and a nice selection for everyone. from appetizers to entrees you will not be disappointed. it's location is obscure but well worth the effort to find it.

2
★★★★★

we were looking for a french restaurant and we couldn't have been happier to find this gem. great food and a nice selection for everyone. from appetizers to entrees you will not be disappointed. it's location is obscure but well worth the effort to find it.

Pros: price, selection, crepes, desserts, casual to fine dinning

Cons: parking

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If you want to give French Food a try stop by Bistrot Zinc. They have mouth watering Bistrot Steak in butter sauce. The dishes here are so rich with flavor its outstanding!

4
★★★★☆

If you want to give French Food a try stop by Bistrot Zinc. They have mouth watering Bistrot Steak in butter sauce. The dishes here are so rich with flavor its outstanding!

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My husband and I enjoyed a delicious and relaxing dinner at Bistrot Zinc last night. We were seated immediately, having made reservations, crusty and chewy bread was served promptly. Our waiter was attentive and arrived right away to tell us the specials and take our drink orders (the wine list did seem a little small for a French restaurant). I had the soupe du jour (a delicious lentil soup with Indian/Moroccan flavors) which was perfect on a chilly evening. For the entrees, my husband and I ordered off of the seasonal menu. He had the skate, which was fantastic -- flaky and buttery, paired interestingly with lime and a side of velvety mashed potatoes. I had the gnocchi with butternut squash and broccoli rabe, which was rich and succulent, the French gnocchi with a wonderful creamy texture. We were too full for dessert, but all of the items sounded wonderful.
Our only complaint would be the valet situation. We pulled into the valet loading zone and asked the hostess to call the valet for us. We handed off our keys. When we were leaving, we again asked for the valet to be called and stepped outside, only to discover that the car was exactly where we had left it. Why were we stll charged $10 for a self-park job? It was quite strange. When we return (and we will definitely be back, the food was delicious, and there are plenty of other things on the menu that we want to try), we'll consider parking further away and walking just to avoid the awkwardness and sense of frustration we felt as we drove away.

2
★★★★☆

My husband and I enjoyed a delicious and relaxing dinner at Bistrot Zinc last night. We were seated immediately, having made reservations, crusty and chewy bread was served promptly. Our waiter was attentive and arrived right away to tell us the specials and take our drink orders (the wine list did seem a little small for a French restaurant). I had the soupe du jour (a delicious lentil soup with Indian/Moroccan flavors) which was perfect on a chilly evening. For the entrees, my husband and I ordered off of the seasonal menu. He had the skate, which was fantastic -- flaky and buttery, paired interestingly with lime and a side of velvety mashed potatoes. I had the gnocchi with butternut squash and broccoli rabe, which was rich and succulent, the French gnocchi with a wonderful creamy texture. We were too full for dessert, but all of the items sounded wonderful.
Our only complaint would be the valet situation. We pulled into the valet loading zone and asked the hostess to call the valet for us. We handed off our keys. When we were leaving, we again asked for the valet to be called and stepped outside, only to discover that the car was exactly where we had left it. Why were we stll charged $10 for a self-park job? It was quite strange. When we return (and we will definitely be back, the food was delicious, and there are plenty of other things on the menu that we want to try), we'll consider parking further away and walking just to avoid the awkwardness and sense of frustration we felt as we drove away.

Pros: delicious food, attentive service, very cute bistro atmosphere, good location

Cons: valet situation

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We went to Bistrot Zinc for a light lunch so we only ordered the french onion soup, mussles and fries, but the meal was fabulous. I especially recommend the mussels -- they were so plump and meaty, I was full just from this appetizer. And the taste was delicious, enough that I ate half the bread which I soaked into the mussel broth. The french onion soup was also delicious. And the fries were fresh -- home made fries as opposed to frozen. A wonderful meal. The only negative -- we sat by the window and there were too many flies.

2
★★★★★

We went to Bistrot Zinc for a light lunch so we only ordered the french onion soup, mussles and fries, but the meal was fabulous. I especially recommend the mussels -- they were so plump and meaty, I was full just from this appetizer. And the taste was delicious, enough that I ate half the bread which I soaked into the mussel broth. The french onion soup was also delicious. And the fries were fresh -- home made fries as opposed to frozen. A wonderful meal. The only negative -- we sat by the window and there were too many flies.

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I live in the Gold Coast and have been dining regularly at Bistrot Zinc since they opened. They have quite a few neighborhood regulars like me, as well as a variety of business diners and tourists. There are many restaurants in this neighborhood, but I keep going back to Bistrot Zinc because of its combination of consistently good food and accommodating, friendly staff. One of my favorite dishes there is the charcuterie plate which has French cheeses, sausage, a liver mousse pate and grapes. I was surprised to read another diner?s allegation that there was mold on the grapes. From time to time the grapes sit right next to the pate, and the mousse may find its way on to a grape or two, but having dined at Bistrot Zinc at least twice a week over the last ten years, I have never seen mold on anything I was served. In my experience the people who run BZ take both food and service very seriously and the charcuterie plate is one of my favorites.

If they are offering the poached chicken with vegetables as one of the specials - take advantage of it. The tender chicken is rolled around homemade stuffing and poached in a rich chicken broth. Unusual dish and delicious.

Other favorites: escargot, homemade chips at the bar (goes well with martinis), crepes, grilled salmon (crisp outside, moist inside), waitstaff and getting cooking tips from Chef Tim.

2
★★★★★

I live in the Gold Coast and have been dining regularly at Bistrot Zinc since they opened. They have quite a few neighborhood regulars like me, as well as a variety of business diners and tourists. There are many restaurants in this neighborhood, but I keep going back to Bistrot Zinc because of its combination of consistently good food and accommodating, friendly staff. One of my favorite dishes there is the charcuterie plate which has French cheeses, sausage, a liver mousse pate and grapes. I was surprised to read another diner?s allegation that there was mold on the grapes. From time to time the grapes sit right next to the pate, and the mousse may find its way on to a grape or two, but having dined at Bistrot Zinc at least twice a week over the last ten years, I have never seen mold on anything I was served. In my experience the people who run BZ take both food and service very seriously and the charcuterie plate is one of my favorites.

If they are offering the poached chicken with vegetables as one of the specials - take advantage of it. The tender chicken is rolled around homemade stuffing and poached in a rich chicken broth. Unusual dish and delicious.

Other favorites: escargot, homemade chips at the bar (goes well with martinis), crepes, grilled salmon (crisp outside, moist inside), waitstaff and getting cooking tips from Chef Tim.

Pros: Pros: Consistently good food, service, and drinks within walking distance. Moderately priced wine list.

Cons: Gets busy and noisy on Friday and Saturday nights - like a bistro...

.

Was served food with MOLD growing on it! Both hostess and waiter acknowledge the problem, immediately apologized and replaced my plate, but the manager came out to very loudly insist (for the horrified customers around me) that the mold I saw was not actually mold, but a "mousse" that brushed onto the plate. Funny that the mold I, my boyfriend, the hostess and waiter saw was fuzzy and white.... (I would recommend staying away from any "mousse" they serve here as well!) The manager insisted repeatedly that I was mistaken (despite my clarifying that I treat infectious diseases for a living and have seen many molds in my career), and made a big deal about how they would "of course" replace the dish, as if she was doing me a huge favor. Would look elsewhere if you want to enjoy a healthy, fungus-free meal.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Was served food with MOLD growing on it! Both hostess and waiter acknowledge the problem, immediately apologized and replaced my plate, but the manager came out to very loudly insist (for the horrified customers around me) that the mold I saw was not actually mold, but a "mousse" that brushed onto the plate. Funny that the mold I, my boyfriend, the hostess and waiter saw was fuzzy and white.... (I would recommend staying away from any "mousse" they serve here as well!) The manager insisted repeatedly that I was mistaken (despite my clarifying that I treat infectious diseases for a living and have seen many molds in my career), and made a big deal about how they would "of course" replace the dish, as if she was doing me a huge favor. Would look elsewhere if you want to enjoy a healthy, fungus-free meal.

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Horrible food and service.

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We loved this little bistrot; the menu was interesting and true to French bistrot food. The food was well executed and presented; do try the mushroom soufle / roasted corn appetizer. We tried halibut, and osso buco which were both fabulous. Skip the Mousse au Chocolat, which is well paired with anissette, but in no way meets the bar set by its Parisian equivalent. The ambience in the bistrot is warm and lively like the ones we have visited in Paris. The service was excellent. Catch this place as an alternative to the usual menu with the usual suspects.

2
★★★★★

We loved this little bistrot; the menu was interesting and true to French bistrot food. The food was well executed and presented; do try the mushroom soufle / roasted corn appetizer. We tried halibut, and osso buco which were both fabulous. Skip the Mousse au Chocolat, which is well paired with anissette, but in no way meets the bar set by its Parisian equivalent. The ambience in the bistrot is warm and lively like the ones we have visited in Paris. The service was excellent. Catch this place as an alternative to the usual menu with the usual suspects.

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It was a beautiful summer evening prior to enjoying a night at the Back Room, and the doors to the outside were wide open. While we were unable to sit next to the windows, we weren't far away, and I was still able to enjoy the zinc bar. Our waitress, while friendly, was not particularly attentive, and when we finally needed to leave, we had to ask repeatedly for our check. Thankfully the food did not disappoint.

Having been in Paris a year ago and having enjoyed the best Steak Frite at L'Entrecote de Relais, I was certain that I would be disappointed in the Steak Frite at Bistro Zinc. While not quite as good, it was a happy reminder of my experience in Paris, and my companions also enjoyed their meals as well. My glass of champagne also made the meal memorable, but there was no time for dessert since our waitress had not been particularly attentive.

I should mention that the valet attendant was extremely helpful and was able to park our vehicle in a location easily accessed after our evening at the club. We tipped him well upfront and after dinner.

2
★★★★☆

It was a beautiful summer evening prior to enjoying a night at the Back Room, and the doors to the outside were wide open. While we were unable to sit next to the windows, we weren't far away, and I was still able to enjoy the zinc bar. Our waitress, while friendly, was not particularly attentive, and when we finally needed to leave, we had to ask repeatedly for our check. Thankfully the food did not disappoint.

Having been in Paris a year ago and having enjoyed the best Steak Frite at L'Entrecote de Relais, I was certain that I would be disappointed in the Steak Frite at Bistro Zinc. While not quite as good, it was a happy reminder of my experience in Paris, and my companions also enjoyed their meals as well. My glass of champagne also made the meal memorable, but there was no time for dessert since our waitress had not been particularly attentive.

I should mention that the valet attendant was extremely helpful and was able to park our vehicle in a location easily accessed after our evening at the club. We tipped him well upfront and after dinner.

Pros: I felt like I was in a bistro in Paris again.

Cons: Poor service

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My husband and I went Saturday night and the service was friendly and quick. We walked in about 8:30 and had to wait for about 30 minutes. Not bad for a Saturday night!
I ordered the spinach and brie crepe, I think it might have been the best crepe in the world! It was absolutely perfect. My husband had the steak....tough and somewhat overcooked with not much flavor. They have a great wine list. Lots to chose from in the $30.00 range.
I would recommend this place to anyone but would not recommend the steak. Definitely try the crepes if you go!

2
★★★★☆

My husband and I went Saturday night and the service was friendly and quick. We walked in about 8:30 and had to wait for about 30 minutes. Not bad for a Saturday night!
I ordered the spinach and brie crepe, I think it might have been the best crepe in the world! It was absolutely perfect. My husband had the steak....tough and somewhat overcooked with not much flavor. They have a great wine list. Lots to chose from in the $30.00 range.
I would recommend this place to anyone but would not recommend the steak. Definitely try the crepes if you go!

.

I went here hoping to have a wee taste of the café food I would eat fanatically in Paris--alas, no deal. The restaurant itself was cute (a bit large for a bistro, wink wink), but beware: it's located in an area on Chicago populated with crenellated brownstones, Jags, a Barneys, and (get this!) a Prada boutique. So that should warn ye. Anyway, my dad and brother had never had escargots, so I ordered that. Ew. First of all, they weren't in their shells, second of all, it was more minced garlic than actual protein nuggets of sluggy goodness, and thirdly, mine were cold. Yup, cold. Take heart, I told myself. Moules (mussels!) a dish I loved loved loved in France. I guess I don't pay attention to the warnings about not ordering seafood if it's not REALLY fresh. These were ginormous--not the wee, sweet little goodies served fresh in paris. They were slimy and bitter. However, the sandwiches, although not very French, were very good. Bistrot Zinc would be more successful, I think, if they stopped struggling so hard to do the French bistro thing and do an "interpretation" instead. (Try the lamb sandwich, it's fab). That's not anything you'd get in a Paris bistro, but it was way better than the "French" food.

1
★★★☆☆

I went here hoping to have a wee taste of the café food I would eat fanatically in Paris--alas, no deal. The restaurant itself was cute (a bit large for a bistro, wink wink), but beware: it's located in an area on Chicago populated with crenellated brownstones, Jags, a Barneys, and (get this!) a Prada boutique. So that should warn ye. Anyway, my dad and brother had never had escargots, so I ordered that. Ew. First of all, they weren't in their shells, second of all, it was more minced garlic than actual protein nuggets of sluggy goodness, and thirdly, mine were cold. Yup, cold. Take heart, I told myself. Moules (mussels!) a dish I loved loved loved in France. I guess I don't pay attention to the warnings about not ordering seafood if it's not REALLY fresh. These were ginormous--not the wee, sweet little goodies served fresh in paris. They were slimy and bitter. However, the sandwiches, although not very French, were very good. Bistrot Zinc would be more successful, I think, if they stopped struggling so hard to do the French bistro thing and do an "interpretation" instead. (Try the lamb sandwich, it's fab). That's not anything you'd get in a Paris bistro, but it was way better than the "French" food.

Pros: Tasty sandwiches & onion soup, zinc bar

Cons: "French" dishes, service, high drink prices (i.e. for Orangina)

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I've been to Bistrot Zinc for brunch and lunch and both meals were delicious. The french onion soup is great (a little sweet, i prefer a little spice, but still good). The turkey and brie sandwich was great! The potato and fennel soup was delicious! I will definitely be back!

2
★★★★★

I've been to Bistrot Zinc for brunch and lunch and both meals were delicious. The french onion soup is great (a little sweet, i prefer a little spice, but still good). The turkey and brie sandwich was great! The potato and fennel soup was delicious! I will definitely be back!

Pros: great food, huge portions

Cons: Waiter was quite odd

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Large group descended on this place tonight. Friendly and noisy. Service very attentive. Extra anchovies on the delicious Caesar Salad without hesitation or additional charge. Some of the best mussels I've tried, and I'm a mussel snob. Save the broth for dunking the bread. They gladly did 8 separate checks for the 14 people here without complaint. I would come back!

2
★★★★☆

Large group descended on this place tonight. Friendly and noisy. Service very attentive. Extra anchovies on the delicious Caesar Salad without hesitation or additional charge. Some of the best mussels I've tried, and I'm a mussel snob. Save the broth for dunking the bread. They gladly did 8 separate checks for the 14 people here without complaint. I would come back!

Pros: Very accomodating for larger party, food well presented

.

I love that this place opens till late! The food is good but the atmosphere makes it even better! It's a comfort food kind of place. The steak frites is always a good choice when you want some meat (the steak is a bit thin though but YUM!). the escargot hmm.. the onion soup YUMYUM! and the fish (halibut i think) that my friend ordered was excellent as well! The chocolate crepes are fantastic! The bread they bring out is nice as well. Whenever I go to BZ, I leave happy & a bit tipsy! Highly recommended for those who want a glass of wine and no fuss food that's yummy!

2
★★★★☆

I love that this place opens till late! The food is good but the atmosphere makes it even better! It's a comfort food kind of place. The steak frites is always a good choice when you want some meat (the steak is a bit thin though but YUM!). the escargot hmm.. the onion soup YUMYUM! and the fish (halibut i think) that my friend ordered was excellent as well! The chocolate crepes are fantastic! The bread they bring out is nice as well. Whenever I go to BZ, I leave happy & a bit tipsy! Highly recommended for those who want a glass of wine and no fuss food that's yummy!

Pros: food, price

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This is my favorite neighborhood restaurant and I make it a point to dine here at least weekly. Everything on the menu is delicious and prepared with a comfortable French style. Breakfast options like brioche french toast and eggs benedict are to die for. I also enjoy lunch entrees like salads and sandwiches...great lemonade too! As for the service...Well, don't expect much. I'm not sure if they're trying to be ultra French or they just don't care. While they are particularly rude they are incredibly slow and absent. I sat waterless for about 15 minutes last time and finally the hostess came and filled my glass. Yikes! The waiter seemed too preoccupied people watching to care about serving us. I love their food so that's why I keep coming back though.

2
★★★★★

This is my favorite neighborhood restaurant and I make it a point to dine here at least weekly. Everything on the menu is delicious and prepared with a comfortable French style. Breakfast options like brioche french toast and eggs benedict are to die for. I also enjoy lunch entrees like salads and sandwiches...great lemonade too! As for the service...Well, don't expect much. I'm not sure if they're trying to be ultra French or they just don't care. While they are particularly rude they are incredibly slow and absent. I sat waterless for about 15 minutes last time and finally the hostess came and filled my glass. Yikes! The waiter seemed too preoccupied people watching to care about serving us. I love their food so that's why I keep coming back though.

Pros: Breakfast, Cute Style, Fairly Priced

Cons: Slow Service

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Everything you could ask for in a local restaurant: service, ambience, food, reasonable prices... They serve my favorite cup of coffee in Chicago and I highly reccomend pairing it with the Brioche French toast if you have a sweet tooth. The soups are outstanding and their entrees never fail to impress. Overall, you cannot go wrong at Bistrot Zinc.

2
★★★★★

Everything you could ask for in a local restaurant: service, ambience, food, reasonable prices... They serve my favorite cup of coffee in Chicago and I highly reccomend pairing it with the Brioche French toast if you have a sweet tooth. The soups are outstanding and their entrees never fail to impress. Overall, you cannot go wrong at Bistrot Zinc.

Pros: food, service, ambience

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On weekends we live just around the corner and we visit very frequently sometimes for dinner and sometimes just for a bowl of soup either way we are always welcome. My favorites include the steak and fries, the French onion soup and the great deserts. I will admit, Im a little prejudice as over the last few months I have gotten to know some of the staff - they wave as we walk by even when we arent stopping. It has been consistent as a place to stop for good food aand good service at a reasonable price.

2
★★★★★

On weekends we live just around the corner and we visit very frequently sometimes for dinner and sometimes just for a bowl of soup either way we are always welcome. My favorites include the steak and fries, the French onion soup and the great deserts. I will admit, Im a little prejudice as over the last few months I have gotten to know some of the staff - they wave as we walk by even when we arent stopping. It has been consistent as a place to stop for good food aand good service at a reasonable price.

.

Window shopping on State brought us to BZ. Pleasant surprise. Outstanding Gruyere (cheese) Baked Onion Soup and Desserts. The pastries are top shelf (app., entrees and desserts). The tough thing about stuffing a stew in a pastry shell is the shell tends to get soggy, and then it is difficult to cut. No problem here. Our dessert was a highlight, and I would go back just for the Onion Soup and the desserts. I would say our cherry turnovers with caramel sauce were far better than the combination (cherry-caramel) appeared on the surface. I give that item a 10, as good as any 29 Zagat, Mobil 5, Michelin 3 fare.

2
★★★★☆

Window shopping on State brought us to BZ. Pleasant surprise. Outstanding Gruyere (cheese) Baked Onion Soup and Desserts. The pastries are top shelf (app., entrees and desserts). The tough thing about stuffing a stew in a pastry shell is the shell tends to get soggy, and then it is difficult to cut. No problem here. Our dessert was a highlight, and I would go back just for the Onion Soup and the desserts. I would say our cherry turnovers with caramel sauce were far better than the combination (cherry-caramel) appeared on the surface. I give that item a 10, as good as any 29 Zagat, Mobil 5, Michelin 3 fare.

Pros: Good Food, Light Fare available, Interesting Wines

Cons: Service Standards, Knowledge wait staff

.

Despite the pleasant atmosphere, a recent trip to Bistrot Zinc proved to be less than satisfactory. The main course appeared at our table terribly underseasoned without proper eating utensils and the side dish was served cold. The waiter never bothered to come by to check in so we ate what we could in the meantime. When the lapse was pointed out he offered to comp the side dish, but that wasn't enough to get us to come back when Bistrot Margot is less than a half mile away and has better food, service and prices. The on-duty manager was barely sympathetic but didn't offer any real concern as to the lapse in the service and the kitchen. Not half as good as the old Bistrot inc on Southport.

1
★★☆☆☆

Despite the pleasant atmosphere, a recent trip to Bistrot Zinc proved to be less than satisfactory. The main course appeared at our table terribly underseasoned without proper eating utensils and the side dish was served cold. The waiter never bothered to come by to check in so we ate what we could in the meantime. When the lapse was pointed out he offered to comp the side dish, but that wasn't enough to get us to come back when Bistrot Margot is less than a half mile away and has better food, service and prices. The on-duty manager was barely sympathetic but didn't offer any real concern as to the lapse in the service and the kitchen. Not half as good as the old Bistrot inc on Southport.

Pros: Ambiance, Location

Cons: Food, Service, Management

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Excellent atmosphere, Excellent food. Be sure to order the escargot as an appetizer and don't forget a crepe for dessert (the Nutella-Banana is especially delicious).

2
★★★★☆

Excellent atmosphere, Excellent food. Be sure to order the escargot as an appetizer and don't forget a crepe for dessert (the Nutella-Banana is especially delicious).

Pros: Ambience

Cons: Speed of Service

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Good food, good service, excellent wine list. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys having a good night out.

2
★★★★★

Good food, good service, excellent wine list. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys having a good night out.

Pros: Great Food, Good service, Very Clean

Cons: Crowded, Noisy

Editorial from

Romantic, comfortable and tres bistro in feel---from the snappy tile floor to the zinc bar and cafe tables---this place toes the line without so much as a waiver. The French onion soup is quite good, as are the herbaceous mussels and theā€¦

 

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