Monday, June 25, 2012


I think that I have said it before, but I really like French food.  The French style employs what is in season in dishes that are simple as far as ingredients are concerned but can be very complex as far as technique and presentation.  Because of this, they are masters at making things that might sound unappetizing, absolutely delicious.  I went to LM Restaurant recently and two out of the three dishes that I had tasted much better than they sounded.  LM is a small restaurant in Lincoln Square located across the street from the Old Town School of Folk Music named after Luc and Mary Quaisser, the children of the husband and wife team that own and run the restaurant, Stephan and Nicole Outrequin Quaisser.  The dining area has a simple design and there is a bar in the back opposite the kitchen.  The color scheme is orange and brown which kind of reminds me of a pumpkin although the table and chairs are black and there is a large mirror on one wall.  This kind of reminded me of Bistronomic, but while the restaurant designs were sort of similar and they both serve French food, the similarity ends there.  LM seems to focus much more on offal than does Bistronomic and there were several offal dishes on the small menu.  Since it was on the menu and I don't really have a lot of experience with offal, I decided to go that route.  For my appetizer, I chose Veal Sweetbreads, with Wild Mushrooms, Veal Tongue, and Spring Onions.  This was served in a very savory gravy/broth/sauce.  I have to admit that when it came out, it looked a little less than appetizing.  I knew that I wouldn't have a problem with the mushrooms, the broth, or the spring onions, but the sweetbreads didn't look that appetizing.  The only other time I have had sweetbreads, they were deep fried and deep frying anything will make it good.  Appearances though, can be deceiving.  I will try anything at least once.  The sweetbreads were very tender and had a mild flavor.  They had a slight liver flavor but it wasn't bad and they went very well with the mushrooms and the broth.  Despite the appearance, I really enjoyed this dish and was happy that I chose it.

The entree that I chose wasn't exactly offal but it also wasn't something that most people even think about.  I ordered Beef Cheeks with Chive Spaetzle, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, and Creme Fraiche.  While I had never had beef cheeks, I have had pork cheeks and know that they are very good so I was confident that I would like the beef cheeks.  The cheek was almost fork tender and had a slightly sweet flavor.  The flavor was offset by the creme fraiche but with the chive-flavored spaetzle and the earthy flavor of the mushrooms, it all came together very well.

The desserts were fairly standard bistro desserts.  There was of course the creme brulee, an apple tart, and a lemon curd.  I decided to go simple and ordered Fresh Berries with Honeyed Sabayon, and Whipped Cream.  The piece looked very nice in its simplicity.  It had strawberries and blueberries which was on top of the sabayon (custard) and topped with whipped cream.  It was a very simple dessert but I really enjoyed it and it ended the dinner well.

I really enjoyed my meal here and will be happy to return.  The menu is small with a prix fixe option.  The food is very good if a little rustic and the staff was very friendly.     

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