Taureaux Tavern is a much buzzed about, French restaurant in The Loop. I went to check it out a few weekends ago with our associate food editor and social manager, Kirsten. It’s the sister restaurant of Cochon Volant, and recently it seems like everyone who’s anyone has been stopping in.
The restaurant is in an unusual location for a brunch destination: One Financial Place Plaza. Until recently, the financial district has been known to be pretty quiet on weekends. However, there seems to be a renaissance going on in the Loop and South Loop, where numerous residential highrises are opening, and along with them – restaurants. Taureaux Tavern even offers special happy hour deals for residents of some of the local buildings.
They invited us in to sample their brunch, and we were immediately surprised by the vast size of the two-story interior, decorated with a giant bull over the front door. (Taureaux means “bull” in French, and we are in the financial district after all!)
We sat on the enclosed patio under the pergola. The pop-tails immediately caught our eye since we had – of course – scoped them out in advance on Instagram. We decided to sample the strawberry-lemonade and the orange-thyme. They’re exactly what they sound like: popsicles in a glass of Francois Montand blanc de blanc. Of the two, we recommend the orange-thyme, which tasted like an herb-filled mimosa.
When the restaurant invited us in to sample their brunch, we were encouraged to try the fried chicken sandwich. That’s certainly not a typical brunch order for me, but when I saw the picture-perfect sandwich with its ingredients piled high on Instagram, I decided it was worth a try. The sandwich was filled with fried, boneless dark meat, purple cabbage slaw, and American cheese. I swapped out the typical bun for toasted bread – all of which is made in house! While I’m sure the regular bun would have been great too, I recommend the substitution. The sandwich was moist and flavorful with good crunch, paired with salty and crisp, thin-cut fries. The dish was entirely too big to realistically finish it, but we did our best because it was so delicious.
Kirsten ordered the eggs and croque madame soldiers, which had the loveliest presentation with sliced avocado, soft boiled eggs, and mini melted ham and cheese triangles. It was sort of a DIY approach to a croque madame. Getting the egg out of the shell proved to be a little difficult, but once it was assembled it was tasty and savory. The cheese was especially good, and the avocado was delightfully fresh.
The restaurant’s owner came over to say hello and brought with him a skillet apple pancake! We always welcome guests with pancakes. The thick and fluffy cake was topped with sweet, cooked apples and tasted a bit like an apple fritter. There was a dollop of handmade whipped cream on top and a layer of sugar and cinnamon. It could be ordered as an entrée, but we loved it as a sharable dessert.
Overall, we were really impressed! Everything we ordered was super tasty and filling. The dishes and cocktails were creative and a bit different than a usual, predictable brunch menu.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes.
We’re feeling bullish about this restaurant’s stock in our Chicago brunch portfolio!
Taureaux Tavern serves brunch Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.