They love to celebrate at Bistro Bordeaux in Evanston. Owner Pascal Berthoumieux, a Bordeaux native, demonstrates how to open Champagne with a knife and wine without a corkscrew through videos uploaded to YouTube. And they have lots to celebrate. Earlier this year, L20 vet Johnny Besch came to helm the kitchen as executive chef from his last, sunnier post working under famed chef Alain Ducasse at MiX on the Beach in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The restaurant regularly finds other reasons to raise a glass, including on Earth Day, when they host an annual sword-tap-on-the-shoulder of all things green. A “wild spring bounty” menu this past April 22 featured chilled watercress soup, ramps and peas. While Besch may change up his Earth Day 2012 menu, the unique ambiance on which Berthoumieux perennially insists will be repeated. For Earth Day dinner, unnatural light is turned off completely in the dining room and hundreds of small glass balls are hung from the ceiling with fishing line. Because the lines can not be easily seen, the balls appear to be floating in air. Each “floating” ball seems to be holding its own tea light, like Earth Day vigil attendees, each one clutching a candle. “It looks like a room full of floating orbs of light,” Pascal says proudly.
618 Church, Evanston
Best of Chicago 2011