Froggy's French Cafe, Highwood IL

>> Friday, July 12, 2013

Froggy's French Cafe, Highwood IL

If you head straight north from Chicago, you'll find a dozen swanky North Shore communities, and the culture-rich town of Highwood. This town has fabulous restaurants,  including the Miramar Bistro, and Del Rio restaurant, but my favorite place is Froggy's French Cafe. If I could choose the place to eat my last meal, I'd definitely eat it here.

Froggy's is upscale French food done fabulously. It was founded by Gregg Mason and Thierry Lefeuvre in 1980. They also offer catering and a bakery called The Gourmet Frog; we haven't tried the bakery yet. The cafe's wine list is stunning and the cooking gives classic French dishes - breast of duck, fricassee, sweetbreads, escargot - fresh touches like a braised celery root, turnip, and radish salad, oakleaf lettuce, and black currant coulis.

It's no exaggeration at all to say that the Chef's tasting menu, with wine pairings, was the best meal I've ever eaten. I think it was also the largest meal I've ever eaten - ten courses in total, for a birthday celebration a few years ago. We were served three cold appetizers and three hot ones; the sauteed foie gras, garlicky escargot, and marinated artichoke stood out above the rest. The three entree dishes were a salmon with red pepper sauce, lobster ravioli, and a beef dish that I can't recall. The wine pairings were perfect.

Then came port and brandy and dessert. We joked a bit that the chef should just take it back, we were full about three servings beforehand. Instead, the chef sent us an additional take-home package of hand-dipped truffles and sweets. It was all amazing.

Froggy's has always been busy every time we visit, so reservations are highly recommended. Expect a 1-2 hour wait without reservations. The decor, although a little dated, is as upscale as the food, so you might feel out of place if you come wearing jeans. However, there's a more casual feel to the front dining room and the little outdoor patio.

Froggy's French Cafe is at 306 Green Bay Rd, Highwood, IL 60040-1305.


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