Lunch at La Voute
Located just a few steps away from the Metra station, the La Banque Hotel is located in a former bank building, thus the name La Banque (French for "the bank.")
Inside the hotel is this lovely bistro, La Voute, (translation: the vault) named for the original vault that sits in the dining room with a signature on the door from then FBI head J. Edgar Hoover. I had been to a media preview just before it opened and everything I tried was beyond good. Way beyond good. The starters and entrees were all fantastic and the desserts are such beautiful works of art that you feel guilty digging into them. The scallops were some of the best I've ever eaten.
I was excited to get back to enjoy a meal at La Voute while my sister, Pam, was in town visiting from Arizona. My sister, Pam, also an intense foodie has been living out there a few years now and boy do I miss the days of going out for a bite to eat together. She used to live in Geneva, Illinois and before that Elmwood Park, Illinois and there were so many good restaurants around both places that I remember. So, when we were making plans to get meet up for lunch during her visit, I was happy we'd be able to experience lunch at La Voute together.
We started with a beautiful cheese and charcuterie plate with some fantastic cheeses, figs, champagne grapes, stone ground mustard, homemade strawberry rhubarb jam, liver, prosciutto, liver mouse, pork and veal loaf, mushroom and cornichons with some greens and crostini. Paired with wine, this could have easily satisfied both of us for lunch, but on we went to the next course any way because I knew everything would be amazing.
Our wonderful server, Kim, helped us out when we couldn't decide on a wine. She brought both a Hahn 2014 Chardonnay and a Alois Lageder Dolomiti 2015 Pinot Grigio. I ended up having the chardonnay with the charcuterie and the pinot grigio with my entree, both great suggestions.
We settled on a couple of the seasonal lunch specials. One we ordered was a salmon and sea bass entree with long grain rice and a mix of other salted vegetables. The other was a pork tenderloin over some very flavorful potatoes.
Really, we should have stopped there, but...how do you pass up dessert at a place like La Voute? From the earlier event I'd been to there was one dessert I remembered very well - the signature gold bar. And it's what I'd most recommend because you just have to experience it at least once. Trying to describe it, I know doesn't do it justice, but it is a very rich layered bar that is almost too beautiful to eat, garnished with edible gold flakes.
Pam went with the Opera Cake, which was amazing. Me? I went with one of my all-time favorite desserts, creme brûlée and it did not disappoint.
This place is such a gem and was so needed in the south suburbs, where we are heavy on casual eateries, but lacking a tad in fine dining and more upscale cuisine. You really feel like you're dining in Chicago on the Gold Coast or in River North when you're dining at La Voute. Hotel restaurants often get overlooked if you're not a guest there, but this place is definitely worth seeking out even if you're not heading there for lodging.