Les Nomades, Chicago

I’ll be traveling with my wife to Chicago in a few months. It’s my first time there (passing thru O’Hare doesn’t count), though she’s been several dozen times. Trying to find a place she hasn’t been on one of her corporate dinners. Any thoughts on the current level of food and service?


I haven’t been there in a while but the chef Roland Liccioni (sp?) is one of the best chefs in this or any other city. Classic french trained. He’s of Vietnamese descent and will whisper some Asian influence in his food.

HDH did their pre-auction dinner there this winter. The food was awesome. The following night we went to Alinea and everyone of us said we should have gone back to Les Nomades instead. Very well priced coche on the wine list too!!

Been many times, most recently last winter and it was very good. I think it very much flies under the radar in Chicago. Going again next month (wife loves the place) and looking forward to it. Free corkage on Thurs. reasonable corkage otherwise, IIIC. Sort of an old school restaurant feel but everything in very good.


Les Nomades definitely flies under the radar. Has been around a long time and gone through it’s fair share of chefs but always seems to perform. I do still believe a jacket is required FYI. You could also look at Grace (which is newish) and L2O as other options. The food at Grace is excellent, wine list is not so good IMO.
Acadia is another restaurant that flies a little bit under the radar IMO. A group of us will be there in a few weeks.


Was there in June of 2013 for a HDH function. Service seemed a bit off and a bit confused for some of the staff. Food was good but I’ve had better in Chicago. I’d like to try it at a non-function (smaller table, something more normal to them) but with so many options in Chicago it’s a difficult thing to do since I don’t live there.

I like Les Nomades a lot. It’s been years since I went, but it among the most formal restaurants in the city (men must wear jackets) and it certainly has a more traditional vibe. Grace, is far more contemporary in both atmosphere and the preparation of the food, though still elegant in both respects.

I dislike Acadia. I only went once and had a chicken dish that was horribly oversalted and tasted like pork. It has a nice ambiance, but certainly a big step down from Les Nomades or Grace.

I’ve been to a few wine events upstairs (HDH & TCWC) at Les Nomade and it can get really croweded and over-sold.


Thanks for the push. I think I’ve only been there once or twice since Jovan converted it from a private club (membership was $1, but you had to be recommended by a member). I never think of Les N when considering dining options, but that will change soon

One thing to consider is that the average age of the patrons has always seemed to be around 60+ yrs old…decor matches to complete the feel. I haven’t been in a while and so maybe it has been updated or they are attracting a younger crowd. Taking away nothing from the food, I have just always felt I should be going there with my parents or grandparents. On the other hand it is quiet and romantic in an old school way.

10 of us dined at Les Nomades last week. It was the same night as the Flickinger dinner (upstairs); I think we drank better [snort.gif]

The food was the best we had all week, including trips to RPM Steak, Blackbird and Naha. And it wasn’t good like you have to think about it, it was head and shoulders above all the others. When I was doing some research, one poster here had commented that, in retrospect, they should have gone there two nights - I fully agree, and if/when we return, we will in fact dine there twice or more. Service, too, was fantastic. Matt was the person running the show for our table, and this guy is at the top of his game.

Having gone to Guy Savoy in May (11 or 14-course tasting menu, with wine pairing, and one-star Naha just last Friday), I prefer Les Nomades over both of them, by a goodly margin.

Here’s what we had to choose from, and between 10 people, we pretty much ordered at least one of everything on the menu. I’ve talked with my mates since the event/4 dinners, and everyone agreed, Les Nomades, hands down. You can choose the 4-course (fish OR meat) or the 5-course (fish AND meat), but whichever one you choose, for service reasons, the whole table has to choose the same. We ordered the 5-course, we had a lot of wine to drink.

Plats Premiers
Three preparations of smoked salmon, caramelized shallot purée
Artichoke terrine, petit salad, watercress purée, black garlic purée
Oysters on the half-shell, daily selection served with lemon and mignonette
Pâtés maison ~ assorted house-prepared pâtés served with cornichons and toasted brioche
Chilled torchon of Hudson Valley foie gras, petit salad with truffle vinaigrette, toasted brioche
Langoustine ravioli, seared scallop, coconut curry sauce
Asparagus risotto with wild mushroom ragoût, basil goat cheese sauce, celeriac espuma
Sautéed Hudson Valley foie gras, rhubarb, strawberry balsamic reduction, fig-banana water
Grilled calamari, confit fennel and tomato, escabeche
Escargots, yellow tomato coulis, Roquefort cheese

Mushroom soup, truffle foam
Duck consommé, star anise, water chestnut, shitake mushroom, and chicken dumpling
Warm lobster and shrimp salad, mango dressing, taro root chip
Stone crab salad, endive, truffle purée, avocado
Fresh asparagus, shaved truffle, asparagus gelée, jamon Iberico
Artisan greens, marinated vegetables, hazelnut crusted goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette

Les Poissons
Sautéed Dover sole, asparagus, saffron beurre blanc
Arctic Char, Maitake mushroom, forbidden rice, yellow tomato lemongrass sauce
Today’s market selection

Les Viandes et Les Volailles
Roasted duck breast and confit duck leg, Savoy cabbage, green peppercorn sauce
Braised beef short rib, root vegetables, trumpet royale mushrooms, Bordelaise sauce
Veal sweetbread, red wine sauce; and roasted venison loin, foie gras sauce
Couscous & lentils, blue corn grits, roasted carrot, confit shallot
Duo of slow-roasted veal and lamb loin, pommes purée, eggplant, lamb jus au pistou

Les Fromages et Les Desserts
Vanilla bean mille-feuille, with fresh berries
Lemongrass ginger crème brulée, lemongrass mousse, coconut tuile
Medjool date cake, mango, passion fruit ganache, apricot sauce, lychee sorbet
Cheesecake parfait, poached rhubarb, rhubarb sauce, strawberry rhubarb sorbet
Pastry assortment~ chocolate mousse, lemon tart, rhubarb crème brulée, Grand Marnier soufflé glacé

** Kindly select the following desserts at the time you place your dinner order
Classic soufflés, choose Grand Marnier, lemon, raspberry, hazelnut or passion fruit (4 of us ordered Soufflée, wowsers)
Warm chocolate tart with raspberries, white coffee bean ice cream, vanilla froth, chocolate sauce
Warm flourless chocolate cake with liquid cassis ganache center, vanilla ice cream
Fresh apple tart with green apple sorbet

Here’s what we brought to drink:

2000 Alois Kracher Welschriesling TBA #10 Zwischen den Seen {en magnum}
2000 Château Léoville Poyferré
1998 M. Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite {en magnum}
2000 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée da Capo {en magnum}
2002 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains
2000 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne {en magnum}
2002 Henri Boillot Chevalier-Montrachet
2002 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
2004 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Les Clos
1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame {en magnum}
1996 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé Vintage {en magnum}

Highest marks for Les Nomades champagne.gif

Great review Tim- thanks!!


What did you do regarding corkage? Do you dine there often? They have a pretty decent (expensive) wine list, but I think there is one night with no corkage (but one bottle for two people maximum).

Roland’s food is always fantastic.

No corkage onThursday. I don’t remember the usual corckage but I’ve taken wine in many times and they have been great about it. The wine list is fine but it’s dowtown/Michigan Ave pricing.


Per website: $40 corkage


So, corkage is free on Thursdays, with the exception that it’s one bottle per two people. We had 10 people that night, so the first 5 were free, and it should have been $40 per after that, but we worked out a deal beforehand (same for Blackbird and Naha, too).

Again, highest marks for Les Nomades [cheers.gif]