Restaurant Review: Dear Margaret

Lakeview is home to a recently opened French-Canadian restaurant focused on comfort food with a Midwestern angle. Dear Margaret, located at 2965 North Lincoln Avenue, serves up delicious eats in tribute to Chef Ryan Brosseau’s roots with ingredients from the Midwest and Canada. 

Inspired by the food Brosseau’s grandmother would create back in Ontario, the menu at Dear Margaret features a wide array of delectable choices, whether you’re in the mood for something light and tasty or filling and hearty.

I started my order with the Pommes Frites, and what a starter it was. Fried in beef tallow with roasted garlic aioli, these fries were savory and fat, perfect for supporting whatever you choose for a topping. 

Next up was the buttermilk braised pork shoulder, which did not disappoint. The dish, featuring roasted sunchokes, pickled garlic, and a rich spinach and garlic soubise, blended perfectly in a symphony of deliciousness. The ample portion size almost made it impossible to finish, yet each bite brought a reminder to keep going, and before I knew it, this dinner was gone. 

The sweet potato pave offered at Dear Margaret is another standout dish. It was my first time trying this, and it certainly will not be the last. The pave, which I found out is a French culinary term used to describe flat food, was anything but flat in flavor. Highlighted by Gruyere cheese with a chickpea and Brussels sprout salad, a tasty black garlic vinaigrette, and turmeric and coriander carrots, this creation is a must-try when picking up food from Dear Margaret. 

My takeout meal was completed with the maple Chèvre cheesecake featuring candied fennel, almond, and anise caramel. The mistake I made was not ordering two of these, as one was simply not enough, thanks to the combination of sweet and savory flavorings that made me forget about anything off the Cheesecake Factory’s menu.

Dear Margaret’s menu provides a plethora of dishes I can’t wait to try on my next visit. The roasted lamb and grilled trout being two items at the top of my list, as well as classics like the fried smelts, fried pork terrine, and foie gras Torchon. In other words, Dear Margaret will have you coming back for more thanks to the unique combination of French-Canadian cuisine and good ol’ Midwestern ingredients and presentation. 

Head Chef Ryan Brosseau, who grew up in Ontario, moved to the States in 2010 and worked in various kitchens, including Found, Perennial Virant, and Table, Donkey & Stick before serving as executive chef for Le Sud in Roscoe Village. Together with owner Lacey Irby, they have created a wonderful spot in Lakeview to get some way above average cuisine that tastes out of this world while also feeling like home at the same time.

Dear Margaret is open for pickup Tuesday through Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm.