Restaurant Review: Venteux

Chicago native Chef Donald Young, one of the youngest chefs awarded a Michelin star in the states, brings his culinary expertise of French dining to the recently opened Venteux, located at 224 North Michigan Avenue inside the Pendry Hotel. 

Blending classic and iconic French staples with a welcome and adventurous twist, the menu and presentation at Venteux make this new Loop restaurant a must-visit for those looking for French cuisine that mixes the classics with a touch of welcome boldness.

The hors d’oeuvres portion of the menu at Venteux welcomes visitors with a plethora of outstanding French favorites. French onion soup is well represented with a smothering of Gruyere cheese, chives, and onion ash that leaves your taste buds in a trance thanks to the medley of flavors. 

The Brie en Croute featuring Brioche, honey, fig, and olive chutney, and mussels with Merguez and harissa are both worthy of repeat visits to Venteux. Chef Young’s superb lobster pasta with winter truffle and chorizo is a tour de force of taste, while the Eggs Five Ways with Delice de Bourgeon cheese, leek, and potato offers a creative spin on this breakfast classic.

Seafood fans will delight in the Grand Tower featuring oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp. Or go all out for a memorable dinner with the Venteux Tower starring oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp, lobster, and delectable king crab.

Dinner service at Venteux features a greatest hits of French cooking, with the succulent whole dry-aged duck diner for two being a top choice for date night. The pan-fried Dover Sole Meunière with brown butter powder, lemon puree topping, and parsley looks like it belongs as the winner on a cooking competition show. Be sure to try out the 5 day braise short rib with soubise and a rich Perigueux sauce that is as delicious as it is eye-popping on the plate. Both the dry-aged duck breast and dry-aged ribeye are classics with a modern flare sure to delight even the most critical foodie. 

The beer and wine selections at Venteux have everything you would want; however, it’s the cocktails that genuinely shine at this new Loop establishment. Highlights include The Honey Badger with Bombay Sapphire, grapefruit juice, cucumber, lime, and honey. The French Alchemist with Grey Goose, St. Germain, Liquid Alchemist Prickly Pear, lime, mint, and Chandon is something you will want seconds of. The Spill the Tea made up of a delicious concoction of Mallorca Melon Tea Infused Casamigos, Casamigos Mezcal, serranos, lime, agave, and Tajin may be the best drink to hit the Loop in recent memory. 

The 4,000 square-foot space at Venteux is made up of two sections- the daytime cafe featuring 40-foot windows welcoming plenty of natural light via Michigan Avenue offers breakfast and lunch service while the radiant brasserie complete with Persian rugs, comfortable seating, and a shellfish and champagne bar creates an ideal a mise-en-scène for the memorable meal ahead.

Venteux is open from 7 am to 3 pm for breakfast and lunch and from 4 pm to 10 pm daily for dinner service.