Wednesday, July 29

Cochon Volant

I finally crossed off a restaurant I'd been meaning to check out for quite some time, Cochon Volant ("flying pig"). The French restaurant, located in the newly-renovated Hyatt Centric hotel in the Loop, has been receiving a lot of buzz as of late for its "les cheeseburger royale." Some have even compared it to the famous burger at Au Cheval. But more on that in a minute. The restaurant's kitchen is run by chefs Roland Liccioni (Les Nomades) and Matt Ayala (Gilt Bar, Schwa, Moto).

Cochon Volant is just a few short blocks from my office, so I met up with fellow foodie Aimee from One Full Plate for some post-work cocktails and dinner. The restaurant is large and features a main dining room, bar area, and bakery. Cochon Volant also has a lovely outdoor dining area, perfect for the temperate evening on which we attended.

Cochon Volant offers daily shaves, aka "adult snow cones" or shaved ice blended with fruit and potent liquor. The cocktails are made with shaved ice from a Japanese Hatsuyuki ice machine. We tried several, some better than others, but the common theme? These babies are STRONG!

Cochon Volant
Daily Shave 
Cochon Volant
Daily Shaves
The dinner menu features classic French fare and modern takes on some of those favorites.  To start, we tried the mussels mariniere with white wine, herbs, lemon and garlic bread. The generous portion of mussels were drizzled with an aioli that was fantastic. This was one of my favorites of the evening and perfect for sharing with the table. The bread, made in-house each morning, is the perfect crusty vessel for dipping in the wonderful sauce that pools at the bottom of the bowl.

Cochon Volant
Mussels Mariniere
We also tried the charbroiled oysters with bearnaise and pecorino. Once you peel away the oyster from its shell, you discover a dollop of bearnaise hiding in the bottom. It's quite the treat! I much prefer raw oysters (which also are on the menu), but these were a nice departure from the norm. 

Cochon Volant
Charbroiled Oysters
Our final starter was the croque madame egg rolls, a perfect example of the not-so-classic French fare. The dish is exactly what it sounds like, ham and cheese stuffed egg rolls, fried and served with spicy French mustard for dipping. These were truly decadent! The hot mustard cut away at the richness and greasiness of the egg rolls as well. 

Cochon Volant
Croque Madame Egg Rolls
If there was one decision that was easy to make when ordering, it was my entree, les cheeseburger royale. I had to come try the burger everyone was talking about! Cochon Volant's version features two thin patties topped with crispy bacon, confit onion, American cheese, dijonnaise and house pickles. This is one hefty burger! The appearance of the burger alone made me drool. The perfectly melted cheese dripped down the sides, covering the prime dry-aged beef patties in a blanket of gooeyness. 

So, how does it compare to Au Cheval (yes, many have asked)? Both feature similar toppings including American cheese, dijonnaise and two patties, but this version includes confit onions and a slightly crustier brioche bun. The burger needs it as it's pretty massive. I thought the meat was cooked well (though if I had it my way, I would have ordered it medium rare), and the toppings added to the overall decadence of the burger. This is definitely a burger you can share (we did), especially if you want to try several items on the menu. I thought the house cut frites were just OK. Not bad, not amazing, and at the end of the day they are fries so of course I'm going to eat them. So, in short: yes, there are similarities between Au Cheval and Cochon Volant in the execution of their respective burgers, but each has its unique quirks as well.

Cochon Volant
Les Cheeseburger Royale 
Cochon Volant
Les Cheeseburger Royale
Cochon Volant
Les Cheeseburger Royale
Since Aimee had tried the burger numerous times, she opted for the relatively lighter option, the halibut cooked in a brown butter sauce with lemon and capers. The bite I tried was lovely...perfectly seared crust, with a moist, buttery center.

Cochon Volant
Halibut
If burgers or fish aren't your thing, there also is a selection of prime steaks, salads, seafood towers, poultry and pasta! Picky eaters rejoice!

For dessert we were presented with a sampling of items crafted by pastry chef Patty Hanley including classic chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream with a crumb crust, as well as a pavlova with fresh raspberries and almond nougat. However, my favorite was a chocolate hazelnut parfait with cocoa nibs and chopped hazelnuts. To die for!

Cochon Volant
Dessert Assortment
To recap, I definitely recommend trying les cheeseburger royale, especially as an alternative to the hours-long wait at Au Cheval. Cochon Volant is a nice setting for a post-work bite and drinks but be warned, the food is on the heavy side! My favorites were the mussels, burger, and chocolate hazelnut parfait!

Note: my meal was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Cochon Volant
100 W. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603
312.754.6560
Click to add a blog post for Cochon Volant on Zomato 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...