By Rachel Tan
It’s rare these days, finding a “seasonal” menu that does more than simply roast pumpkins or pickle beets.
In Lakeview, there’s a menu with an international worldview to boot, courtesy previous Top Chef finalist, Dale Levitski. The menu weaves from frogs legs with barbeque sauce to snail ragout and gutsy combinations of beef and salmon or chicken and shrimp.
Though the restaurant’s homemade ricotta dip is moderately priced at $7 for a sharing portion, do consider it for one or two instead of four. On a cold night, consider a “mine, all mine” option instead of an “ours” portion, as the cheeky menu shows.
The ricotta dip appetizer has two main components. Room temperature baguette slices don’t add a lot to the spread, but that spread is good enough for diners to forgive the serving vessels. A spoonful of a hard-textured ricotta dotted with sprinkles of bacon is presented in a small white dish and resembles a high-end serving of gelato.
Ricotta’s slight sweetness and overall neutrality is a great canvas for the sweet-savory notes of crumbled bacon that elevate, not overpower the dish. The baguette crostini is thinly sliced, not overdressed, providing a light base for the cream-cheese-like texture of the ricotta.
Since the flavors are mild, it is a great opening for more robust main courses such as beef stroganoff with tarragon Madeira cream or duck l’orange with celery root slaw.
After hopping your way past all of the interesting pairings, make room for Frog n Snail’s sundae, which sounds more daunting on the menu than it is in presentation. Resembling a homemade parfait, seasonal ice cream, flavored whipped cream and what looks like blondie bar cubes are decadently stacked together in a glass tumbler. Not saccharine sweet, it just leaves one with strong feelings of desire for more when down to the last bite. Save yourself, eat slower.
So when you do visit to Frog n Snail, go for bacon, stay for blondies.
Frog n Snail
3124 N Broadway Ave
Chicago, IL 60657