La bonne nourriture dans la Vue sur la baie!

Bay View Compass

Deliciousness and Bewitching Charm at Chez Jacques

By Linda Fausel


A feeling of elegance envelopes patrons in search of sustenance as they step across the threshold into Chez Jacques, Milwaukee’s distinguished French bistro. Soft, beige and apricot walls adorned with twinkling lights, ornately-framed paintings, weathered wrought iron, old photographs and more complement the dark wooden tables and cleverly-lit bar, providing an aura of European ambiance that inspires appetites and imaginations.

Berets off to the sweet lace curtains hanging in the green plant-filled windows, and happy, blue-striped awnings on the off-white, one-floor stucco structure, situated in the heart of what once was Milwaukee’s southern-most industrial district. But the inside of this dining destination, (arched doorways, stone-tiled floors and tin ceilings) is what resolutely fascinates the senses.

Chez Jacques delights the eyes and equally tantalizes the palate with wonderful dishes and desserts that appear to come straight from a kitchen countertop in France. Whether it is breakfast, with freshly baked croissants, savory crepes, quiches and omelets, or lunch, Bouché D´escargots (puffed pastry with French snails), Crab Cakes à l´ancienne (crab cakes with old grain mustard), Fromage de chèvre à la Provençale (baked goat cheese with tomatoes, garlic and basil) and Moules Marinières (steamed mussels in white wine, garlic and shallots cream sauce), and so much more, or dinner, (including a spectacular Onion Soup Gratinee), you will find something amazing at Chezs Jacques.

Rich, distinctive parsley-seasoned potato soup is served in a fat ceramic cup on a delicate paper-doily. A duo of tender, lightly browned, spinach crepes, blanketed in creamy Roquefort and sprinkled with parsley and toasted pine nuts proves to be divine, but too much for someone who (witlessly) devoured piece after piece of scrumptious chunky-sliced bread and butter. Coffee and delectable Mousse au Chocolat, bring the meal to an oh-so-delicious close.

Stroll to the back part of the restaurant to visit the outdoor wine garden and mural depicting the story of how Chez Jacques came to be. Walk past the regal, 20+seat (party?) table in a room reminiscent of days gone by. The petite, yellow chickadee sitting in a swing in a small white bird cage hanging in one corner of the room is just one of the many personal touches you will find at magical Chez Jacques. Price range: From $3 to $14 for breakfasts; $7 to $20 for lunches; $7.50 to $25 for dinners.

Chez Jacques (Translates to: “With Jacques”)

1022 S. 1st St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204-1040

(414) 672-1040. Closed Mondays