The Loyalist has announced the debut of a new French menu and its first outdoor patio. Inspired by Paris brasseries, the menu is casual French and looks to see just how light and satisfying that fare can be. It is the kind of food that Chef Shields has looked to offer since opening.
The patio will take inspiration from a Paris cafe, seating up to 30 people. Even the menu will be written in French — with subtitles of course.
For the new menu, Chef has reimagined a number of traditional French brasserie classics from a new Banh Mi Éclair with foie gras mousse and hazelnut butter to Parisienne Gnocchi with swiss chard, roasted yeast bechamel and nutmeg to Smoked Lakefish & Eel Pastry with apple and Meyer lemon.
Grilled Dates are pulled from the kitchen hot and served with creme fraiche, lavender and rosemary. Brown butter potato chips and sturdy red endives scoop the beautiful Beet Tartare, featuring preserved egg yolk and a tonnato sauce.
The Loyalist cheeseburger will still be available. However, it will be dubbed Le Dirty Burg, served with thinner Frites instead of fries, and will make room for the Steak Diane Burger.
Chalkboard specials, such as Skate Wing with Carolina gold rice pilaf and escargot butter as well as Soft Shell Crab a la Meunière, will rotate almost daily with whatever product is most fresh.
For dessert, the Hazelnut Opera Cake with fleur de sel features hazelnut instead of almond and looks to perfect the classic Viennosoirie mainstay. For the Kombu Soft Serve, crispy pieces of kombu brushed with sugar and butter make way for caramel and a fortified wine reduction sauce.
The cocktail menu highlights favorites from the regular menu, including The Loyalist Old Fashioned, made with bourbon, maple, amaro and citrus oleo, and Violet Crimes, a mezcal sipper made with lavender, lemongrass honey, manzanilla and galliano.
Hours for the patio begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. To start, the patio will be walk-ins only with plans to add reservations in the coming weeks.
Smyth + The Loyalist will continue offering takeout for pick-up via Tock and for delivery via Caviar. A To-Go Cocktail program will be added as soon as it’s approved by the city of Chicago.