About Johanna

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Chicago/Aurora, IL, United States
I am just like so many busy moms out there. I want to create great meals for me and my family where the food brings us together at the end of a long and hectic day. I want to empower moms to feel like they are able to make Great Everyday Meals by using simple, accessible, and inexpensive ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It’s more about family and less about slaving away in the kitchen cooking. I have been a restaurant industry professional for about 10 years and have a great passion for cooking. I will share tips, recipes and techniques that I have learned to arm everyday cooks with the foundation to simple yet great tasting cooking! Johanna M. Cook

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dinner Date...Bistro Campagne

Wow, motherhood and a career has got me so tied up lately that I haven't had the time to add any new posts to my blog. So, here I am again finding the time to quickly enter in my thoughts while the kids are busy watching Spongebob Squarepants. I have recently changed companies and back with Panera Bread as a manager. Panera is a great company to work for. Great, freshly made breads and pastries that I can be proud of, close to home, great work/life balance, everything that I can ask for in a restaurant company at this point in my life (in my family's lives). Now, I actually have the time to visit restaurants that I've wanted to visit with my husband!

Our last dinner date was in Lincoln Square, a neighborhood where we used to live in Chicago and love so much for it's charm, family friendliness and far enough proximity from the hussle and bussle of downtown, yet close enough for a 20-30 minute (and scenic) Brown Line ride on the L.
We visited a small and quaint French bistro called Bistro Campagne. The wine list is small, all French, of course. The menu concentrates on organic and local ingredients. Chef Michael Altenberg focuses on simple and classic French faire and is a bit of a celebrity in the neighborhood. Almost every other table were asking if he was in the restaurant as they were being sat. My husband and I wanted to meet him, but forgot to as were indulging in each other's company, wine and food!

Our first course, we ordered the mussels in white wine, very classic. It was good. I've had my share of mussels and what I love about this preparation is the abundance of garlic, white wine and shallots. The sauce was great and the bread it came with was awesome to dipping and soaking all the juices. I thought of also ordering the roasted bone marrow as I L.O.V.E the richness and melt in your mouth goodness of a great bone marrow, but decided not to. Maybe next time. For our main course, my husband ordered the sauteed white fish. The portion was perfect, not too big, not to small, and the presentation was simple and elegant. Marvin absolutely loved what he ordered and was extremely satisfied. I ordered the roasted braised rabbit. This was the very first time I have ever tried rabbit and I was soooo happy that I had a great experience! This rabbit was adorned with a FABULOUS mustard sauce, roasted potatoes and brussell sprouts. It was tender, not gamy at all and delish. I would definitely recommend that entree to anyone. Of course, for dessert, we ordered a creme brulee. It was perfect, it better be, being that this was a French bistro. I love creme brulee, simple and awesome.

All in all it was a great evening. Marvin and I needed time alone to just chit chat and be ourselves, not Mama or Papa, just Marvin and Johanna on a dinner date.

4518 N Lincoln AveChicago, IL 60625-2103(773) 271-6100
Reservations @ www.opentable.com