There is a restaurant in Chicago that gives the egg the attention it deserves - Au Cheval, a French diner in the Gilt Bar, Maude’s and Doughnut Vault family. Here eggs are part of the main event. They're placed on burgers, fries or chilaquiles (but only after midnight) - even the restaurant's name stems from the culinary term “a cheval,” which means topped with a fried egg.
The egg may get the VIP treatment, but the environment it’s served in is more industrial chic than hoity-toity. The bar and griddle sit behind a stainless steel bar where diners can watch each farm-fresh egg get cracked into individual frying pans - to create that perfectly round, even fry. Away from the action are tufted leather booths against exposed brick walls.
We’ve tried the fries dripping with mornay sauce and served with a side of garlic aïoli. We’ve dug into the double-decker burger oozing with cheese and served skewered with a steak knife. But the crème de la crème with a fried egg on top is the potato hash with duck heart gravy.
The crispy potato base is covered with rich duck heart gravy; sure it sounds scary, but it has a hearty flavor. The dish is drizzled with cheesy mornay sauce and topped with an egg and fresh herbs. The outside stays crunchy while the center soaks up the liquid flavors. Then the egg, practically floating on top of the mountain of food, acts like a reprieve from the pile of starch. This dish is everything that diner food should be, minus the grease and adding quality ingredients.
We haven’t even touched the classic cocktail list and 30 taps of specialty beers, but we will let you decide what beverage pairs best with the ideal egg.