Come summer and warm nights, everyone in the city of Chicago wants to eat outside making it nearly impossible to snag a dinner reservation on short notice. But after calling a half a dozen restaurants mid-week, my friend A. landed a prime-time 8:00 pm reservation this past Saturday at Gemini Bistro. Open more than two years now, this contemporary American-style bistro has probably fallen off most foodies’ radar as they flock to Randolph Street instead. Fine with me. There is definitely a crowd on Saturday night at GB, but the vibe is conversation friendly, especially outside on the quiet, wide sidewalk shaded by big trees and framed by flower boxes. We couldn’t have asked for a better table.
Having done stints at several restaurants, Jason Paskewitz seems firmly at home at GB and does a fine job with seasonal fare. The menu caters to both light and hearty eaters by offering items in “small,” “medium” and “large” categories. We started our dinner with a crisp Caesar salad with brioche croutons and generous grated Parmesan. Moving to the “medium” section, we took advantage of what may be the tail end of the soft-shell crab season, Paskewitz’s rendition done in southwestern flavors accompanied with small triangles of corn bread and a crunchy purple cabbage slaw. And, from the “large” menu section, an excellent halibut with thinly layered summer vegetables nestled in a lovely sauce. And, oh, be sure to order those truffle-Parmesan fries, their irresistible aroma wafting everywhere on their way to almost every table.
By the time the dessert menu came around, we simply couldn’t order another thing. But we did have fun thinking about what we would order if we had room—peach crisp with vanilla gelato or the caramelized crème brûlée. The chance to try dessert will definitely bring me back to Gemini Bistro. Actually, anything on Paskewitz’s menu is a draw and the ambiance—outdoor and in—are even more reasons to make GB a regular fave of mine.
2075 N. Lincoln Ave.