L'Aiglon (restaurant)

Street Address: 
22 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL

Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago, New York: The John Day Company, 1931, pp. 63-66.

Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.


La Cuisine Francaise

Escargots Bourguignonne! Moules mariniere! Pate de foie gras! Poulet belle meuniere! Omelette au fromage! Crevettes mariniere! Filet mignon! All the bewildering and ingenious viands of French cookery, the greatest school of cookery in the world, are on L'Aiglon's menu, providing the connoisseur of table delicacies with an excellent opportunity to indulge his inclinations towards refined orgy.

In case you're up in the air as to what all these French names mean, your waiter will gladly explain them and even arrange a typical dinner of French dishes for you. For the waiters here are nothing if not courteous, patient, very French, and politely aware of the average Chicagoan's lack of training in French verbs.

But Just to post you on the subject beforehand, we'll give you the lowdown on what these things mean. Escargots bourguignonne is nothing but snails with bourguignonne sauce — and a very delicious dish, too. Moules mariniere are mussels with mariniere sauce, a sauce made of white wine, pure cream and — but you'll have to ask John Denier, the chef, as to its remaining ingredients. We don't know whether it is the mussels or the sauce that makes this dish so highly palatable.

The pate de foie gras — paste of goose liver — at L'Aiglon is something you'll rave about; but the poulet belle meuniere — chicken with "'beautiful" meuniere sauce — is even better. Omelette au fromage is a cheese omelette, and crevettes mariniere are shrimps with mariniere sauce — as good as any you'll get this side of Paris. The Bearnaise sauce served with the filet mignon — tenderloin steak — is an appetizing concoction of melted butter, yolk of egg, meat jelly and herbs, making your filet mignon a delightful adventure in eating.

All these dishes are popular in the cafes of Paris and are typically French. And there are others — frogs' legs, Chateaubriand (thick rump steak, served with mushrooms), and lamb chops Maison d'Or. Also you will find here that popular fish, English sole, imported in ice from overseas, as well as deep sea trout with marguery sauce.

Creole cookery, too, has its place in the L'Aiglon cuisine — pompano papillate and Creole gumbo, being two of the outstanding items. Teddy Majerus, owner and manager of L'Aiglon, used to be connected with the famous old La Louisiane restaurant in New Orleans. He came to Chicago, however, and worked with Gaston Alciatore in the management of the restaurant in South Michigan Boulevard which bears the same name as the New Orleans institution. Then he went in business for himself, opening up L'Aiglon on the near north side. His knowledge of Creole cookery, therefore, is quite what it should be, but it is his French dishes that draw the crowds, for Teddy first obtained his training as a caterer in the best cafes of Paris and London before he came to the United States.

Too expensive for the bohemians of Tower Town, in which it is located, L'Aiglon is patronized largely by the fashionables of the Gold Coast, sleek well-dressed businessmen from the Loop, and celebrities from the stage and the opera. Teddy Majerus didn't think it would be ethical to give us the names of some of his better-known patrons, so you'll have to visit L'Aiglon some evening and find out for yourself.

You'll probably have as hard a time as we did in trying to discover "who's who" among the patrons. For the Siamese Twins have nothing on this restaurant, architecturally speaking. It occupies two old brownstone mansions, joined together, one of which was the former home of Nelson Barnes, the millionaire broker. All of the rooms in the two old houses have been utilized as dining rooms, and the restaurant today is as full of private dining rooms, supper rooms, reception rooms and dancing rooms as a castle on the Rhine. There are also many passageways, steps and hallways thrown in for good measure. In view of this arrangement, how is one going to find out whether some noted actress or millionaire or other notable is present in L'Aiglon?

Here, however, you'll find excellent French food, a Parisian atmosphere, considerate waiters, music and dancing, and personable Teddy Majerus. So why go to Paris when you have L'Aiglon?

L'Aiglon Restaurant, Creole -French

22 East Ontario Street

Table d'hote dinner, $1.75. Special L'Aiglon dinner, $3.00. Also a la carte

Open for luncheon, dinner, and supper

Maitre d'hotel: Theodore Majerus




1931 - 1931



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