Cafe Selmarie / 4729 N. Lincoln Ave. / Chicago, IL. 6062 (708) 989-5595 / http://www.cafeselmarie.com/
I hate choosing restaurants: 1) I can cook what’s on most menus for far less than what it sells for and 2) I’m cheap: I resent spending a week’s worth of grocery money for something that’s just mediocre. 3) I’m also a good cook. So, when I eat out I only want to eat what I can’t cook for myself. But here’s my problem, most of what I can’t cook is too expensive: see 2) above.
A concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music (The Brubeck Brothers) and an empty house due to a traveling teen conspired to make Saturday evening perfect for an early dinner before the show. I must have searched tens of restaurants until Cafe Selmarie’s website convinced me to give it a try. Cafe Selmarie can only be described as a Konditorei like those found in Germany. The front half of the restaurant is a working bakery, the rear is a comfortable neighborhood restaurant. The menu is eclectic with pastas, fish, and meat prepared in a clean forthright manner.
I ordered Scallops Vadilia with caramelized onions and apples. It was light and delicious, though I did wonder if scallops are supposed to be the size of a hockey puck. Never mind, I thought, it tastes too good to argue!
My wife, Janet, ordered Bucatini Amatriciana with shrimp- well actually I did the ordering because neither of us really wanted to pronounce “Amatriciana” and as a former language student I was “it”. The sauce was sublime with bits of pancetta giving it just a slight smoky-salty taste.
To top it off, Cafe Selmarie has a great choice of craft beers. I ordered a “Poet” lager from Holland, Michigan. Even though there was a raven on the label, I wan’t about to say “Never more.”! It was good.
With a bakery so close it seemed unfair not to give it a try so for dessert we split a Strawberry Roulade- a creamy strawberry concoction wrapped in a thin light cake. We liked it so much that we decided to buy a coffee cake for Sunday breakfast! A good choice.
Would I go again. You bet. Should you go? You bet! Not only will you find Cafe Selmarie’s food good, but the wait staff is super friendly and the Lincoln Square neighborhood perfect for an after dinner stroll. Check out the Old Town School of Folk Music while you’re there too. It’s only a few blocks away.
Kevin & TCPC