1119 W Taylor St (312-226-6479)
If it’s a scene you’re after, you’re in the wrong place. The only scene at Chez Joël is an antiscene: Nobody’s dressed to impress you (not that they don’t look nice), and the music is straight from the iPod of Gérard Depardieu. Joël’s brick-laid courtyard is a respite from all that, a quiet spot where the pâtés are creamy, the Champagne is cold, and you’ll never have to worry about spilling a cosmo on a maxidress.
FOOD 6 Solid French food
DRINKS 4 For a French spot, the wine list could be better
CROWD 5 Couples from the ’hood
VIEW 6 Gaze at the patio’s fountain or bustling Taylor Street
SPACE 7 Lovely and, more important, serene