When some people think of French cuisine, they tend to think of overly-fancy, fussy food that's long on presentation and short on portion, served by aloof waiters.
This is not the case at Chez Jacques.
While the ambiance is that of a small, cozy French bistro, the waitstaff (and Jacques himself) is friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely willing to accommodate requests or answer questions.
The food is first-rate French cuisine, family recipes that were handed down to Jacques, which makes a lot of the dishes more homey, rather than haute cuisine.
Sandwiches here include the Croque-Monsieur (ham & cheese), roast beef with mushrooms, olive tapenade, and baked turkey with Brie and tomato.
There are several salads, soups, appetizers and quiches to choose from, as well. An absolute favorite, and must-try, is the Fromage de Chevre a la Provençal, which is baked goat cheese with tomatoes, garlic and basil. It's served with slices of toasted baguette, and could be a meal in itself. The cheese is warm and creamy, and not too salty. The garlic and basil bring the dish together perfectly.
The focus here, however, is on the gourmet plates and the crepes.
The Charcuterie Plate and Jacques' Special are two of the more noteworthy, for those who love pâté, Foie Gras, Prosciutto, and a variety of cheeses. The French cheese plate, which comes with fruit and a baguette, is a perfect light meal when paired with a fine wine.
Crêpes are the speciality of the house, and come with a variety of fillings. The seafood, with shrimp and crab, is decadently rich and creamy. The smoked Salmon is hearty, as is the roast beef with mushrooms and gravy. For the sweeter side, try the vanilla with berries, the absolute best of the bunch, in which all are top-notch. The banana Nutella is a great treat, too, as is the wonderful poached pear Crêpe.
The sweeter crepes also make excellent breakfast or brunch treats, as well as dessert.
The service here is relaxed, so be prepared to wait for your food. This is not a meal to be rushed through. It's meant to be savored.
In the warmer months, there is a small courtyard, where one can while away an evening with an excellent wine and several small courses of food. At times, Chez Jacques also has live music.
Chez Jacques is what you make it, whether you want a casual, fine, yet relaxed meal with friends or a romantic dinner with your loved one, it's the place to go.
For More Info:
1022 S. 1st Street Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hours: Tues - Sun 10 AM - 10 PM; Closed Mondays
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Reservations: Recommended, especially for larger parties
Smoking: Bar only
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Credit Cards: Accepted
Vegetarian Options: Yes