La Fleur de Lis, located at 301 E. 43rd street is a quaint and unassuming Creole style restaurant in the heart of Bronzeville. Since its inception in October of 2010, New Orleans native Allen J. Rochelle Jr., has given Chicagoans leisurely southern style cooking from NOLA to satisfy the fast-paced northern appetite.
Upon entering the restaurant for their signature Sunday brunch, patrons are virtually teleported south into a Creole style restaurant – complete with Mardi Gras masks, original paintings, and a live band. The all-you-can-eat brunch lasts from 11 AM to 5 PM and costs $15. On arrival, you’re seated and graced with a free mimosa – a tasty orange juice and champagne blend. The first of these bubbly drinks are free, and every mimosa thereafter is $2.
Because brunch is buffet style, patrons are entertained by a live band, the Andley Reid Trio, while selecting from such southern delicacies as creamy grits, Louisiana crab cakes, turkey sliders, and jambalaya.
Though this restaurant has a very southern feel and serves southern dishes, I would be remiss not to suggest that the wait staff prepare drinks within the kitchen. Not every patron is fond of orange “drink” in place of orange juice. But recovery was made with the food, the desserts, and a glance at their regular menu. They offer such sig- nature cocktails as, Hurricane – a tropical fruit punch infused with rum and one shot of 151. They also provide bottle service, starting with a $45 Pink Sparkling Moscato.
The head chef, Sydney Johnson, serves up fresh omelets – made to order. At an egg white omelet request, the chef didn’t bat an eye. He promised to deliver at the next Sunday brunch. Depending on its popularity, this could become an- other staple of Le Fleur de Lis. “I try to give the public what they want,” said Chef Sydney.
Overall, this Le Fleur de Lis earns three and a half stars out of five. The restaurant’s quaint ambiance, tasty food, and live music made this a spot worth visiting at least once for a down-home southern treat. I stand by my suggestion to keep some preparation behind closed doors – or better yet, serve actual orange juice. I would also like to see the service move a little quicker, even when delivering my cucumber water. Big props to the bartender and manager, Richard Johnson for his friendly demeanor, and love for creating new drinks that rival the favorites that he’s perfected.