How had I never heard of Maude’s Liquor Bar prior to going there? Because I usually pride myself with being in the know with these things, I have no idea. I was chatting with a friend about my obsession with going out to dinner last fall, and the subject of Maude’s came up. I of course, insisted I was down to go and try anywhere that had a good word, and so we went a few weeks later as he had a reservation and his former dining companion canceled. Good for me!
Located among that long stretch of novel restaurants on West Randolph, you can easily pass Maude’s without realizing it’s there. But once entering the black awning, you are stepping into a quaint, wood-floored room with a fairly high ceiling, small tables, and a bar in the back. Honestly, the layout reminded me of Jam (it’s that small), but with more antique, than modern sensibility. We waited a short time for our table, with the bartender graciously bringing our glasses of vino to us while we stood a little apart from the crowded bar. In fact, the whole downstairs was packed. Thankfully, we were seated upstairs, which was far preferable to me. The upstairs had the appearance of an exclusive, VIP type library; small and dark, with it’s own kitchen in full view.
We had been told to order the chicken; I was dubious but it proved to be a good order; it was buttery and delicious. From the bread, to the frites, to the steamed mussels (surprise surprise, I ordered these), everything was flavored to perfection. For being hailed as upscale French fare, Maude’s was not too expensivo. I highly recommend this spot if you can get a timely reservation, especially for a date setting all you lovebirds out there. 4 out of 5 spoons.