WICKER PARK — Get ready for "dirty rice," honey custard cornbread and frozen "Hurricane" cocktails. In a fast turnover, a New Orleans style restaurant and bar named Fifolet has replaced Division Ale House.
The Ale House at 1942 W. Division St., owned by Baris Yuksel since 2009, closed at the end of September.
Fifolet, also owned by Yuksel, debuted Sunday, according to a sign in its window.
Fifolet specializes in Cajun and Creole cuisine and classic and original New Orleans-inspired craft cocktails.
Conceived by executive chef Kevin Crouse and made by chef de cuisine Corey Gillom, who previously worked at Longman & Eagle and Rodan, the dishes are designed to be shared family style.
In a news release issued Monday, Crouse, who has cooked at several Cajun restaurants including Nouveau Tavern and Moe Joe’s, said, “This is my favorite cuisine in all the world. I’m simply trying to give it as much respect as possible, here in Chicago."
One of the specialty dishes is "grillades & grits," made with venison.
"Since most Cajun places in Chicago do shrimp and grits, we wanted to do something a little different. This is actually the more common version in New Orleans," Yuksel said.
Crouse said that Fifolet is "friendly for guests with many dietary restrictions" and features vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options, such as Cajun corn roulade with seasoned corn and tofu and two different styles of gumbo.
"Mama’s Gumbo" is made with filé, duck, chicken and andouille and is gluten and shellfish free, while "Gumbo Fifolet" is made with dark roux, shrimp, crawfish, house made alligator sausage and okra.
The menu also features locally sourced foods, such as rabbits from Slagel Farms.
The Fifolet Facebook page is awaiting a name change authorization from Facebook but the bar is using its former Ale House following to inform customers of the changeover.
"Come eat some great New Orleans cajun and creole food and sip on some cognac, absinthe, fancy rum, or craft cocktails. See you soon!" the Ale House posted on its Facebook page.
According to Cajun folklore, a fifolet is "an eerie burning light" that is seen often in the swamp and beckons all to follow. Some treasure hunters also believe that following a fifolet will lead to treasure.
Fifolet, 1942 W. Division St., Hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Kitchen is open from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and through midnight on Friday and Saturdays. Ph: 773-384-6886. Reservations for parties of 6 or more are available; walk-ins are always accepted.
Left: Frozen Hurricane, Planters Punch and gin-based "Infamous Marie Laveau." [Provided]
Venison grillards & grits. [Provided]
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