Stay in touch with your Community!
by Mona B
When Michael Altenburg opened Bistro Campagne in 2002, it was more like the place found him. After his son was diagnosed with Leukemia, Michael thought about what he could do to make his son’s life better and decided that clean and good food would be a start to improve it.
Not knowing he would open a French Bistro, he looked at 4518 North Lincoln Avenue and immediately fell in love with the place. If you haven’t been there: Bistro Campagne is in an unbelievable beautiful building that was built in the 1920s. It has a very unique arts and crafts style and contains outstanding woodwork. Old refurbished pine wood from the 1800s were used all over the space, which gives the restaurant a rustic and cozy vibe.
Bistro Campagne allows many local artists to show their paintings which gives the place color and liveliness. The incredible mosaic work on the walls inside of the building makes the space a warm and friendly neighborhood restaurant and a must-see for Chicagoans. With all those features, Michael thought that the only restaurant that would fit this space would be a classic, country, rustic French Bistro.
The Patio – OMG
Or should I say Patios? Most people don’t know that Bistro Campagne has two patios and they are probably the nicest outside spots that Chicago has ever seen. With beautiful plants and flowers and mosaic art work, these patios are warm and cozy, and a true escape from reality. And even though you’re sitting right by a fairly busy street it’s amazing how you don’t hear the traffic zipping by. A bummer: You cannot reserve tables on the patio, however, there are a few little benches that make your wait a wonderful experience.
The Food – Or “It’s all about finding the little Guy”
Bistro Campagne offers true French bistro cuisine. Following the old European standards, they provide clean, organic food with no pesticides or hormones. They prepare their food with French techniques and fundamentals. Bistro Campagne has a huge commitment to organic agriculture, purchasing food from a local radius that brings the “Farm to the Table”. (Btw, with his restaurant “Crust” Michael Altenburg opened the very first certified “organic” restaurant in the Midwest.)
Bistro Campagne tries to keep things out of the box. They have a graet variety of organic spirits, local and organic beers. They also have organic Metropolis Coffee right out of the region and provide any sustainable wine that you desire.
Todd Feinberg, General Manager of Bistro Campagne for 3 years, describes Michael Altenberg as a “Spiritual Leader”. “He laid the foundation for a timeless concept that let to this charming restaurant”, Todd says. Since Michael passed away in March, the team at Bistro Campagne had to cope with this heartbreaking loss of a great leader and an incredible person. “He inspired us to ban together and to live his legacy”, Todd says. Bistro Campagne stays in the ownership of Michael’s family and the restaurant continues with its complete staff including Head Chef Adam Dietmar. And I am sure Michael is still there, too, in some form and watches his dream grow.
Bistro Campagne is a great restaurant and a must-see in Chicago. Thanks to Todd and his team for keeping traditions alive!
If I haven’t convinced you yet to go and try out Bistro Campagne here are two more facts: Every Sunday at 5:30 pm you can enjoy great Live Music, and every Tuesday “All you can eat mussels and frites” for just $18!