A modern take on French cuisine, '70s rock music, an edgy interior design. You won't want to call this Third Ward place stodgy.
For their new Third Ward modern French place in the old Coquette Cafe (316 N. Milwaukee St.), the owners of DanDan (360 E. Erie St.) chose a name as unconventional as their Third Ward American-Chinese restaurant. The name is Fauntleroy. As in (if you read the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett), Little Lord Fauntleroy. Or saw the movie that starred Ricky Schroder! It’s also cartoon character Donald Duck’s middle name, and that’s what attracted co-owner Dan Jacobs to it. But that’s another story.
This restaurant really has nothing to do with Donald or the little lord. It is a catchy name that seems fitting for two chefs – Jacobs and Dan Van Rite – who try not to take themselves too seriously. There’s no menu to quote from yet but, as you see, there are interior renderings by 360 Degrees, the local construction company that also did the DanDan interior and the digs for its sister bakery, Batches.
Jacobs says from the menu to the ’70s rock music they will play in the dining room, the French place won’t be stuffy or too spendy. And knowing how the Dans approach Chinese cuisine at their other restaurant, there will likely be untraditional takes on French cooking. As for the timeline, Jacobs says the build-out is cruising along and he expects to open by mid-summer. Once I’ve got a menu in hand, Fauntleroy will sound a little more concrete. That menu is a collaboration between the Dans, their chef de cuisine Blair Herridge (formerly of Goodkind) and their new culinary director Matt Haase (who left Ardent in late March).