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This new occupant of the old Coquette Cafe space opens Thursday, July 26.

When Fauntleroy officially makes it entrance into our busy dining scene on July 27, this baby brother to the Third Ward’s Dandan will make quite the French statement. The space, as the photos posted here illustrate, is elegant. Stuffy? Mais non! Milwaukee’s 360 Degrees took charge of the extensive remodel of Fauntleroy’s home, the former Coquette Café (316 N. Milwaukee St.).  

Photo by John Sturdy

The dinner menu follows a classic French path, to an extent. But the creative juices are flowing here, just like at Dandan, where chef-owners Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite made the menu feel modern and even personal. For instance, a Fauntleroy appetizer of veal tartare ($12) includes egg, schmaltz (rendered chicken or goose fat) and parsley. At Dandan, the chefs make a schmaltz fried rice – a take on a Jacobs childhood food memory. Menu creation for the French sibling involved more input than its big brother. In the last several months, the team has added culinary director Matt Haase (formerly of Ardent) and named Blair Herridge (who worked at Goodkind) as Fauntleroy’s chef de cuisine.  

From the top, the menu begins with hors d’oeuvres: escargot cromesquis, chicken liver eclair with red wine shallot, gougères (cheese puffs, made with Gruyère), chorizo-stuffed olives ($3-$5). Taking off from there, appetizers range from a beet tart with quark cheese, thyme and Parmesan sable ($9) to a paté du jour ($8), foie gras torchon with brioche and preserves ($16) to sweetbreads with crayfish, knob onion, maitake and sauce nantua ($14). There is also market-price caviar service.

Lyonnaise salad photo by John Sturdy

French onion soup ($6) joins the Lyonnaise salad (with egg, pork belly and frisée, $10) and a carrot/arugula/ricotta salad ($9), among others, in the soup-salad category. 

For entrées, there is  hanger steak frites ($24), as well as grilled trout Veronique ($22); scallops with summer fricassee and pistou ($23); slow-cooked shortribs with pepper ragout potato puree and “eggroll” ($25); and – mon Dieu! – duck a l’Orange (for two) with orange sauce, foie gras and grilled heart slad, and leg confit Parmentier ($70). 

Reservations? Yes, make them

Hours: Tues-Sat 5-10 p.m. Lunch service to come – likely this fall.

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