LeTour plays on aesthetic and culinary contrasts. Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago
Chef Debbie Gold weds classic Parisian style with whimsical pop-art energy
When Amy Morton and chef Debbie Gold began making plans for LeTour, their new French American brasserie with major Moroccan overtones, they decided on a shape — geometric and symbolic — around which they could build their restaurant: the circle.
LeTour’s most obvious circle is its building, a 1960s-era rotunda bank building at 625 Davis Street that is, quite literally, round. Its unique architecture and 360-degree space struck Morton, the restaurateur behind the recently shuttered Found Kitchen + Social House, and Gold, a James Beard Award-winning chef. It was an ideal representation of the venue’s second circle — their friendship and business partnership, which began 30 years ago at Mirador, Morton’s first restaurant. Though they followed separate paths in the intervening years, the pair reconnected after Gold departed Tied House in early 2020.
“There are a lot of full circle things about us,” Morton says. “Our first restaurant together was French. We’re cut from the same cloth, which makes everything fun and collaborative. We’re both perfectionists, so we understand each other.”
They’ve designed a space full of nooks and niches that aims to evoke a sense of discovery, a key component of Morton’s philosophy about restaurant aesthetics. LeTour seats 150 between two dining rooms and a bar-and-lounge space and also features both private and semi-private event areas, as well as a spacious courtyard set to open in the spring. Inside, designers have opted for a look that Morton describes as “Andy Warhol on the French Riviera,” a blend of classical French style and the whimsical boldness of pop art that manifests in surprising juxtapositions — think Louis XVI-esque toile wallpaper beside abstract contemporary textiles.
That approach is echoed in Gold’s menu, which marries Midwestern ingredients and sensibilities to the of-the-moment French cuisine she and Morton encountered while traveling over the summer, which often included Moroccan cuisine. LeTour patrons can err on the side of tradition with options including steak frites with red wine demi-glace and a classic Lyonnaise salad, or try an impressive-looking chicken tagine with green olives and apricots.
“[The contrast is] very intentional because we want to shake things up, but we want people to feel comfortable and relaxed,” she says. “And yet, it’s about tomorrow, and everything being a new day.”
Look around inside LeTour and explore its menu items in the photos below.
Bright colors and plant life make the space a warm retreat from winter temperatures.