Hache Modern Brasserie brings France to Geneva

PUBLISHED IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SEPT. 3, 2015

The new Hache Moderne Brasserie on State Street in Geneva offers an exciting twist on traditional French cuisine. Pictured here is the buffalo frog legs, topped with whipped Gorgonzola and celery leaves. (Beth Casey / Beacon-News)
The new Hache Moderne Brasserie on State Street in Geneva offers an exciting twist on traditional French cuisine. Pictured here is the buffalo frog legs, topped with whipped Gorgonzola and celery leaves. (Beth Casey / Beacon-News)

Hache Moderne Brasserie on State Street in Geneva is the new hot spot for modern French cuisine. This is the second location for owners Irina Haydon and Peter K. Youngren. Their other location is Paris Bistro in Naperville.

Hache is French for “minced, chopped or ground,” and Hache Moderne Brasserie brings its passion and drive for constantly delivering quality French-inspired dishes to the public with an authentic feel.

Here’s the scoop on this new modern French hot spot.

What’s on the menu? Hache Moderne Brasserie specializes in modern French cuisine. French staples with a modern twist is the name of the game, and guests can find foods such as buffalo frog legs, escaotoun de jour, bouillabaisse, seared chicken roulade, steak frites and duck confit.

About the owners: Irina Haydon and Peter K. Youngren own Paris Bistro in Naperville. “In Geneva, being a brasserie, we wanted to operate so that we have a bigger space, live music and more diverse food. Geneva has a great amount of foodies and we want to give them a little more variety because we love them,” Haydon said. “We’re bringing the city dining to the suburbs.”

Mission statement or philosophy: Hache Moderne Brasserie is all about the farm-to-table concept. “No matter what entree we do, we go back to a French influence. There are a lot of farmers around Elburn and Geneva and we want to utilize the local farmers to create a menu and get that farm-to-table concept,” Haydon said.

The decor: Stepping into Hache Moderne Brasserie is like being transported to Europe — it’s old world coming together with modern day. “My intentions were to keep it fresh, modern with vintage mixed with modern and a very French feel,” Haydon said.

“From the minute you walk in the door, you feel like you’re in France. There’s ivy on the entrance, glitz, sparkle, metal, wood and chandeliers.”

Food specialties: French influence can be seen, smelled and tasted, and it encompasses everything in Hache Moderne Brasserie. “Our specialties are what the customers love. We wanted the customers to feel like they had a say in our menu. We asked them to speak up and let us know what they like. We like the people who dine out a lot, know the food in the community, and look for that in us,” Haydon said.

She mentioned that the three cheese white corn polenta with braised meat is a fan favorite. “It’s just braised lamb, pork or beef over polenta. I never thought it would be a hit, but everyone loves it.”

“Our No. 1 seller for lunch is our steak sandwich,” Haydon said. Though it’s not just a regular sandwich. Hache Moderne Brasserie’s steak sandwich is caramelized onions, sliced wild mushrooms, sliced ribeye and swiss cheese on garlic bread.

We’re different because: “I think we are so passionate about giving people a complete experience. It’s not just about feeding people, but to give them the feeling that they are a part of something. It’s good food, good service and an amazing atmosphere,” Haydon said.

This difference can be seen in everything that Hache Moderne Brasserie does.

Their menu is incredibly innovative and versatile. Every dish has a French twist and no matter what the palate of the guest, they will find something they love on the menu.

Extras: Hache Moderne Brasserie has a VIP wine club. Benefits of becoming a member of the club include 1/2 off of daily specials, a free glass of wine with every 10 glasses purchased, free wine tasting of the wine of the month and 1/2 off wine of the month bottles. Joining Hache Moderne Brasserie’s wine club is free of charge.

“We created our wine club to create a, for lack of better word, a cult for wine lovers,” Haydon said.

A portion of Hache Moderne Brasserie’s sales goes toward a charity, Hurt No More. Hurt No More has been designed to reduce incidences of bullying, aggressive, disruptive and antisocial behaviors in schools.

Price range: $4 to $56 for dishes on the menu. A party of two with drinks can expect a $100 bill, but this all varies depending on appetite and selection.

Logistics: Hache Moderne Brasserie is located at 524 W. State St. in Geneva, between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. It is open daily for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends. Call 630-402-0288 or visit Hachegeneva.com.

Beth Casey is a freelance writer for the Beacon-News.

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