St. Jack: Restaurant Guide 2014

1610 NW 23rd Ave, 360-1281,

[DE LUXE] St. Jack is less of a saint this days. The bouchon moved this February from a cozy Clinton Street home to the bottom floor of some westside condos, and gave up its patisserie for a bar. Well, it was a damn fine decision. The restaurant maintains the same casual-luxe atmosphere of the original—minus those crazy candles—as well as most of the favorite gut-busting rustic French dishes, from the delicate mustard-wine-cream sauce of the mussels Dijonnaise ($24) to the trademark chicken-liver mousse ($8), plus its treasure of an imported cheese menu with plenty of raw-milk options. But while most restaurants use their bars as an excuse to shake loose change from waiting patrons, St. Jack's is an experience unto itself, with a separate menu offering haute takes on American-style trash dining. This includes a croissant-wrapped boudin noir "pigs en blanquette" ($14) that's a brilliant answer to both the corn dog and the Coney—as you pop your teeth or fork into the sausage, you realize it contains its own meat sauce. There's a decadent hamburger ($14) with options on foie gras ($18), plus the most impressive (and humble) item of all: massive pork rinds puffed as a pastry and almost delicate, which take three days to make. You'll end your night feeling dirty, drunk and superior all at the same time. Kind of like the French themselves. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Pro tip:

You could make a reservation... or you could just slide into bar, where the fun is anyway.

Restaurant 5-10 pm daily. Bar 4-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. $$-$$$.