In Illinois: A Temple of Haute Cuisine

Save-More Car Rental. The Hangar Charcoal Steaks. Cheetah Nude Dancing. The Vault Self-Storage Warehouse. Rich's Place Package Goods and Cocktails. The signs flash by on this dreary four-lane strip. "Welcome to Wheeling—the village with feeling." Finally, painted in neat black-and-white script, a tastebud red alert: Le Français. The building looks like a suburban developer's vision of a French country inn, and the visitor pauses for a moment to savor the incongruity. Wheeling, Ill. (pop. 23,089), is a beer-and-pretzels kind of town with a sizable blue-collar population. Yet here, 30 miles from downtown Chicago,...

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