Want to try the most elaborate grilled cheese in the Gold Coast? Then get yourself to Little Market Brasserie, the new French-inspired spot on the first floor of the Talbott Hotel.

We ordered the sinful sandwich and crispy browned fries ($12.50) on a snowy afternoon when all thoughts of salads had gone out the window. The buttery bread, thick bacon slices, soft fried egg, oozing cheddar cheese and smear of hot sriracha made it the envy of our table.

LMB?s fresh, modern take on old-fashioned bistro design--leafy plants in the windowsills, wooden banquettes and glimmering glass lights over the bar--makes it a charming place to linger over lunch or a drink. We suggest delving into the list of mix-and-match cocktails (most are $10), which requires you to pick a flavored house-made soda (we like the flowery hibiscus vanilla) to pair with one of several suggested spirits.

Chef Ryan Poli?s (Tavernita) menu gets more refined at dinnertime, when simple, seasonal preparations of fish and meat take the stage--look for a juicy pork chop with sweet-and-sour red cabbage and apple puree ($19.50).

But to us, a midday meeting over a plate of short-rib poutine ($14.50) sounds like the best way to enjoy this Mag Mile escape.

Little Market Brasserie, 10 E. Delaware Pl.; 312-640-8141 or littlemarketbrasserie.com

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