By J.P. Anderson By J.P. Anderson | May 24, 2023 | Food & Drink Feature
Restaurant veteran Amy Morton unveils her latest Evanston collab with chef Debbie Gold: LeTour.
LeTour’s menu tempts with a full-wheel baked Camembert with roasted wild mushrooms and marrow butter jus.
With her go-to Evanston restaurants, The Barn Steakhouse and Found Kitchen + Social House, restauranteur Amy Morton became the de facto queen of Evanston dining (Morton also owns Stolp Island Social in Aurora). With Found Kitchen having recently closed its doors, Morton and her longtime collaborator, James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold, have raised the curtain on their latest endeavor in the city’s downtown.
And the restaurant’s signature ratatouille
Described as a “decidedly American” brasserie, LeTour (625 Davis St., Evanston) boasts a menu whose influences range from classic French (Lyonnaise salad, steak frites, skate wing) to Moroccan (chicken tagine, two varieties of couscous), plus a downright decadent double smashburger with raclette, grilled onions and mayo for good measure.
Longtime collaborators Amy Morton and Debbie Gold
The restaurant’s setting is as much a part of the appeal as Gold’s fare. Set in buzzing downtown Evanston, the circular space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows; an interior inspired by “Andy Warhol on the French Riviera” courtesy of Morton, designer Danica Joseph and interior architect Jennifer Whang; and an expansive outdoor patio that seats up to 150. It all adds up to what Morton’s devoted regulars have come to expect—comforting offerings with a global perspective in whimsically sophisticated surroundings—and signifies another exciting chapter in the partnership between Morton and Gold.
LeTour’s Moroccan influence is expressed in dishes like a tagine of chicken with braised chicken, green olives, apricot, preserved lemon and couscous.
What makes the relationship work? Simply put, says Morton, “We respect each other. We like each other. We own our mistakes and give each other credit. We have both been in this business long enough and are confident of our strengths… it makes all the rest easy.”
The inviting bar gives off a sophisticated sylvan vibe.
One more reason Morton is a North Shore fave: Her continued efforts to do good while doing business, whether that’s by hiring entry-level staff emerging from homelessness, offering discounts to nonprofits looking for an event space, or just implementing green practices in her kitchens. As Morton explains, “Whether you believe in karma, fate, or just doing what feels good, I have a need [to give back].” Ultimately, Morton sums up, it’s always about hospitality—and that’s her vision for LeTour. “As with anything I do, [my goal is to] create a place where people feel they belong—and then make sure they love their experience.”
Photography by: PHOTO BY KIM KOVACIK