THE TEAM

 

Robert Et Fils, which is pronounced “Robair Ay Feese” and translates to “Robert and son,” is named for Owner and Executive Chef Shaner’s late father, whose job took the family from the Midwest to France. Joining him are Pastry Chef Cati Molnar and General Manager Rami Ezzat, who grew up in Paris and coincidentally attended the same high school as Shaner in Paris—they discovered this while working together across the world in Chicago. The small, close-knit team is working to offer thoughtful, elevated service amid the current takeout-focused climate. Robert Et Fils is designed by Siren Betty (Giant, Good Measure, Celeste).
 
Shaner dreamed for years about opening a restaurant that captures the unique experience of a bygone era of dining in France. While Shaner’s cooking is deeply grounded in nostalgia, he also thrives on the freedom of reinterpreting food using modern techniques and, at times, utilizing non-traditional ingredient pairings.

 
“This is a very personal restaurant for me, and I want guests to feel like they're going into a wormhole when they enter Robert Et Fils. It should feel like a warm and welcoming escape into another time and place. Much of the food will be influenced by my travels with my father in France as well as old French menu archives.”

CHEF ROB SHANER

Owner & Executive Chef

Rob Shaner was a 1980s kid from Missouri with a processed-food palate. And then his family moved to Paris for his dad’s work—father and son, known as Bob and Rob, both went by “Robert” in their new home—and the teenager discovered French cuisine and culture, and he fell in love. This inspired Rob to pursue a culinary career rather than the academic one he had planned on when he enrolled in a master’s program at the University of Chicago. He cooked at The Bristol, Branch 27, Little Market Brasserie and Blue 13 before becoming executive chef at Homestead on the Roof in West Town. Along the way, he also got sober, a journey sparked by a sit-down with his dad, who died in 2008. Rob was most recently the opening executive chef at The Royal Grocer & Co. and The Kennison in Lincoln Park. Robert Et Fils is a tribute to his father; his mother, an educator and steadfast presence in his life; and their Paris years.

CHEF CATI MOLNAR

Pastry Chef

Cati Molnar was ready for a career change. The Ohio native was a school psychologist in Cincinnati when she met Chef Steven Geddes of the farm-to-table restaurant Local 127. She shared her plans; he invited her to try out the kitchen. Cati, who comes from a food-loving family of farmers and Italian and Hungarian immigrants, felt an immediate sense of place. She continued building her skills at sister restaurants Boca and Sotto and Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati before moving to Chicago in 2017 and joining The Kennison, where she met Rob Shaner. He has played a key role not only in her culinary development but in her decision to give up alcohol. Cati worked at Lost Larson before joining Robert Et Fils, where she makes pastries inspired by French classics and naturally leavened breads with flour from regional growers and millers.

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RAMI EZZAT

General Manager

Rami Ezzat is a relative newcomer to the restaurant industry, but he understood hospitality from an early age. Born in Paris to a Palestinian mother and Egyptian father, Rami saw family meals as a time not simply to eat, but to share in good company and good food—lots of it. These memories stayed with him as he moved between Paris, the Middle East and United States, then when studying finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2016, while working in energy transformation for General Electric, Rami decided to trade Excel spreadsheets for his true passion. He moved to Chicago and started as a food runner with Boka Group at GT Fish and Oyster. A quick study, he spent the next year in nearly every front-of-house role, eventually becoming manager at The Kennison, where he met Rob Shaner and Cati Molnar — Shaner and Ezzat bonded over the fact that they both attended the same high school in Paris years before. For Rami, Robert Et Fils feels a little like coming home, as if it—and he—were here all along.

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Thursday-Saturday  |  6-9 p.m.

Takeout only

4229 North Lincoln Avenue

(773)687-9179