Tallent, Bloomington In
A quick post on the “new” Tallent. This is a beautiful space, right off the main square downtown (it was especially festive with the Christmas lights). The first room has great views of the kitchen (our choice) and the bar; the second actually seems the nicer unless you like to watch your meal as it’s made-I was impressed by how calm the kitchen staff seemed to be-the place was packed the night we were there.
We had a very fine bottle from Michel Colin Deleger (not a Montrachet, but a rich red burgundy) but it seems we drank their last bottle...they still have another favorite of mine, the Travaglini. Warm bread is served, and an amuse-smoked salmon (I think?) on toast.
Then on to the appetizers-seared foie gras with chestnut risotto was perfection; shrimp and grits, which I could eat every day; butternut squash soup, which was very light in comparison with most takes on this soup-not at all creamy, but full of flavor; beet salad with goat cheese-very nice, if basic.
We then had a special of drum (I think a red drum-saltwater variety) which was good, with a crispy skin...nicely flavored, and cooked just right; duck with cherry sauce, which my wife declared “maybe the best I’ve had” and trust me, she’s eaten a lot of duck; and lamb three ways...the chop was also just perfect.
Desserts included a gingerbread French toast; persimmon bread pudding (hmmm, pudding); spicy chocolate-the hot chocolate with pepper was especially tasty. I was feeling so festive I had a glass of Champagne to go with dessert. A fine ending to the meal-full, yes, but not stuffed.
And I’d like to add a special note to the great service-knowledgeable and well paced. And I got my espresso at the exact moment I wanted it (just after finishing off my dessert.)
Sometimes when I’m back here in New York I think that I’m romanticizing Tallent, that it couldn’t be as good as I think it is...and then I eat there again and, well, it turns out it’s better. This is a destination restaurant-if you are anywhere near Bloomington, you should go out of your way to eat there-it’s worth it. Cheers and a Happy New Year to all the Bloomington chows.
so glad to see a positive review of Tallent. I did my graduate studies in Bloomington and just moved away last year nd I miss it terribly. Being a poor grad student, I only got to eat there one time when my fiance's parents were in town. We absolutely loved it--the food, the service, the whole concept. It's a special place.
We also had a marvelous meal here in their new space, which we loved (although the music was somewhat bizarre). The space is gorgeous, the service was several notches above what one can expect in a college town, the food was very, very good, and Krissy's gingerbread French toast was one of the best desserts ever.
What is appropriate attire at Tallent? Do most of the men wear sportjackets/ties? Or is it more "business casual" (sweaters, polos, Dockers)? I assume it's not "casual" (e.g. blue jeans)...?
(I've never been there - obviously - but hope to go in April.)
Also, how far ahead would one be advised to make reservations?
I've seen just about anything there. It's Bloomington, college town, and some are just clueless about dressing for the occasion. My DH wears a jacket, I wear business attire, but we were brought up to do so when dining in a place of that caliber. Probably a week in advance would not be bad for a reservation unless it is something like graduation at IU then reserving even 6 weeks in advance might nnot be a bad idea.