Boka and Le Lan
Was just reading this months Chicago magazine, an article titled Charlie's Angel about new chefs at these two restaurants...has anyone tried the new chefs...the article made both sound great.
I went to Boka on saturday and was impressed with the overall meal; although I had not been to Boka before Guiseppe so hard for me to compare with improvement; i can imagine with his pedigree it is substantially better.
To start I had the Hamachi sashimi course from the raw bar which was presented very well with some edemame and a sort of pea-wasabi puree as well as a little bit of soy and hot oil. It was a pretty small portion but the freshness of the fish and the combined flavors was right on. I also had a taste of the scallop appetizer and again tasted great. For my main course I had the black sesame crusted salmon with green-tea soba noodles, shitake mushrooms and a wasabi foam. The fish I thought was good but not melt in your mouth fatty salmon like I have had at many other very good restaurants- that was the 1 lacking part because the dish as a whole when you put everything together was fantastic; all the flavors went very well together and i really enjoyed it. Also had a taste of the soft shell crab entree which again was flavored perfectly and tasted great. We had a South American Caberenet; Marlobourgh(?) and it went well with all the entrees from Salmon to Veal Cheeks. The desserts overall were good but not incredible; we had the blood orange creme brulee (my favorite), a strawberry-rhubard crisp (sort of lacking in the crisp department) and the pineapple upside down cake (again good but not great).
Overall a great dining experience, they do a great job at combining ingredients that work well together and are presented wonderfully; also the Mojitos are a must; probably the best i've had.