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Dec 21, 2007 03:54 PM

NYE @ Trotters

Made reservations. The website is pretty vague. Anyone else going? Anyone with any idea of what to expect? Thanks

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  1. Yes, expect to be treated with indifference, at best! The food is not bad, but in my opinion is highly overated and over priced. They take themselves much to seriously and Charlie himself is humorless. I have said here before that I have eaten all over the world and Trotters is the absolute worst fine dining experience I have ever had. I'd suggest you go somewhere else and have some fun!

    6 Replies
    1. re: mjpd

      that might be a bit overkill but i agree with the sentiment. trotters has good food, but if i want to spend $100/head on a tasting menu in Chicago, I could name 5 places i'd rather go.

      1. re: mjpd

        I haven't eaten there in a few years so it might have changed, but I did think the food was excellent the two or three times I did eat there.

        Charlie is pretty humorless, but in my experience the staff -- both the front of the house and in the kitchen (I was a "guest chef" one night) are delightful, talented, knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile. On our first visit they gave us tours of the kitchen and the wine cellar and made sure to meet all our dietary concerns. The staff was friendly, not unctuous, and never patronizing

        Now that being said, it's not Alinea -- which IMHO is a whole new pinnacle of culinary achievement -- but you can expect a lovely, albeit pricey evening.

        1. re: mjpd

          I have to disagree strongly with respect to the food at Trotters. While it is not among my few favorite fine dining spots in Chicago, I think the food is excellent. I've never had anything less than an excellent meal there, although personally I prefer the more avant-garde cooking at Alinea, Avenues and Moto.

          As for it being "fun," I think if somebody is looking for a loud, raucous NYE experience, they'd be more apt to choose Carnivale or the like over Trotters. I don't think someone choosing Trotter's for NYE is looking for excessive laughter and noise making. As for Charlie's personality, I think the statement is a bit harsh, unnecessary and entirely irrelevant.

          1. re: BRB

            I'm not meaning to be a jerk and I know many love this place, but let me give you a bit more of my experience.

            With reservations made months in advance, my party of six arrived in a limo a bit early and I must say we were very nicely dresssed. My point here is I don't think we looked out of place.

            The somilier's only question to us about the wine was "what do you want to spend". Period. Our service was rushed. We were denied a peak at the wine cellar. We met Charlie on the way out and tried to speak with him, but he was to engage with his mom, to acknowledge us. He was quite rude.

            The overall feel was more like being in a funeral home than a restaurant. Again, the food was good. However we did have the limo driver stop so we could get some tacos on the way home.

            The fun I was refering to had nothing to do about NYE or being boisterous. Just simply having a "fun" night out with your friends. Being treated well and with a bit of respect as a customer.

            I wouldn't return (unless you pay).

            1. re: mjpd

              Everyone, please reread my original post. I didn't ask for people to bash Charlie Trotter. Sure, he could of given you a few seconds of his time if he wasn't busy but you do realise that he is running a restaurant, right? He's working. He's not there to be your BFF. I have eaten there before and found it to be a wonderful experience and am looking forward to NYE. I just wanted to find out what to expect for this particular night since Trotter's will be doing something out of the ordinary. I wasn't looking for character assasination.

              1. re: mjpd

                If I may be philosophical here for a moment, "fun" is not something that a restaurant sells. Not Charlie. Not Grant. Not Rick. Not even the guys at Carnivale. Fun is something that one creates and brings with him/herself. If you didn't, don't blame the restaurant

                If you tried to talk to Charlie when he was engaged with his mother, maybe it wasn't the right time for you to try to talk to him.

                That you were denied a peak (sic) at the wine cellar does not mean that you were mistreated. A smart somalier should know your price point before embarrassing you by recommending the $200 bottle over the $50 bottle or vice versa.

                I hope you enjoyed your tacos that night. It's probably best that you now know that Charlie Trotter's is not the place for you.

          2. I have never been to Trotter's for NYE. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience! However, I did go for my birthday this year, and I can telly you this...they make celebrations very special. Trotter's even presented me with a birthday gift!! They also gave me a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar. I think the service at Charlie Trotter's is the best in the city. I am sure you will have a great time!!

              1. re: leek

                Really wonderful. Everyone just wandered around the restaurant all night. Various food stations, i.e. raw bar, sushi bar. Then there was whatever they were making in the main kitchen. Kobe beef kabobs, grilled prawns, monkfish, lamb chops. Great wine all night plus the champagne was flowing all night long. Towards midnight there were fresh choc. chip cookies, little doughnuts and many little chocolates. They had cleared out an area off the kitchen and had a dj playing everything from Led Zepplin to Prince. People were dancing like crazy. Best of all was the staff. Everyone was very relaxed and very eager to talk food, cooking and wine. I saw guests cooking. It was just awesome. I hope they do this every year. We walked out the door at 2:30 with a goodie bag of Trotter's blend coffee and a coffee cake. Did we have a good time? I have balloons in my living room that the wife brought home to prove it!

                1. re: hoppy2468

                  Wow, you had quite an evening! You won't forget NYE at Trotters anytime soon.

                  What an interesting post!

                  I especially like your comment:
                  "Fun is something that one creates and brings with him/herself. If you didn't, don't blame the restaurant"