My husband and I went last night, and I can honestly say it was one of the best meals of my entire life. Top 3, easy. I keep meaning to write a comprehensive review, but I can't seem to find the words to do this meal justice. Here are the basics: For $60, you choose your own 3 course meal (which is actually 5 courses) from a short but varied menu. Each selection simply states the star ingredient followed by a few supporting players that give you a sense of the overall dish. Our excellent server, Christopher, was there to fill in the blanks and describe anything in more detail.
So for me it was Foie Gras for the first course, Rabbit for the second, and Beet for dessert. The Foie came as a mousse on a slice of very dark bread, with walnuts, cauliflower, cucumber, and golden beets. This was by far the best foie I have ever had, and I am picky about foie. My husband had "Beef", which was a carpaccio, folded around a smoked trout salad, with vinegary fingerling (I think) potatoes, and a carrot puree. Amazing.
The palate cleanser was too much for us...a vanilla lemon ice which we both found cloying. But this was our only negative in the whole evening.
Next came the rabbit, which may have been the best dish, in this, the best meal ever. It was so beautifully balanced...the earthy rabbit and truffle dumplings were elevated by incredibly fresh peas and grassy pea shoots into a kind of culinary celebration of spring. I swear, I am not usually the type to wax poetical like that, but it was just that good. My husband ordered the "ono", which Christopher described as a deconstructed bloody mary, and indeed it was. The fish came in a spicy piquillo tomato broth, with olive, shrimp, and celery. I preferred mine (obviously), but the ono was great, too.
The hidden 4th course is a cheese course, in this case a grilled cheese with aged cheddar, granny smith apples, and caramelized onions, and a house-made lavender mustard on the side. The cheese was griddled in such a way as to create the perfect crispy edge around the outside of the sandwich. It was served with a complementary tasting of a clean, crisp white...tempranillo perhaps? I admit, the wine was paired wonderfully for each course, but I tended to forget to even drink it because I was so focused on the food. They had a nice list, especially by the glass, but we opted for the $25 pairing.
And then dessert. Holy lord. On my BEAUTIFUL plate: sliced beets in their own reduction with a beet creme, a chocolate brownie made with beet puree topped with a quenelle of chocolate mousse, one of a goat cheese creme, and a sugared slice of some amazingly gorgeous striped beet, all set on a bed of chocolate ganache. It was freaking delicious, and incredibly, not too beety. And my husband got "corn". A bed of corn creme anglais with a corn bread pudding, corn kernels in caramel, and corn ice cream, topped with kettle corn. SO fun, and playful, and yet refined...a fascinating exploration of a simple ingredient.
So. That got longer than I expected, but I had to share. Please go, it is tremendous. The space is beautiful, the service is excellent, the food is beyond compare. Everything is so wonderfully light hearted and yet so well done.
Great write up! I saw the review yesterday in the Tribune wonderful! I also saw that they made the Top 10 list of new restaurants in Chicago Magazine. That beet dessert sounds
wonderful, I love beets and it's great to hear vegetables being used for dessert courses.
I'm going next month and can't wait!