27 Hours in Chicago
Did a quick whirl through Chi-town.
Got in town, had Italian beef & double dogs at Al's on Ontario. Still prefer Portillo's.
Checked into Club Quarters.
CSO w/ Haitink & Ax: Schumann, Mozart, Brahms4.
Wandered around Millenium Park.
Swung by Gage.
Went shopping at Filene'sBasement.
Rested back at Club Quarters.
Dinner at Next: Double portions, "Table for two" adapted for solo diner (me). [p.s. Not enamored of everything] Standard Wine Pairing.
Drinkies at Aviary, request from me to the the FOH for a spot while I was dining at Next.
Cased the joint, watched the folks there prepare those fancy drinks at the bar.
Crash at Club Quarters.
Shopping at Andy's Deli [N. Milwaukee], lots of kielbasa & other good Polish stuff.
Crossed over on Foster to Argyle & Broadway.
Pho at Tank.
Shopping at Tai Nam off Broadway.
Mad dash down to Club Quarters, struggled to get back to the place from Lakeshore Drive to Adams/Clark because the central part of the Loop was blocked off for the Memorial Day Parade. Check out.
Down Clark & State to Archer.
Shui Kow w/ freshly made ramen at Hing Kee.
Watched the guy at Hing Kee make those ramen noodles, lots of oglers and admirers surrounding the shopfront window.
Strolled over to my favorite Chinese charcuterie shop, got some "half-fat-half-lean" BBQ pork and a soy sauce chicken.
Regarding Next: For myself, I found the Sole Daumont to be overly salty and the sole perhaps a little lost in the prep. The sole was also perhaps a little on the "too soft" side, it fell to bits with just a little prod. The turtle consomme taste was very good but perhaps a little masked by the (taste of the) amount of celeriac etc that accompanied it, perhaps I should have fished some of the pieces out. I didn't care that much for the potatoes gratin accompaniment for the pressed duck; too much cream and cheese for me, and I found that it interfered with the taste of the duck and I left most of it behind. The duck itself was superb and I ate it all, mostly by itself with just a little sauce on it. I found further enjoyment in macerating the thyme in some of the sauce and eating it together with some of the duck. I left most of the wine accompanying the duck. The Hors d'Oeuvres and the salad were perfect. The chicken dish was wonderful although I think I enjoyed the cucumbers more when I took off the salt pork fat. The salt pork pieces were enjoyed greatly when taken together with a bite of the chicken. The Bombe Ceylan and Mignardises were interesting and lovely but as I am not much of a dessert person I wasn't wowed by them. I took only a bite of the salted caramel mignardise. Coffee [taken black] from this special place in Haiti (IIRC) was quite good.
Regarding those fresh pulled ramen noodles: They were pretty good and nicely toothsome, with a nice "fresh flour" taste to them. I wouldn't say they were perfect, but then I don't have that much experience with really fresh ramen. The soup stock could have been better. The shui kow wasn't the greatest.