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Tru, Arun, and why I would not go back to Topolobampo

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Musigny 151 Jul 15, 2011 08:38 AM

Came in for a couple of days, loved Tru, really interesting menu. Definitely resurgent, as I had been advised. A chef with a sense of humor, lots of food puns like balls of sturgeon on a bed of avocado puree served in caviar tin, a pea soup ladled onto a bouquet of edible faux fruit, flowers and pea pods (made from pea puree and cooled) a magnificent salmon dish, smoked and then cooked perfectly with sorrel served on a wonderful kitschy plate. A couple of minor glitches at the end (one of the cheeses, an emmmentaler, served warm, so damp and rubbery) and a failure of essence of cucumber served with vanilla. Nasty, but that is a cucumber for you. Horrible with wine, and I suspect does not like oak barrel flavors either. Overall though, a solid A

Arun: Thai restaurant good, an array of beautiful dishes, very consistent high quality, a little spicy for me. I should realize I am medium for Indian but mild for Thai.Some adorable carved carrots in the form of a carp. Delicious A-

Topolobampo: Very disappointing. Hard not to be overly commercial with a celebrity chef, but I felt like I was on cattle class on an airline. Get us in, get us out, the food was OK but certainly not great. Lots of upselling, and the waiter looked furious if guests declined. Overall like being in Disneyland, rather than a great restaurant experience.

And perhaps the thing that really put me off the place was watching the hostess seat an elderly couple. It is a crowded restaurant, and he struggled to get into a banquette and finally landed on it with a very heavy thump. The hostess stood around posing rather than helping with the table; after that I watched her seat another couple, different pose, and luckily, he was little more lithe, so less of a thump, but a thump nevertheless. This is not how I would want to be greeted at a top restaurant.

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Topolobampo
445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610