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Dinner at Sable - 9/23/2011

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So we decided to check out Sable for dinner . . . and made the "mistake" of coming through the front door. Now, it's not like we meant to, OK? I mean it wasn't on purpose, and -- besides -- we're from California so we're sorta used to walking in through the front door, you know?

When you walk in the front door, you do not enter Sable Kitchen & Bar. You walk into Sable BAR and kitchen -- we had 9:00 reservations, and the bar was jumpin'! Filled with 20- and 30-somethings, and just enough of a smattering of older folks (40s) that I didn't feel like I'd walked into a singles bar. Well, OK, I actually *did* feel like I walked into a singles bar, save for the one 20-something woman so obviously there with her parents . . .

Squeezing, winding, snaking our way through the crowded bar (picture a long rectangle of a room, bar running the length of one side, tables chairs and small sofas on the other), we finally made our way to the middle of the room, where the hostess resides. It's the BACK half of the rectangle that's the restaurant portion of Sable Kitchen & Bar (SKB, for short), and you can avoid the crowded bar scene -- should you wish to -- by entering through the lobby of the Kimpton Hotel and THEN into Sable . . . BOOM! Right to the hostess! (Who knew?)

We were seated in front of the open kitchen, the better to see Chef Heather Terhune and the line cooks prepare everyone's dishes. That is one busy kitchen! No one stopped for one single minute!

The menu here is great, and nearly everything is available in 1/2 orders, so you can try twice as many things. Out server (Matt) was especially accommodating, in that there were once again three of us, and so on the small plates that came either 2 or 4 items per order, half- or full-order respectively, we ordered the 1/2, and he added a half-or-a-half -- in other words, we got three!

Lynn started out with one of their signature cocktails, "War of the Roses," while Ginny had a "Kangaroo Cocktail," and I had some 18-year old Sazerac Rye (see http://www.sablechicag... for their cocktail list). All were excellent!

We started with an order of exquisite Fried Green Tomatoes with a whipped basil-infused goat cheese; Deviled Eggs with truffle oil and trumpet mushrooms, that were really delicious; an order of Veal Meatballs in a gorgonzola-walnut cream sauce that was to die for; and Roasted Beets -- a red and golden beat salad, with pistachio-encrusted goat cheese and honey (Major Yums!).

Next, we decided to get serious, starting off with the Fingerling Potatoes, roasted in duck fat and lightly tossed with fleur de sel (I can die a happy camper!); Mini Wild Mushroom Veggie Burgers, served with red onion jam, goat cheese (excellent!); the Caramelized Onion Brats: peach bourbon relish, stone ground mustard, on brioche "hot dog" mini buns (OMG!!!). The only miss of the evening was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles with bourbon maple syrup -- waffles weren't crispy enough, and the chicken was a bit dry. (Oakland's Brown Sugar Kitchen sets the bar pretty damned high!

)

For dessert, the three of us split one Butterscotch Pot de Creme -- amazingly rich, smooth, and seductive.

In a word . . . YES!

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Sable Kitchen & Bar
505 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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