Chicago – 9/21/14 – Little Goat, Balena, Alinea, Three Dots and a Dash

Little Goat
It was very difficult to walk past Au Cheval but for once I had enough willpower to not ruin my dinner. Every time I go to Little Goat I swear that I will try something different, yet inevitably I stick with my favorite. Maybe next time….

Parathas Burrito – Indian flatbread, sunny side eggs, avocado-bean salad, chili pepper sauce, sheep’s milk cheddar
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Balena
Pre-dinner drinks

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Alinea
I so look forward to every trip to Alinea and then feel so sad when it’s over. There is always a new dish that I am wowed by and the service is always impeccable. But what I often love most are the fantastic people who work here. I had heard such great things about the corn dish and it was indeed the highlight of the meal. I could have eaten four, a few black truffle explosions and called it a night. The other highlight of this menu for me was definitely the urchin. There are few foods that I don’t like and most of them present textural issues. I have tried and tried to like sea urchin, but I admittedly just don’t. To date the best uni course I’ve had was at 42 grams where it was on top of brioche and the textural contrast helped dramatically. This urchin course went a step further turning the urchin into a cake. For the first time I was able to just enjoy the flavor.

Ostera

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Salsify

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Urchin – cake, nori, vanilla

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King crab – melon, lardo, honey

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Skate – brown butter, lemon, herb stems

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Tomato – ashed goat cheese, pistachio, licorice graffiti (on concrete)

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Corn – truffle, manchego, sherry

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Rhubarb – celery root, celery branch, licorice
(Somehow I missed a pic of this one)

Sweetbreads – orange, ginkgo nut, cinnamon chop sticks

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Matsutake – pine, huckleberry, tapioca

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Lily bulb – rambutan, distillation of caviar lime

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Pork belly – parsnip, black trumpet, kombu

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Hot potato cold potato

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Duck – foie gras, lobster mushroom, dragon’s breath

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Black truffle explosion

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Blueberry – bubblegum, lilac, sorrel

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Balloon – helium, green apple

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Tropical fruit – rum, allspice, kafir lime

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Three Dots and a Dash
Post-dinner drinks! Thank you Paul McGee for the always amazing hospitality!
Jet Pilot – dark Jamaican rum, gold Dominican rum, ovenproof rum, lime, cinnamon, grapefruit, falernum, absinthe, angostura bitters
Don’t Touch My Bikini – genever, coconut, lime, hellfire shrub, angostura bitters

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