Chicago – 10/18/14 – Nico Osteria, Momotaro and The Office

Nico Osteria
This was unfortunately the first disappointing meal I have had at Nico and it wasn’t even their fault. We started this day attending a James Beard Foundation sponsored cooking demo at Sur la table where Chef Achatz did the Carbonara Explosion, a Parmesan version of BTE. I’m not going to say it was better than BTE but it was a VERY close second.

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So of course we left with an intense craving for pasta carbonara, which Nico luckily had on the brunch menu, but there was just no comparison.

Chestnut coffee cake

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Kouign Amann

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Madai Snapper – kohlrabi salsa verde, nasturtium

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Soft scrambled eggs – peperonata, prosciutto, olive focaccia

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Spaghetti carbonara – bacon, egg yolk, bottarga

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Cotechino – lentils, sunny side egg

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Momotaro
I really wanted to love Momotaro but I just didn’t. Many friends have prior to my visit and since. Maybe it was just an off night, maybe we made poor menu choices, but I was just left feeling like it was just ok.
Tuna Jaga – tuna loin, gochujang miso, wasabi crispies

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Smoked bacon & Eggs – soy marinated quail eggs, bliss maple syrup

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Angel prawns – red chili yuzu kosho, ohba butter

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Diver scallop – uni, ponzu butter, seabeans, ikura

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Wafu potato salad – wakame, hakurei turnips

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Aji Yakusugi – smoked jacked mackerel, 1000 year old cypress

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Kurosawa Saba megamaki – seared marinated mackerel, sudachi lime

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Wasabi salmon – marinated salmon, wasabi crispies

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Curry udon – heritage pork curry, futo udon noodles, shishito

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The Office
A bittersweet ending to the evening with the last drinks I will have made by the amazing Charles Joly at the Aviary. I wish I could remember the ingredients but they were all absolutely perfect. Dinner was washed away by the tartare by which all others are measured (and maybe a black truffle explosion or 2).

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Wagu tartare

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