Of course now that United’s fares from EWR to ORD have been cut in half there is talk of Au Cheval coming to New York. This burger was my reward for the dozens and dozens of trips I have made to Chicago, especially those early morning flights to be there by 11am when it opens for lunch.
A seat at the hearth at Roister may be my new favorite place in Chicago. In a way the plating is deceiving as some of these dishes are dark and are not necessarily made for today’s instagram age. And while looks can be deceiving, menu descriptions can be as well. Oysters are one of the very few foods that I genuinely dislike. I have been trying to train myself to like them for 2 years now but was set back by an unfortunate episode of food poisoning. When Chef Brochu kindly sent out a gift of the smoked oysters my stomach sank. I was dining with my mother, the only person I know who dislikes oysters more than I do, and who would be of no help in eating these. I made her try one and she admitted it wasn’t bad at all (which is a very high compliment). I happily ate the rest as they were completely delicious. I love having my mind changed about an ingredient. The fries I likely would not have ordered myself as bonito and tofu are not ingredients I particularly enjoy but a friend ordered them on a previous visit and I had to have them again. Then there is the chicken that I still think about. The leftovers are the first thing I have ever taken in a doggie bag from any meal while traveling. I cleaned out half of the hotel mini bar and we ate the rest for breakfast. It may have been even better.
Tomato bread – mayo, shallot, pecan oil
Aged cheddar rillettes – truffle, cauliflower, fry bread
Chow chow mein – aged cabbage, noodles, relish
Cucumber – melon, smoked creme fraiche
Smoked oysters – garlic butter, breadcrumbs
Yukon fries – soy dusted, bonito flakes, tofu mayo
Whole chicken & chamomile – braised, poached, fried with sunchokes
Hushpuppies – corn crema, sour corn, manchego