Chicago – 8/26/17 – Proxi

Yet another fantastic addition to the west loop.  Those tempura elotes alone are worth a visit.

tempura elotes

salad of sugar snap peas and carrots, yuzu kosho, sesame, miso brûlée

shaved zucchini, sheep’s milk feta, pine nuts, mint

baby octopus, red chermoula, fava bean hummus

black pepper pork, butter lettuce, peanuts, apple, mint

merguez sausage, eggplant aioli, almonds, grapes, radish

Chicago – 8/25/17 – Roister and Alinea

Roister
If you haven’t been to Roister and live in Chicago we probably can’t be friends. Always excellent and dishes that are so much better than they read on the menu. The spicy cucumber salad I could easily eat once a day forever. And those grits may not look like much…but the scallop XO….amazing. Some others told me that the foie gras toast was too sweet. But as dessert is is perfect and evoked so many amazing childhood cinnamon toast memories.

anson mills grits, scallop XO, egg yolk sauce, parmesan

avocado toast, english muffins grapefruit, everything butter

spicy cucumber salad, pineapple-fish sauce dressing, lots of herbs

Foie gras, cinnamon toast, strawberry jam

Alinea
Still my favorite restaurant a decade later.  Somehow I am missing a few photos because I was enjoying myself too much to be bothered.  Always an an amazing experience and always something new that is a complete surprise.  On this visit, the spud.  Perhaps not the prettiest dish in the era of instagram (despite best efforts which gave me a good laugh) but absolutely delicious.

spear | avocado, coriander

paper | langoustine, bouillabaisse, olive oil

crunch | rouille, nori

ink | olive, artichoke

garden | orange, sherry, tomato

black bass, shellfish, kuzu
kaffir lime, tropical fruit
coconut
chicken, rice



steam | hamachi, rosemary, kombu

glass | blueberry, lapsing soughing, maitake

spud | truffle, midwest dairy


toast | gruyere, black truffle, pumpernickel

smoke | veal cheek, pineapple, hearts of palm

rock | sweet potato, chocolate, miso

nostalgia | bubblegum, candy bar

NYC – 8/19/17 – Blue Hill at Stone Barns

There are certainly no better vegetables out there than those grown at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Course after course somebody at the table said “this is the best [insert type of vegetable] that I have ever had.”  And thank goodness there were so many vegetables otherwise I would have been struggling with this very long menu long before the last two courses.  This is certainly a must-do if you haven’t been, in which case go early to walk around the farm a bit.  Be forewarned, especially if you have arranged a car service back to NYC, that this is a very long menu.



NYC – 8/18/17 – The Office

The Office NYC will likely always feel a bit strange to me having spent so much time in the original.  But the amazing friends I met there and all of the memories just can’t be replicated.  So I am trying hard to think of it as something entirely new and not compare.  At this point I have had several great experiences in this space.  The food is gorgeous and with the expanded size comes an expanded menu plus some of my all time favorites the tartare and ice cream sundae.  I wish I could write this with no prior history because I am just so curious what I would think.  But mostly I am just bummed beyond belief that the minute my favorite place opened in NYC, I left town.

NYC – 7/16/17 – Momofuku Ko

Yet another fantastic meal at one of my favorites, Momofuku Ko.  This was actually my first visit for lunch and I especially loved the new-to-me pork and squash dish. I’m missing a few photos but I overcast about Ko anyway!

chicken oyster


black bass, rye bonji, perilla


sea urchin, chickpea, hozon


ko egg, caviar


beef, au poivre


lobster, lobster mushroom


pork, squash




foie gras, lychee, pine nut, riesling jelly

strawberry, vanilla

NYC – 7/15/17 – the Breslin

I really cannot say enough good things about the large format fried chicken dinner at the Breslin.  I was skeptical as nothing for a group ever seems to be as good as individual.  My pictures do not at all convey how much food there was.  We could have easily fed twice as many people.  Everything was absolutely delicious and I could not stop eating.  And for NYC this was an absolutely incredible value.