Chicago – 5/12/18 – S.K.Y.


warm mushroom salad, avocado, chèvre, chilies

maine lobster dumplings, jade butter, soft herbs

black truffle croquettes, aged white cheddar, jalapeño

hamachi sashimi, black sesame ponzu, puffed rice

roasted pork belly, red chili vinegar, cabbage, coriander

berkshire pork chop, habanero honey sauce, crushed peas

crackling beef short rib, smoked gochujeng, spring succotash

foie gras bibimbap – charred vegetables, mushroom bulgogi

fried chicken, fermented hot sauce, creamed corn

thai steak salad, golden shallots, fish sauce vinaigrette

blistered green beans, cantonese vinaigrette

crispy potatoes, black truffle dip


Chicago – May 11, 2018 – Bellemore & Smyth

Bellemore
While everybody seemed to be flocking to Bellemore for dinner, lunch is the perfect time to visit this beautiful space.  The tartare was delicious and the burger is one of the best in the city.

kona kampachi tartare

burger with caramelized onions, mushrooms, mayonnaise and swiss

Smyth
I was long overdue for another visit to Smyth and it was even better than my first time soon after opening. I’m looking forward to next weekend!

sea lettuce cookie

fried sourdough with “the farm” maple & uni

salted rhubarb & radish with seaweed & oyster

shiva, nuka, pine cone

shima ahi ribs barbecued over spruce

dungeness crab & foie gras with scrambled kani miso

gulf shrimp with green almonds in malted cream

“the farm” asparagus gently cooked in hay & bittermilk whey

burnt salsify with geoduck clams & guinea hen jus

dried corn with squab liver mousse & hickory nut

squab wrapped in sorrel with honey

slow cooked beet with beet blood bolognese

caramelized sweetbreads with soured spring vegetables

lamb breast with soured cream & trio fuerte



milk chocolate, raspberry preserves, kelp & shiitake

milk sorbet with “the farm” honey & conifer

egg yolk soaked in salted licorice with frozen yogurt meringue

dried apples, burnt honey, comb & potato

lemongrass ice cream sandwich & black carrot

Chicago – 11/4/17 – El Ideas

While I enjoyed my previous visit to El Ideas, the BYOB format in a very casual setting was perfect for a large group dinner.  This was such a fun evening and thank you to my dinner companions who took charge of wine pairings.

chanterelle, creme fraiche, pomegranate, trout roe

egg tart, caviar, sea urchin bottarga, finger lime

scallop, okra, sweet potato, haitian trinity

lobster, parsnip, apple, cornbread, thyme

french fries & ice cream, potato, leek, vanilla

pheasant, celeriac, truffle, lovage

oxtail, cabbage, maitake, parsley, mustard seed

pierogi, squash, black trumpet, sage, smoke

strip loin, bread pudding, quail egg, béarnaise

pavlova, plum, hibiscus, chocolate

quince, dulcey chocolate, olive oil, pistachio

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