Chicago – 1/27/17 – Roister and the Loyalist

Roister
When I finally get caught up on my blog I may need to stop the Roister posts as there will be too many.  I feel guilty typing it but we may have had the whole menu x2 (some photos missing) plus a few off-the-menu extras (thank you Chef!).  My previous go-to lunch spots are out the window.



Hushpuppies, corn crema, sour corn, manchego


Hushpuppies, corn crema, sour corn, manchego

Roasted beets, endive tangerine, blue cheese

Chicken noodle soup, mirepoix, meatball, soft cooked egg

Smoked oysters, garlic butter, breadcrumbs

Anson mills grits, key west pink shrimp, crab curry, thai basil

Fried chicken sandwich, sunchoke hot sauce, chamomile mayo

Biscuits and gravy, hearth roasted eggs, green tomato ragout, swiss

Loyalist
Love the people, service, and food.  But I must admit that I feel the burger was overhyped.  Perhaps the fault of my Facebook friends and not the burger.


Winter squash, burrata, pickled honeycrisp

The Loyalist cheeseburger & fries

Apple upside-down cake, sunflower anglaise, creme fraiche

New Orleans – 1/20/17 – Erin Rose, Willie Mae’s, Shaya and Herbsaint

Erin Rose
First thing in the morning this iced Irish coffee is amazing.  I could drink them until I was sick.
Tip:  Late night unfortunately they aren’t very frozen.

Willie Mae’s
We somehow got incredibly lucky and we’re the last table seated for late breakfast/super early lunch before a water leak forced Willie Mae’s to close for the rest of the day.



Shaya

I may have insisted that we were doing double lunch as I couldn’t fathom coming to NOLA without a return trip to Shaya.  Love, love, love this place so much. #bestpitaever


baba ganoush, israeli salad, tershi, labneh, tabouleh, lutenitsa, pickles, ikra, moroccan carrots, wood roasted brussels

curried fried cauliflower hummus, caramelized onions, cilantro

falafel – cabbage salad and cucumber tzatziki

avocado toast – smoked whitefish and pink peppercorns

wood roasted cabbage – muhammara, tahini, hazelnuts


Herbsaint

On my last trip to New Orleans I had planned to visit Herbsaint but swapped it out for another spot.  I am happy that I finally made it on this trip.  Definitely a very solid meal and so much better than two experiences on the previous trip so I am completely kicking myself.




Washington, D.C. – 11/14/16 – Maketto

As much as my dear friends in DC may dispute it, the food scene is really turning around.  When we couldn’t fathom waiting in line at Bad Saint in the rain, we ended up at Maketto and it was hardly a consolation prize.  A mashup of Cambodian and Taiwanese which results in some delicious dishes in a funky, casual space that is not DC in a great way.  And in the year of fried chicken, another great addition with this fantastic five spice caramel version.

braised pork steamed bao, braised pork, hoisin sauce

crispy gruyere dumplings, chinese beef chili, fermented mustard greens

spicy laab and bone marrow, mixed herbs, spicy ground pork, chilis

wok fried rice noodles, mushroom sauce, local vegetables

maketto fried chicken, five spice caramel, housemade bread

Chicago – 9/15/16 – Au Cheval and Roister

Au Cheval
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.

Roister
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

NYC – 6/14/15 – Fuku

I seem to suffer the same problem with every restaurant that requires you to physically wait in line. By the time you stand on the sidewalk for what seems like hours, too frequently in blazing heat (because who would do this in summer?), you are hungry, thirsty, inevitably need to use the restroom, and at this point will eat almost anything. It’s adding insult to injury when the restroom is out of order by the time you finally make it inside. The sandwich was certainly enormous with great crunch. But my chicken seemed to be tough and I had a very difficult time taking a bite without pulling the whole sandwich apart (I will note my companions did not have the same problem). As other reviewers have said the fries were abysmal which I just don’t understand. They don’t need to be the best, but there is no excuse for fries this bad. While others have surprisingly loved the salad, all I can say was that it was better than the fries.  I will give it another shot on a weekday when hopefully the line will be shorter.