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

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

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

Bordeaux – 10/28/16 – Chateau Cordeillan-Bages

A somewhat last minute lunch in an absolutely beautiful setting on a gorgeous day.  This was one of the sometimes rare moments when you realize that life is very good.  I loved the contrast in textures in many of the courses, especially the foie and the lobster.  The cheese cart was as lovely as can be expected.  And the mignardise cart was amazing.  All of the caneles please!


Butter selection

Monkfish carpaccio, tartare of Medoc oysters and Aquitaine caviar

Warm foie gras in a cereal crust and fig sorbet

Toasted seaweed bread and thinly sliced cuttlefish, roasted sesame seeds broth

Blue lobster roasted with oregano butter, vegetable risotto and coral emulsion

Squab fillet, spiced bouillon, baby vegetables



Confit pear with hot chocolate foam, yuzu and hazelnut

Chocolate and cannele

San Francisco – 9/8/16 – Tartine Manufactory

After driving in endless circles to find parking, and then waiting in line to enter, I was cutting it very close to make my flight.  I forgot to take a photo of the menu and pretty much inhaled my lunch.  But it was absolutely fantastic and should be your go-to spot if you don’t need to deal with parking and especially if you live in the neighborhood.  The salad contained all of my favorite ingredients and even when I was full I could not bear to leave any of the delicious bread.

NYC – 12/7/15 – Le Bernardin & O Ya

Le Bernardin
The City Harvest lunch menu at Le Bernardin is the best kept secret in NYC.  I should probably even stop writing about it!  When I’ve found myself able to have lunch in midtown in the last few months I have tried to check out some other places.  And while I’ve had very good meals elsewhere I will keep returning to Le Bernardin as my absolute favorite.

Hamachi – Hamachi Tartare, Cucumber, Lemon-Citrus Emulsion

Skate – Poached Skate, Pickled Shallots, Sea Beans, Cucumber, Verjus Sauce

Pear – Slow-Roasted Pear, “Beurre Noisette” Tuile, Pear William Frozen Parfait

O Ya
I had hesitated in visiting O Ya when it first opened as the price when compared to some other similar options seemed pretty high.  We opted for the shorter 18 course omakase menu which my dining companion had a few times previously and which seemed to go quite quickly for so many bites.  I couldn’t take notes quickly enough as the dishes came out and unfortunately there as no menu at the end.  There were some totally fantastic things and perhaps some I didn’t enjoy as much just due to personal preference and not that they were not well executed.   I probably would have enjoyed this meal a bit more if sitting at the counter instead of a booth (our fault not theirs).  I’m not convinced that O Ya is good enough to warrant the price hike over Shuko but I’d gladly go back (if someone else is paying)!


Not pictured, but after all of this fish, I ended the night with a stop at Nomad Bar for a hot dog.

NYC – 11/11/15 – Gabriel Kreuther

I had been meaning to get to Gabriel Kreuther since it opened but too often when I am in midtown and able to dine out for lunch I default to Le Bernardin.  But upon finding myself 2 blocks away with a lunch break it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The autumn salad was beautiful and I’ve since tried to replicate the aesthetic at home.  As they always are, the tart flambeé was very tasty (although it admittedly did not sit very well in my stomach).  The space is more beautiful in person than it appeared in photos and its great to have another option in an area of the city that I find myself in often.

Autumn salad – sunflower seeds, pomegranate vinaigrette
 Tarte flambee – hen of the woods mushrooms, comte cheese, chive, nutmeg, onion

NYC – 6/22/15 – Le Bernardin

How can you possibly have a bad day when you have lunch at Le Bernardin?  Each time I am able to pop into the bar for lunch, I feel quite fortunate to live here.  If I ever move this will be near the top of the list of things that I will greatly miss.  Always impeccable.

Hamachi – hamachi tartare, cucumber, lemon-citrus emulsion
 Salmon – barely cooked organic salmon, pea puree, yuzu butter sauce