Chicago – 7/24/16 – Nico Osteria

I swore I was going to cease Nico Osteria posts as there are already too many of them and it is well established as one of my favorites in Chicago.  But evidently I can’t stop plus there were many new menu items. We loved the new formaggi dish that we tried and the burrata salad I have admittedly had again since this particular visit!
 
Aperol spritz

Gorgonzola cremificato – cows milk, financier biscotti, apple, blueberry balsamic

Madai snapper – kohlrabi salsa verde, basil & wild king salmon – fermented chile, black lava salt, cherry

Burrata – mission figs, grilled kale, treviso, pecan pesto, flat iron steak

Chicago – 10/3/15 – Nico Osteria, Green River & Alinea

Nico Osteria
I’m pretty sure I swore I’d stop blogging about my trips to Nico because there have been way too many.  But I just can’t help it.  Still my favorite brunch in Chicago with consistently fantastic crudo, pasta and cocktails.  And it is always lovely to see familiar faces.


Rock fish crudo
 Rigatoni with a northern ragu
 Gem lettuce, caper berries, fig-balsamic vinaigrette, parmesan
 Salumi & Cheese – La Quercia ham, mortadella, milano salami, goat cheese

Green River
This was only a brief stop for pre-dinner cocktails which of course were fabulous.  More comments on our lunch two days later in a future post.  

Alinea
I’m fairly certain that I’ve been to Alinea more times than any other restaurant.  First world problems my brother would say.  I suppose I am fortunate but also need to stay home long enough to become a regular anywhere in NYC.   Still my favorite restaurant in the US and I can’t imagine that anything will knock off black truffle explosion as the best bite of all time.  On every visit I’m completely blown away by something and wonder how they will top it the next time, but they always do.  This meal Chef Davies’ trout dish was my favorite hands down.  I can’t wait to see what Alinea 2.0 has in store.

Peach – basil, murray river salt
 Bocadillo – bread, jamon iberico, manchego
Gilda – guindilla de ibarra, anchovy, olive
Jamon iberico – cantaloupe, salt, espelette
Tortilla – potato, onion, egg
Patatas Bravas – paprika, chile, garlic
 Strawberry – tomato, pumpernickel, burratta
 Char Roe – english pea, olive oil, chamomile
 Brook Trout – uchiki kuri squash, thai banana, blis
 Graffiti – matsutake, maitake, parsley

Unagi – pickled plum, white sesame

Corn – uni, nori, togarashi

Totoro Kombu – hamachi, ice fish cracker

Percebes – smoke, seawater, ash

Chicken – shishito, lily, kombu
 Hot Potato – cold potato, black truffle, butter
 Wagyu – matsutake, ginger, black garlic

Black Truffle – explosion, romaine, parmesan

Olive Cake – extra virgin olive oil, black pepper
  
Lamb – caper leaf, grapes, olives

Bacon – butterscotch, thyme, black pepper
 Parsnip – honey truffle, vanilla, orange
Balloon – helium, green apple (missing a photo)
Tropical Fruit – rum, vanilla, kaffir lime

Chicago – 12/30/14 – Nico Osteria and Next

I’m not sure I could even count on one hand the number of meals I have had in a hotel in all of my travels. For the most part I do my best to avoid the restaurants and the suggestions of every front desk clerk and concierge that offers to make me reservations. But its too difficult to pass up Nico Osteria when staying at the Thompson, especially when you don’t have to put on a coat and brave the frigid Chicago temps to get there. The minestrone photographed poorly but this was the best soup I have had all winter and is one of those dishes I could eat everyday until spring. And a salad that rivals the aesthetics (and taste) of Nico’s crudo. The perfect pre-nap meal.

Minestrone – poached egg, pancetta, Parmesan

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Marinated beet salad – salami toscano, frisée, clockshadow caprino, mint

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As this was my second time having Next’s Trio menu I won’t re-post photos. I will just say this menu moves fairly close to the top of my rankings of all of them. And in 2016 could we please do a Greatest Hits menu????