Chicago Restaurant Thread

Food - recipes, reviews, and discussion
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #1  Postby Corey N. » March 6th 2017, 11:05am

I thought it made sense to have a catchall thread to post about interesting restaurants in town, whether or not they BYO.

Speaking of...

I was able to snag a reservation to Schwa without any fuss. I asked whether they had a favorite bourbon to bring and the man who answered laughed and said that it wasn't necessary because they were all trying to cut back.

1) Do I bring something for the kitchen anyway?
2) Any ideas on what wines to bring? I have read that two whites (perhaps one with bubbles and one still) might work best, but I'm toying with the idea of bringing a red Burg because Linda isn't a huge fan of bubbles.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k

Advertisement

User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #2  Postby George Hejna » March 6th 2017, 11:21am

Congratulations on the reservations. One of the things that always bugged me about that place.

We brought something for the kitchen... I think they have a ton of stuff so I would not feel obligated. If there is something unique beer wise... maybe.

Wines - Bubbly definitely. Bring a red and a white so you have flexibility.

BTW - Oriole is the best restaurant in Chicago right now. Absolutely killing it.

George
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #3  Postby Corey N. » March 6th 2017, 11:36am

So 3 bottles?

As for reservations, I had tried for rezzies ages ago and gave up because I hated the process. I called recently and they picked up on my first try and the gentleman who answered was very pleasant. When I asked about dietary restrictions they were very accommodating. I'll report back after my dinner.

I'd like to try Elske. Food looks great and it's $80 for the tasting menu and $45 for a wine pairing. Plus you can offer a la carte, which is nice when you're limited, like I am.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
User avatar
John Davis
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: January 28th 2009, 2:27pm
Location: Indiana

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #4  Postby John Davis » March 6th 2017, 12:07pm

I agree about Oriole killing right now. We went last fall and were completely blown away. Will be going back when time permits.

JD
ITB
User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #5  Postby George Hejna » March 6th 2017, 2:08pm

Corey N. wrote:So 3 bottles?

As for reservations, I had tried for rezzies ages ago and gave up because I hated the process. I called recently and they picked up on my first try and the gentleman who answered was very pleasant. When I asked about dietary restrictions they were very accommodating. I'll report back after my dinner.

I'd like to try Elske. Food looks great and it's $80 for the tasting menu and $45 for a wine pairing. Plus you can offer a la carte, which is nice when you're limited, like I am.


Bring 3 if you have to bring one home so be it. That way you are covered. Have not been to Elske yet.

George
Siun o'Connell
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2419
Joined: June 4th 2012, 9:02am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #6  Postby Siun o'Connell » March 6th 2017, 3:05pm

Congrats on Schwa! We took a white and a red - and they served a few things with courses the night we were there so that was a good amount. We took a mini-keg of Bell's Oberon from Plum Market which was appreciated.

I've been out of town so much - and my dir/sil chefs are off in Seattle, soon to be Mammoth Lake - so I've been missing all the new spots. Will be following this thread closely. I do continue to enjoy meals at Kitchen and lunch at Bernie's but need to branch out again.
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #7  Postby Michael Klein » March 6th 2017, 8:14pm

Schwa is always great. That egg yolk ravioli is arguably the greatest bite of food on earth. Enjoy!

Other great meals I have had recently (I'm not really a tasting menu guy, most the time):

- Dinner menu at Cellar Door Provisions (byob and pre fixe)
- table, donkey and stick (tuesdays are the best, "terroir Tuesday")
- Roister
- Bavette's

So many more!! Great thread idea.
awilliamson4
 
Posts: 651
Joined: October 6th 2010, 8:49am
Location: Dallas, TX

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #8  Postby awilliamson4 » March 7th 2017, 8:22am

I did Schwa last year and took a bottle for the kitchen as well as bubbles a white and 2 reds. Do not be surprised to see your wine hat you brought being poured for another table. Food is excellent. Atmosphere is contagious. hard not to have fun.
Alston Williamson
Hatersgonhate
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #9  Postby Corey N. » March 7th 2017, 8:30am

awilliamson4 wrote:I did Schwa last year and took a bottle for the kitchen as well as bubbles a white and 2 reds. Do not be surprised to see your wine hat you brought being poured for another table. Food is excellent. Atmosphere is contagious. hard not to have fun.


You brought 4 bottles of wine for a party of...?

Was led to believe I should bring stems.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
awilliamson4
 
Posts: 651
Joined: October 6th 2010, 8:49am
Location: Dallas, TX

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #10  Postby awilliamson4 » March 7th 2017, 9:19am

Party of 4....just an average Thursday.
Alston Williamson
Hatersgonhate
User avatar
RichardFlack
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 301
Joined: June 4th 2012, 10:41pm
Location: Toronto

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #11  Postby RichardFlack » March 7th 2017, 7:41pm

John Davis wrote:I agree about Oriole killing right now. We went last fall and were completely blown away. Will be going back when time permits.

JD


+100 on Oriole. Late Oct, week before Michelin announcement. Not a mis step in the entire menu, excellent wine pairings, flawless service and a hint of magic in the air. Definitely an Experience. One of our top three or four meals ever.
Doug Sher
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 192
Joined: January 5th 2011, 5:27am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #12  Postby Doug Sher » March 10th 2017, 4:33pm

Corey N. wrote:
Was led to believe I should bring stems.


I haven't been there for a while, but when I was last there it was a good idea to bring stems. Oh, wait, I forgot I already told you that.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #13  Postby Corey N. » March 10th 2017, 4:52pm

I was hoping someone would tell me that they've upped their stemware game so I could bring one less thing. Ah well.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #14  Postby George Hejna » March 10th 2017, 5:14pm

The glasses are fine. Unless you a bringing Montrachet you will be good.

George
User avatar
T Klonoski
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 181
Joined: July 10th 2010, 3:20pm

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #15  Postby T Klonoski » March 12th 2017, 8:04am

George Hejna wrote:We brought something for the kitchen... I think they have a ton of stuff so I would not feel obligated. If there is something unique beer wise... maybe.
George


I have seen the Schwa team reject craft beer, as they feel it is overhopped.

Things are much different there now. Reservation system is much more reliable, and bringing something for the kitchen does not get me extra courses, as it once did.
T0m
Benjamin C
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 83
Joined: January 3rd 2016, 10:29pm
Location: NYC - Singapore

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #16  Postby Benjamin C » March 12th 2017, 10:49am

Might be making a trip to Chicago sometime in early April, would be helpful if I could get some recommendations on wine shops and wine bars there? Think I've got food sorted. Thank you all in advance!
Benjamin Chew
s.nellessen
(Online)
 
Posts: 531
Joined: May 4th 2010, 5:05am
Location: Chicago

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #17  Postby s.nellessen » March 12th 2017, 4:42pm

Another recommendation for Cellar Door Provisions on Diversey. $45 pre fixe dinner tasting menu and BYOB no corkage. Decent white-wine-size stems but probably want to byo. Excellent staff and service.
Steve N.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thscjearead

Post #18  Postby Corey N. » March 17th 2017, 7:15pm

Schwa. OMFG.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Siun o'Connell
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2419
Joined: June 4th 2012, 9:02am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #19  Postby Siun o'Connell » March 17th 2017, 7:46pm

Corey - perfect review!
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #20  Postby Corey N. » March 20th 2017, 7:52am

Siun o'Connell wrote:Corey - perfect review!


I'll never go back. It is interesting and very tasty, but the wine service at Schwa was so poor (the worst I've ever experienced at a fine dining restaurant) that I just cannot justify returning.

I brought 4 bottles, not intending to go through them all (there were only two of us after all). They whisked the my wine bag, containing the bottles, in the back telling me they'd take care of it. I was asked whether we wanted to start with the White Burgundy or the Pinot -- I said White Burgundy ("good choice") and the Pinot appeared two courses later.

After we had finished the sixth course, a server/cook appeared and said that he was serving us the Champagne we brought because it would go well with the course...that we had just finished. We weren't asked whether we wanted the wine opened. Nope, it was too late in the meal and it was clear the two of us weren't going to come close to finishing the two bottles that were already open. So in addition to popping a bottle that shouldn't have been opened, it was served too late in the meal (after the course had been consumed) and they didn't refill our glasses, so basically it was a wasted of an expensive bottle. The desert wine was never served and wasn't in my wine bag when we got home. Basically $150 of wine down the drain.

I get that service isn't their gig. But if you say you're going to handle the wine service, a basic level of competence is required. Never again.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #21  Postby George Hejna » March 20th 2017, 8:27am

If you are going to call your self fine dining and they do have a Michelin star. Service has to be your gig. I don't need the hassle of their reservation system or the stress of maybe having them not even open. BYOB is great but there are better places to go spend your money in Chicago IMO.

George
Doug Sher
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 192
Joined: January 5th 2011, 5:27am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #22  Postby Doug Sher » March 20th 2017, 4:04pm

George Hejna wrote:If you are going to call your self fine dining and they do have a Michelin star. Service has to be your gig. I don't need the hassle of their reservation system or the stress of maybe having them not even open. BYOB is great but there are better places to go spend your money in Chicago IMO.

George


George,

I don't think the restaurant asked for a Michelin star and I'm not sure they have any interest in being classified as fine dining. I think it is pretty well known that service is not their strongest suit, as there are no front of house workers at the restaurant. If you want to go to Schwa and expect the chefs (who act as waiters) to handle your wine, you are always going to be disappointed. I'm not saying it's Corey's fault as they should not have offered to take care of his wine but I've dined there a few times and always had a great time with no complaints about the service that I would air here. This problem was easily avoidable.
User avatar
Mel Hill
 
Posts: 5892
Joined: January 27th 2009, 1:56pm
Location: Colorado

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #23  Postby Mel Hill » March 20th 2017, 6:04pm

Yes, the staff should not have offered to take care of the wine for their dinner guests....

Trying to pin this on Corey is just blaming the victim.
Siun o'Connell
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2419
Joined: June 4th 2012, 9:02am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #24  Postby Siun o'Connell » March 20th 2017, 7:13pm

Oh dear ... sorry your experience was the other type of OMFG ... ours was brilliant.
Clayton Wai-Poi
 
Posts: 829
Joined: April 26th 2010, 3:45pm
Location: Chicago

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #25  Postby Clayton Wai-Poi » March 20th 2017, 9:15pm

I'm a big fan of Schwa (not Alinea/Grace level fandom, but still one of my favorites) but accept that its definitely not for everyone.
User avatar
Jay Carroll
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4339
Joined: February 2nd 2009, 12:06pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #26  Postby Jay Carroll » March 22nd 2017, 4:44am

So question about Schwa- can you request that you handle the wine service yourself? I would guess that would take care of the wine service issue.
I am just a cowboy lonesome on the trail
Lord, I'm just thinking about a certain female
User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #27  Postby George Hejna » March 22nd 2017, 6:04am

Last time we were there we asked to have them left on the table as they tend to bring them back in to the kitchen. It wasn't an issue. They really don't seem to care too much. They also never opened anything without asking.

George
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #28  Postby Michael Klein » March 22nd 2017, 11:11am

Just to add to the Schwa banter....since it seems that this thread has morphed that way....

I am a fan of the food at Schwa, as I said, that egg yolk ravioli might be the single best bite of food in Chicago.

BUT

I agree with others on the service side. I feel like too many excuses are made for a place charging $100+ pp for a tasting menu. The reservation system sucks, there is no one handling front of house and no waiters. IMO it results in a half baked effort (literally) and it takes away from the overall. Just due to service issues alone, my last meal at Schwa was over 4.5 hours long, which I find to just be completely unacceptable.

We had a friend that was a chef there for a very long time, so I say this both knowing the staff and also going there many times over the years. Some people don't mind it, but I find the quirks just outweigh the positives and I rarely go anymore.

One last story...my last visit was easily the most drunk I've gotten at dinner it kind of upset me. We brought our usual wine, but were served drink pairings with EVERY course, starting with three huge pours of whiskey. I found it irresponsible of the staff and it ruined my meal. I should have just said NO to the pairings, but with a friend pushing on us and as pure curiosity, I indulged. Well, overindulged.

Long story short, Schwa is what it is. You will either love it or you will find the quirks outweigh the pluses.

IMO, you get a better meal, better wine service, BYOB, reservations, and a similar vibe (IMO better) at El Ideas. It feels like a more evolved version of Schwa.
User avatar
George Hejna
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: April 21st 2009, 3:36pm
Location: Batavia, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #29  Postby George Hejna » March 22nd 2017, 11:44am

Well said Michael.

I would add that 42g is a step or two above El Ideas and is also BYOB.

George
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #30  Postby Corey N. » March 22nd 2017, 12:13pm

I didn't love El Ideas. Frankly, I thought the service was markedly better than Schwa (no wine theft and the staff was lucid), but the food wasn't as good. The two dishes I remember most vividly from El Ideas were the french fries in ice cream (very enjoyable and fun) and five onion tarts in a row, which just made me go, "huh"?

The dishes at Schwa were better, but with the possible exception of the truffle ravioli, there was nothing that I ate that made me think "I want this again ASAP". For instance, our first course looked like a tree branch with little birds (I'm assuming that's what the mushroom were supposed to represent) on it. The mushrooms were good, but the branches...meh. Even the truffle ravioli felt slightly gummy, though the flavor was on point.

Mind you, I think haute cuisine is difficult to do well and while I enjoy it for what it is, I don't crave it. Of the restaurants that would broadly fall into this category, I think Grace is far and away the best. The artistry and flavors were there and everything else (service, room, wine list) was great too. In fact, I daresay it was the most comfortable dining room that I've ever experienced.

Unfortunately, while I appreciate the creativity of these restaurants, I think that the food tends to lack soul. I struggle with this concept, because I hate the concept of "cooking with love" or other trite cliches, but every time I dine at one of these places, I enjoy it in the moment, but it's an ephemeral feeling.

In contrast, 4 couples went to Restaurant Michael in Winnetka the Sunday (free corkage) after our Schwa experience and it blew me away. Disclaimer: while Rob Pollard-Smith chose the venue, I know Michael and he said he'd treat us right. That he did. We had a menu that was partly off the menu and partly selections he made for our party. I ordered a potato and truffle soup with sweet potato ravioli off the menu and it blew me the f*ck away. It was delicious -- flavor was as good or better than the truffle ravioli from Schwa and texturally it won hands down. The rest of the dishes were similarly excellent, but the other notable dish was a truffle soufflé that was indescribably incredible. Somehow the warm, earthy truffle sauce contrasted perfectly with the slightly sweet dough of the soufflé. The dish was at once both modern and traditional. I daresay, it was magical.

A bit OT, but that dinner was everything I want in a wine dinner. Very good food, wine, service and most importantly people. And while the wines were very good, no one was rushing to line up bottles for dead soldier pics or hurriedly posting notes to CT from the table. Just a wonderful evening with wonderful people. And Rob.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #31  Postby Michael Klein » March 22nd 2017, 12:24pm

Corey, you have convinced me to give Restaurant Michael a try. Its been on my list forever, but I rarely make it to the burbs.

Now that we have beat to death the topic of Schwa, and IMO tasting menus in general in chicago, what other new places have been on everyone's radar?

I haven't been to any of the following yet, but they are on my near term radar:

- Entente (i believe former Schwa chefs here)
- Income Tax (wine bar + food)
- De Quay
- Elske (tasting menu, west loop)
- Mott Street (been on my list forever)
- Ruxbin (haven't been since the re-do)
- Gather (been on my list forever)
- Antico (italian)


Just for the fun of it, Logan Square (where I live) is absolutely killing it with the cocktail bars. Here are a few favorites:

- Scafflaw (IMO the champion)
- Best Intentions (angostora on tap!)
- Billy Sunday
- Mezcaleria Las Flores
- Estero

So many more, but those are some favorites. Great smaller food items at most of those places too, minus Estero.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #32  Postby Corey N. » March 22nd 2017, 12:27pm

Elske is high on my list, but haven't made it there yet.

Mott Street was high on my list (based on Ruxbin) but as soon as they took the fish head for 6 off the menu, I lost interest.

Cellar Door Provisions is on my list and I'm going to arrange a dinner in May. My only question is whether we do it civilized (with women folk) or uncivilized (gents only).
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #33  Postby Michael Klein » March 22nd 2017, 12:43pm

just an FYI on cellar door, if you have not been there yet for brunch/dinner, some strategizing should be done.

First, expect smaller stems, but I found them fine for pinot/champagne that i brought.

As far as tables go, you are going to want to either do 2 people or 6. If you do 2, high liklihood you will be sitting at a 6 top with 2 other couples. If you are super against communal dining, this prob isnt the place for you. My wife and I managed to snag one of the two 2 tops, and it was great.

6 people or even more is probably the way to do it, tbh.
Doug Sher
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 192
Joined: January 5th 2011, 5:27am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #34  Postby Doug Sher » March 22nd 2017, 3:11pm

Corey N. wrote:Unfortunately, while I appreciate the creativity of these restaurants, I think that the food tends to lack soul. I struggle with this concept, because I hate the concept of "cooking with love" or other trite cliches, but every time I dine at one of these places, I enjoy it in the moment, but it's an ephemeral feeling.


Corey,

I regret to inform you that this is the motto of Cellar Door Provisions (and they really mean it) -

more labor + more flavor + less money = more love

That being said, I can assure you that the food does not lack soul. Also, please keep in mind that a $48 tasting menu may not make it to the top of the list of the best meals that you've ever had. If you do decide to go, bring your own glasses, keep your wine close to you and serve yourself what you'd like when you'd like it. I have a two bottle wine carrier with an ice sleeve in the middle to keep things cold if you'd like to borrow it.

Full disclosure - my daughter works at Cellar Door Provisions.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #35  Postby Corey N. » March 22nd 2017, 4:23pm

Thanks Doug. I think my expectations are reasonable and I certainly don't expect the same level of service from every restaurant. At the risk of beating a dead horse, my issue with Schwa was that they didn't hit a minimum acceptable level of service of any restaurant (taking the Michelin star out of the equation). Put another way, I had far superior service the one time I went to Applebee's. I'm not joking, either.

That said, lesson learned about keeping my wine close at hand and bringing stems.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Clayton Wai-Poi
 
Posts: 829
Joined: April 26th 2010, 3:45pm
Location: Chicago

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #36  Postby Clayton Wai-Poi » March 22nd 2017, 7:09pm

Michael Klein wrote:Corey, you have convinced me to give Restaurant Michael a try. Its been on my list forever, but I rarely make it to the burbs.

Now that we have beat to death the topic of Schwa, and IMO tasting menus in general in chicago, what other new places have been on everyone's radar?

I haven't been to any of the following yet, but they are on my near term radar:

- Entente (i believe former Schwa chefs here)
- Income Tax (wine bar + food)
- De Quay
- Elske (tasting menu, west loop)
- Mott Street (been on my list forever)
- Ruxbin (haven't been since the re-do)
- Gather (been on my list forever)
- Antico (italian)


Just for the fun of it, Logan Square (where I live) is absolutely killing it with the cocktail bars. Here are a few favorites:

- Scafflaw (IMO the champion)
- Best Intentions (angostora on tap!)
- Billy Sunday
- Mezcaleria Las Flores
- Estero

So many more, but those are some favorites. Great smaller food items at most of those places too, minus Estero.


I've eaten at quite a few of these, but one i must single out is De Quay, where we ate last weekend. I thought the food was unique thoughtful, delicious and well executed. The wine list has a reasonable mark-up and is very nerdy + includes well priced coravined options. The sommelier/general manager, Terry, could tell we were interested in wine and gave us a couple of bonus pours. I didn't ask him, but i suspect on a quiet night he may welcome an offline - worth asking if someone is looking for a place.
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #37  Postby Michael Klein » March 23rd 2017, 9:29am

Good to hear about De Quay. Another that has been on my radar for a while but I haven't been to yet. I too have heard the wine list and service are fantastic.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #38  Postby Corey N. » March 24th 2017, 7:14am

Any recommendations for a wine friendly place on a Monday?

I know the Bristol waives corkage; other options? So many restaurants are closed. I was really hoping to try Elske, but they aren't open.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Matt Fleming
 
Posts: 111
Joined: August 31st 2010, 6:32pm

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #39  Postby Matt Fleming » March 24th 2017, 9:38am

A few general comments:

In terms of service, wine service, ambiance, quality of food and level of technique in the kitchen, Restaurant Michael is at the very top of my BYOB experiences, tout court. It is one of the few places I never regret not bringing my own glassware.

Cellar Door Provisions is hardly lacking in any sort of soul or point of view when it comes to the food. If anything, their first few rolls of the dice with the tasting menu had perhaps a little too much whackiness about the menus. But then again, that's the idea. Loud, communal tables, off beat menu. If you go not knowing these basic facts you might be missing the point. Ultimately this is an easy recommendation as long as you agree with the premise.

Dinner at Schwa two nights ago was off-the-charts good. As always, I managed my own wine and the staff had no issue with that. I never walk into Le Dome without expecting to drop a fortune, drive through Portillo's without expecting some caloric regret soon after or dine at Schwa without expecting a raucous atmosphere. Roll-your-own crab lollipops aren't served by waiters in tuxes, thank goodness.

I've also always been very careful about directions given for wine service at all BYOBs. From very high end to neighborhood Thai places, in my estimation BYOB necessitates a greater level of awareness on the part of the diner.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #40  Postby Corey N. » March 24th 2017, 9:46am

Matt Fleming wrote:A few general comments:

In terms of service, wine service, ambiance, quality of food and level of technique in the kitchen, Restaurant Michael is at the very top of my BYOB experiences, tout court. It is one of the few places I never regret not bringing my own glassware.

Cellar Door Provisions is hardly lacking in any sort of soul or point of view when it comes to the food. If anything, their first few rolls of the dice with the tasting menu had perhaps a little too much whackiness about the menus. But then again, that's the idea. Loud, communal tables, off beat menu. If you go not knowing these basic facts you might be missing the point. Ultimately this is an easy recommendation as long as you agree with the premise.

Dinner at Schwa two nights ago was off-the-charts good. As always, I managed my own wine and the staff had no issue with that. I never walk into Le Dome without expecting to drop a fortune, drive through Portillo's without expecting some caloric regret soon after or dine at Schwa without expecting a raucous atmosphere. Roll-your-own crab lollipops aren't served by waiters in tuxes, thank goodness.

I've also always been very careful about directions given for wine service at all BYOBs. From very high end to neighborhood Thai places, in my estimation BYOB necessitates a greater level of awareness on the part of the diner.


I didn't really groove with this dish. The lollipop fell off the stick and flavor wise it didn't do much for me. Ah well.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
User avatar
Jay Carroll
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4339
Joined: February 2nd 2009, 12:06pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #41  Postby Jay Carroll » March 27th 2017, 9:58am

Anyone been to Longman And Eagle lately?? I seem to recall there have been some changes.

Thanks
I am just a cowboy lonesome on the trail
Lord, I'm just thinking about a certain female
User avatar
Bruce Leiser_owitz
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 11418
Joined: June 16th 2009, 12:54pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #42  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » March 28th 2017, 10:43am

Was just in Chicago last week-ish, and had two outstanding meals at Publican and Ceres' Table.

Bruce
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #43  Postby Corey N. » March 28th 2017, 10:48am

Went to The Bristol last night with some friends from DC. The food was good (full stop) and the wine service was exceptional. Would definitely go back.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
awilliamson4
 
Posts: 651
Joined: October 6th 2010, 8:49am
Location: Dallas, TX

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #44  Postby awilliamson4 » April 4th 2017, 12:55pm

Corey N. wrote:
Siun o'Connell wrote:Corey - perfect review!


I'll never go back. It is interesting and very tasty, but the wine service at Schwa was so poor (the worst I've ever experienced at a fine dining restaurant) that I just cannot justify returning.

I brought 4 bottles, not intending to go through them all (there were only two of us after all). They whisked the my wine bag, containing the bottles, in the back telling me they'd take care of it. I was asked whether we wanted to start with the White Burgundy or the Pinot -- I said White Burgundy ("good choice") and the Pinot appeared two courses later.

After we had finished the sixth course, a server/cook appeared and said that he was serving us the Champagne we brought because it would go well with the course...that we had just finished. We weren't asked whether we wanted the wine opened. Nope, it was too late in the meal and it was clear the two of us weren't going to come close to finishing the two bottles that were already open. So in addition to popping a bottle that shouldn't have been opened, it was served too late in the meal (after the course had been consumed) and they didn't refill our glasses, so basically it was a wasted of an expensive bottle. The desert wine was never served and wasn't in my wine bag when we got home. Basically $150 of wine down the drain.

I get that service isn't their gig. But if you say you're going to handle the wine service, a basic level of competence is required. Never again.

I gave you fair warning above....its sort of a socialistic wine service there.
Alston Williamson
Hatersgonhate
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #45  Postby Michael Klein » April 4th 2017, 3:49pm

Had an excellent dinner at RPM steak sat night. The fois and a glass of 2000 d'yquem was a particular standout. IMO the best steakhouse in Chicago.

Heading to table donkey and stick tonight. Good terroir Tuesday featuring Domaine André et Mireille Tissot (Jura). Food is always great.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #46  Postby Corey N. » April 4th 2017, 3:59pm

I really wanted to go to TDS tonight but couldn't swing it. Will be interested in hearing your impressions of the wines, Michael. Ive never really been impressed by the food but maybe it's improved since my last visit.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
User avatar
Victor Hong
 
Posts: 10670
Joined: May 30th 2009, 1:34pm

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #47  Postby Victor Hong » April 5th 2017, 10:51am

Gibson's versus Kinzie Chop House.
Which do people like more? Thank you.
WineHunter.
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #48  Postby Corey N. » April 5th 2017, 11:09am

Victor Hong wrote:Gibson's versus Kinzie Chop House.
Which do people like more? Thank you.


I don't love either.

Gibson's is more old school steakhouse. Everything is enormous (you could make three meals from one steak), loads of convention goers, good dessert. My favorite thing is to order onion rings off menu. Tips: BYO ($20 or $25) as the wine menu is subpar. Also, you can order off the menu at Hugo's and vice versa. I actually prefer the Hugo's side.

It's been a while since I've been to Kinzie Chop House, but my recollection is that it wasn't as over the top and the steaks weren't quite as good. The cocktails used to be pretty good though.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k
Michael Klein
 
Posts: 337
Joined: March 24th 2015, 10:01am

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #49  Postby Michael Klein » April 5th 2017, 1:58pm

Kinzie Chop House vs Gibsons? I say RPM :)

As far as TDS, the wines were very good to excellent. I really liked both sparkling options (bbf extra brut, and rose). I had a half glass of something else, but honestly, it escapes me. QPR of the BBF extra brut is a tough one though as you start to break into champagne pricing at ~$34/btl.

Food is good, but you have to know what to expect. It is not for everyone. Somewhat adventurous. I like it, but I hesitate to take certain family/friends there. Honestly, at the end of the day I go for the wine. Frankly, the burger might be the best thing on the menu and at $14 for the entree vs 20-30 for the others, it's kind of the way to go.

The charcuterie is always fabulous.

IMO the way to go is to go on a good Tuesday night (mostly for the wine) and have a burger :)
User avatar
Corey N.
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 23663
Joined: November 18th 2010, 9:36pm
Location: Bobby Orlando's Muscular Arms

Chicago Restaurant Thread

Post #50  Postby Corey N. » April 5th 2017, 2:02pm

Last time I had the burger at TDS it was like a hockey puck. I think the smarter play is TDS for drinks, then wander over to Osteria Langhe for the 3-course prix fixe.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it’s sanctimony. -- Nathan Hill, The Nix

Nøv¡¢k

Return to Epicurean Exploits

logo
Food Advertising by