Chicago Restaurant Thread

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Mich@el Ch@ng
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#501 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » November 28th, 2018, 7:13 am

Yeah he was a fantastic somm. We brought a bottle of 02 Krug and asked him to surprise us with glasses of red for the meat courses and he poured us 2012 Rivetto Barolo Serralunga d’ Alba which was just fantastic. It was singing and had utterly beautiful aromatics and paired wonderfully with the white truffles and pasta.
George Hejna wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 6:24 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 8:50 pm
I’ve been to most of the top places in Chicago and I’ve come to the conclusion that oriole is pretty much the best place in the city. Service was impeccable, food was amazing with great value, and wine service was great. One of the better meals I’ve had.
This /\

Going back in a few weeks for the 4th time. Wine program is getting better and better as restaurants ages. Aaron is a great Som.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#502 Post by Rajesh P a r i k h » November 28th, 2018, 7:45 am

George Hejna wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 6:26 am
Rajesh P a r i k h wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 5:33 am
George Hejna wrote:
July 31st, 2018, 5:29 pm
Another really good meal at Roister... It was brunch and it was a beautiful day so the doors were open. I really think that Brochu's balance and his use of sweet vs savory is the best in the city. The music is loud and the wine glasses have no stems but the food is amazing and the cocktails are great!

George
I’m glad you had a good experience, but I won’t be going back due to awful service. We did one of the family style tasting menus downstairs and every time they’d clear a dish they’d also clear out our drinks. Not a huge deal, but good timing was off that night so we’d be sitting there with no food or drink for 10+ minutes. At one point we asked the services to let us keep our drinks and he acted offended. Don’t even remember the food at this point.
Why would you let anyone take anything from the table that you were not finished with???

George
I think the first time it was so surprising none of us spoke up and just assumed the next course with drink pairing was coming right out.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#503 Post by David K o l i n » November 28th, 2018, 8:34 am

George Hejna wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 6:24 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 8:50 pm
I’ve been to most of the top places in Chicago and I’ve come to the conclusion that oriole is pretty much the best place in the city. Service was impeccable, food was amazing with great value, and wine service was great. One of the better meals I’ve had.
This /\

Going back in a few weeks for the 4th time. Wine program is getting better and better as restaurants ages. Aaron is a great Som.

George
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#504 Post by Corey N. » December 7th, 2018, 7:52 am

I went to Virtue in Hyde Park last night, which serves elevated Southern cuisine.

I haven'y been to Hyde Park in ages, so I was surprised by the vibrance of that stretch of 53d Street. The restaurant has only been open 2-3 weeks and Obama has already visited. Interesting crowd, with a mix of races that you rarely see in most restaurants. Unfortunately, the food was meh, maybe meh+. The best dish was arguably the gumbo (didn't eat it for dietary reasons) but of the 5 other dishes I tasted, nothing had me swooning. The charred broccoli was over-dressed with lemon and while the biscuits with pimento cheese were good, wasn't something that I would rush to have again. The larger plates were no better, the short ribs were incredibly tender but lacked flavor and the hen of woods mushroom was a major letdown, also lacking flavor. The service was pleasant, but more than once our dishes came before we had silverware. The restaurant has potential, but it's far removed from being the finished article.
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#505 Post by Keith A k e r s » December 7th, 2018, 11:18 am

Keith A k e r s wrote:
October 11th, 2018, 1:25 pm
I got to Passoretto last night. People need to go there, like tonight. I was really impressed with the food and the service was just fine for what they are trying to be. A friend and I BYO'd and the corkage was $15, but each bottle's worth of corkage can be waived if you buy a btl from the list (which is smart and well curated). I'd say it's good for small groups and just go heavy on white wines.

and I went again last night. I think I'm even more impressed by the food if that was even possible. The location has seen a lot of restaurants come and go, so hopefully they will be around for a while and I'm going to do my best to help with that champagne.gif

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#506 Post by Doug Sher » December 9th, 2018, 8:38 pm

I made it to Paserrotto last week and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. For of us ordered the entire menu except for the seafood stew as we thought it might be difficult to share. I enjoyed everything, especially the short rib. I brought my own glasses as I don't care for Riedel O glasses at all. I'm going back soon.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#507 Post by Corey N. » December 13th, 2018, 8:18 am

The Party Is Over -- Chicago’s once-vaunted dining scene has lost its luster.

I mostly agree with this article. The author makes a lot of good points; we are too easy on restaurants and many of the restaurant groups have contributed to a somewhat bland environment. Add in recent closures and not enough seasonally driven dishes, and it appears the dining scene is on the wane.
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#508 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » December 13th, 2018, 10:01 am

Corey,

I more than mostly agree. I almost entirely agree. In my 12 years here, I have never been more bored with out food scene. That’s not to say it does not still remain a world class food city, but it definitely has lost its mojo.

Clayton

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#509 Post by David K o l i n » December 13th, 2018, 10:13 am

I suppose I am less bored than some, but I attribute that to (I) not having a desire to play at the high end anymore (no longer chasing Michelin ** and ***), but really enjoying more "regular" restaurants and (II) having lots of time to explore neighborhood joints and find new things. That said, Oriole is one of the best restaurants that has operated in Chicago in my 30 years here, IMNSHO (food, wine and service), Mi Tocaya is awesome and I'm in a current love affair with Lost Larson on the bread front.
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#510 Post by Paul Miller » December 13th, 2018, 10:50 am

Corey N. wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 8:18 am
The Party Is Over -- Chicago’s once-vaunted dining scene has lost its luster.

I mostly agree with this article. The author makes a lot of good points; we are too easy on restaurants and many of the restaurant groups have contributed to a somewhat bland environment. Add in recent closures and not enough seasonally driven dishes, and it appears the dining scene is on the wane.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Got to admit, I too have gotten tired of going out.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#511 Post by Corey N. » December 13th, 2018, 11:07 am

Paul Miller wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 10:50 am
Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Got to admit, I too have gotten tired of going out.
But you can BYOA -- Bring your own Aldi.

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I think part of my reticence to go out to newer spots is the proliferation of prix fixe restaurants. Rarely do I like it better than ordering off a menu.
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#512 Post by Keith A k e r s » December 13th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Corey N. wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 8:18 am
The Party Is Over -- Chicago’s once-vaunted dining scene has lost its luster.

I mostly agree with this article. The author makes a lot of good points; we are too easy on restaurants and many of the restaurant groups have contributed to a somewhat bland environment. Add in recent closures and not enough seasonally driven dishes, and it appears the dining scene is on the wane.
which groups are you referring to? I'd say that Boka Group has done things just fine and they have provided a variety of restaurants that are each quite different. I've been more than happy with what Lettuce has done with Bar Ramone, but I don't necessarily expect super high-end dining from Lettuce.



I don't necessarily agree nor disagree with the article. Some of the high end restaurants that were cited had either an owner beating the crap out of his now ex-wife/partner (42 grams), a location that became horrible (tru), or a major chef/owner problem (grace). Add in Sixteen being in a toxic location and at least there is proper reason for those closures.

I think we're in an ebb period atm while people regroup or refocus on a variety of areas before more fine dining comes back. If the current stays going for a few years, then there will definitely be a problem.

The article is worth having though as good points are raised. But, with the critique of local/seasonal food is he bringing it up as it may be possibly one of the most overdone styles of food? Yes, Portland has some real innovation, but sometimes it's too hipster for the sake of being hipster. And I'm not entirely sure I can get down his with critique on the ethnic dining scene. He makes digs at it and yet HaiSous isn't mentioned? Maybe things are interesting in Atlanta because they haven't been as prominent down there as they have here? Seems like some context is left out tbh.

Even with those critiques, I'm glad he's saying what he's saying. I fully agree with his take on getting out of the west loop and river north scenes, but we can't expect tourists to know that. Those areas are what they are, but his point of getting more into the neighborhoods is spot on. I took some family friends to SKY and they were blown away and obviously I've raved about Passoretto. I'm more than happy with finding more places like that along with a few more ambitious projects hopefully opening up in the near-ish future.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#513 Post by George Hejna » December 13th, 2018, 4:09 pm

You can all stay home leaves more room for me. Hitting up Bar Sotano, Haisous and Smyth this weekend. Next weekend Everest, Oriole and S.K.Y. That seems pretty diverse for me. That would be Mexican, Vietnamese, "New American" and French, Yep pretty boring... Not many places get more seasonally driven than Smyth.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#514 Post by Keith A k e r s » December 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm

George,

is this your first time at HaiSous?

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#515 Post by George Hejna » December 13th, 2018, 5:01 pm

Keith A k e r s wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm
George,

is this your first time at HaiSous?
Yes. We were looking for somewhere to go after Bar Sotano. Thought this might work. Thoughts?


George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#516 Post by Keith A k e r s » December 13th, 2018, 5:03 pm

George Hejna wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 5:01 pm
Keith A k e r s wrote:
December 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm
George,

is this your first time at HaiSous?
Yes. We were looking for somewhere to go after Bar Sotano. Thought this might work. Thoughts?


George


I utterly love HaiSous and don't get there enough. The last time I was there they didn't have the whole fish dish, but you will be hard pressed to not come across anything that you won't like imo
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#517 Post by Siun o'Connell » December 13th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Chef Thai of HaiSous was the chef my daughter cooked for when she first moved back to Chicago and he was chef at Embeya. His food is so very very good. His training was classic French, he was key to Laurent Gras's achievement of 3 Michelin stars for L20, was chef de cuisine at 2 star Ria before leading the kitchen at Embeya. He is such an exceptionally talented chef and it's so exciting that he gets to cook the food he loves these days. His wife manages the beverage program and usually has a very interesting Riesling portfolio btw.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#518 Post by George Hejna » December 14th, 2018, 8:32 am

Looking forward to it! Thanks for the feedback.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#519 Post by George Hejna » December 15th, 2018, 6:53 am

The food at Smyth was absolutely spot on again. This place continues to amaze me. We had a bit of an issue as we had a later reservation and the table before us took too much time. The restaurant did everything they could do to politely move them along. It is a small place and we were a 6 top so this was really the only option. They certainly made up for it in the service. Free champagne flowed by the bottle. Free dessert wine by the bottle, Free bottle of Riesling. We opened 4 bottles of wine with no corkage. We received a complementary course of squab. Really went over the top. None of this was asked for and most of it wasn't even necessary. A class act with even better food. I will return again and again.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#520 Post by George Hejna » December 21st, 2018, 7:38 am

Had a wonderful meal at Everest last night. Everything was spot on. I haven't been in a very long time. I am a bit surprised that this restaurant doesn't get more play. The food is wonderful, the room is gorgeous, service is spot on and the wine list is extremely deep especially in French wines and there are some good deals. I will be back. soon.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#521 Post by John Davis » December 21st, 2018, 2:19 pm

We’ve been to Everest many times. We quit going years ago due to service issues on a few occasions. Always loved the food, room and view. Maybe time to revisit.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#522 Post by George Hejna » December 21st, 2018, 2:43 pm

Interesting... service was good. Wine service was really good. Jean Joho was in the dining room a lot. I am sure that helped.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#523 Post by WvanGorp » December 23rd, 2018, 4:22 pm

Loved the food last time I was at Everest. It was that night when we asked for more La Tâche the server replied: “oh more of the pinot? Sure.”
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#524 Post by Chris Freemott » December 23rd, 2018, 4:31 pm

Everest is home to one of the single biggest let-downs in service of my life. Had an unreal meal for an anniversary, decided to go back the next year. I chose the pairing with my tasting menu, spouse wasn't drinking (pregnant). First glass was corked. Got the attention of the server. Somm. came by and agreed. New glass. Fine. Second course. Corked wine. Somm. disagreed, which, in hindsight was comical. So, in a friendly way I said that if he opens a new bottle and the wines match I'll buy the bottle. He agreed, opens the bottle. Not even close. He winces and takes glass #1 away. Third course (perhaps 4th?)...corked! Woot. Somm. replaces the bottle, again....5th course and 4th pairing. Wait for it. No joke. CORKED...hand the glass to the server, tell her to politely suggest the Somm. not approach the table and I'll take a glass of bourbon..on the house. One of the worst ever meals with respect to service I've ever had in any restaurant, much less a Michelin rated one. I think on the 4th glass I simply held it up until they took it from me. My wife was mortified but I was pretty furious at that point.

BTW, retold this story years later at Maison Trois Gros in France..including the 'holding up the glass'. Oops...That created chaos in the restaurant as approximately 5 people descended on our table to fill my glass. Wow did I feel like an ass. Thankfully a dining companion spoke French and explained the situation, which led to laughter.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#525 Post by c fu » December 23rd, 2018, 4:39 pm

Went to SKY with Adrian last week. I was super impressed by the meal. The lobster dumplings, Seafood Orzotto and Foie Gras Bibimbap were ridiculous. I went in knowing nothing and expecting nothing and came out absolutely blown away by the flavor and texture combinations in the food. Lots of Asian influence in the dishes, really felt like the style that's hot in LA right now but put together perfectly.

Also I was surprised how cheap the meal was.
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#526 Post by David K o l i n » December 23rd, 2018, 5:42 pm

Glad you enjoyed it, Charlie. I really enjoy SKY.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, try HaiSous
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#527 Post by George Hejna » December 24th, 2018, 6:31 am

c fu wrote:
December 23rd, 2018, 4:39 pm
Went to SKY with Adrian last week. I was super impressed by the meal. The lobster dumplings, Seafood Orzotto and Foie Gras Bibimbap were ridiculous. I went in knowing nothing and expecting nothing and came out absolutely blown away by the flavor and texture combinations in the food. Lots of Asian influence in the dishes, really felt like the style that's hot in LA right now but put together perfectly.

Also I was surprised how cheap the meal was.
Was at SKY on Saturday. Agree on lobster dumplings and FG Bibimbap. Did not have the seafood Orzotto but the pork chop was amazing as was the hamachi. They did not charge us corkage. The list is a bit "meh" IMO.

Oriole was absolutely stunning again. Aaron's wine list is getting better and better and is really inexpensive. This place will have 3*** next go around. I see nothing that could prevent that.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#528 Post by David K o l i n » December 24th, 2018, 9:07 am

George Hejna wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 6:31 am
c fu wrote:
December 23rd, 2018, 4:39 pm
Went to SKY with Adrian last week. I was super impressed by the meal. The lobster dumplings, Seafood Orzotto and Foie Gras Bibimbap were ridiculous. I went in knowing nothing and expecting nothing and came out absolutely blown away by the flavor and texture combinations in the food. Lots of Asian influence in the dishes, really felt like the style that's hot in LA right now but put together perfectly.

Also I was surprised how cheap the meal was.
Was at SKY on Saturday. Agree on lobster dumplings and FG Bibimbap. Did not have the seafood Orzotto but the pork chop was amazing as was the hamachi. They did not charge us corkage. The list is a bit "meh" IMO.

Oriole was absolutely stunning again. Aaron's wine list is getting better and better and is really inexpensive. This place will have 3*** next go around. I see nothing that could prevent that.

George
Other than they let you wear shorts and jeans and stuff. Totally agree. A great dining experience
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#529 Post by Keith A k e r s » December 24th, 2018, 10:14 am

George Hejna wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 6:31 am


Was at SKY on Saturday. Agree on lobster dumplings and FG Bibimbap. Did not have the seafood Orzotto but the pork chop was amazing as was the hamachi. They did not charge us corkage. The list is a bit "meh" IMO.


tbf, you aren't the target audience for the list. But, I'm quite sure you could find a bubbles that would make you really happy. I sometimes actually feel bad bringing in my own bubbles (not really) when Charles has done an excellent job at putting in some smaller guys and all at great prices

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#530 Post by George Hejna » December 24th, 2018, 10:22 am

Keith A k e r s wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 10:14 am
George Hejna wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 6:31 am


Was at SKY on Saturday. Agree on lobster dumplings and FG Bibimbap. Did not have the seafood Orzotto but the pork chop was amazing as was the hamachi. They did not charge us corkage. The list is a bit "meh" IMO.


tbf, you aren't the target audience for the list. But, I'm quite sure you could find a bubbles that would make you really happy. I sometimes actually feel bad bringing in my own bubbles (not really) when Charles has done an excellent job at putting in some smaller guys and all at great prices
We ended up with a nice Italian white. Weren't in the mood for bubbles and we had a bunch pre-dinner but that probably would have been my go to had that not been the case. Prices are definitely good.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#531 Post by c fu » December 24th, 2018, 10:19 pm

Tried to book oriele when I was in town. Was not successful :(
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#532 Post by George Hejna » December 26th, 2018, 7:18 am

c fu wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 10:19 pm
Tried to book oriele when I was in town. Was not successful :(
Have to plan way ahead especially on weekends. 28 seats fills up fast. Good thing is no tickets and a pretty liberal cancellation policy.

George

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#533 Post by George Hejna » December 26th, 2018, 2:41 pm

FYI - Oriole's formal bar has started to take reservations. 8 seat cocktail Omakase.

https://barkumiko.com


George
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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#534 Post by Nick Gangas » December 26th, 2018, 8:30 pm

c fu wrote:
December 23rd, 2018, 4:39 pm
Went to SKY with Adrian last week. I was super impressed by the meal. The lobster dumplings, Seafood Orzotto and Foie Gras Bibimbap were ridiculous. I went in knowing nothing and expecting nothing and came out absolutely blown away by the flavor and texture combinations in the food. Lots of Asian influence in the dishes, really felt like the style that's hot in LA right now but put together perfectly.

Also I was surprised how cheap the meal was.
Man why were you saving that place ?

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#535 Post by Nick Gangas » December 29th, 2018, 8:30 am

Recently read the article in Chicago magazine about our dining scene. While there is certainly some hyperbole overall he makes some very good points. Chicago used to be a town with 1 major restaurant group (LEYE) and numerous independent restaurants. This led to some pretty good cooking overall. In the 90's things really flourished here. Now the biz is filled with groups that are building nothing but palaces that used to be the calling card of NYC and San Francisco. These restaurant companies dominate the scene now and really suck up all the oxygen. It's pretty darn difficult to open a small independent place today. If you don't have multi millionaire investors backing you don't even think about opening in the city.

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#536 Post by Keith A k e r s » January 5th, 2019, 6:33 am

I got back to Cellar Door Provisions last night and left extremely happy. They put in a new menu and are going ala carte. The menu was maybe a little too root vegetable focused for my taste, but the food was excellent as was the service. They're charging corkage now, but that's not too much of a problem when the highest priced dish was like $20

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Re: Chicago Restaurant Thread

#537 Post by Corey N. » January 15th, 2019, 9:18 am

Jean Banchet awards were announced -- super happy for Michael.

George Trois restaurant, Jason Hammel big winners at 2019 Jean Banchet Awards
Restaurant of the year

George Trois, the first suburban restaurant winner for this category, is a French-inspired restaurant inside of Restaurant Michael in Winnetka. Chef-owner Michael Lachowicz studied under some of the greatest French chefs, including Banchet, and serves six or nine courses with each dish finished off at the table.
Best somm was given to Jill Gubesch who works with Rick Bayless Can't remember anything special about the wine program at his restaurants, but I don't dine there often -- does anyone else have a thought?
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