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TRU - Chicago


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#1 mikeczyz

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:29 PM

Okay. Let's get this over with. I had very, very mixed feelings about TRU. I was going to write this last night after dinner condemning the place, but I decided to let it wait and see how I felt after I gave it some thought. I'm gonna start with the menu of what I had with notes when applicable. I had WAAAYYY too many courses to give a detailed description about all of them, so I'm goign to leave it to the readers to ask for further information

Amuse #1:Truffled Goat Cheese Gougere

Amuse #2: Pear and Thyme Sorbet in Parmesan Cone

Grand Amuse Bouche: Rabbit in Aspic with Saffron Aioli, some carroty marshmallow thing with a worthless beet glaze, slice of fluke sashimi over seaweed salad, pomegranate and clove shooter. Carroty marshmallow thing was a carrot flavored lump of something that had the texture of a marshmallow. Strange. Didn't like the fluke sashimi. It was warm. I dunno about y'all, but I don't like warm sashimi. Makes me think of a bacterial breeding ground.

Tramonto's Caviar Staircase: I'm sure you all know what this is. Alot of fun to mix and match everything. And I've always said...you can never have too much caviar.

Chef's Sushi Plate, Soy Reduction, Fresh Wasabi: Fantastic. Five different sushi preparations, and I had never had fresh wasabi before. Terrific. So different from wasabi made from the dried powder. The sushi's were hamachi nigiri style, crab and avacado rolls, citrus cured salmon with trout roe, slice of ahi tuna (not toro), and uni, with a piece of grapefruit and hijiki seaweed on a shiso leaf.

Seared La Belle Foie Gras, 2 Ways (on the same plate. Square plate was divided diagonally with a line of veal jus, two preparations were on opposite sides)
#1 Lentil puree, French lentils and pickeled red onion
#2 Macerated Lingonberries, Braised red cabbage and veal jus
I liked number two more, but don't get me wrong. foie is foie. It's always good!

2 Demitasse Cups:
#1: Lobster bisque with a spoon of lobster ceviche. Ceviche was lobster with a brunoise of bell pepper, onions, a bit of jalapeno with citrus to cure lobster.
#2 Porcini mushroom soup with truffles.
Once again, number two was the winner.

Rouget, tomato tarragon broth, raviolis stuffed with artichoke, white anchovies, and picholine olive.

Steamed Wild Turbot smeared with a truffle-foie mousseline wrapped with spinich in a truffle fume: Needless to say, fantastic dish. soooo good. They said the white truffles were from the himalayas. anyone know anything about himalayan truffles? I loved the texture in the dish. Firm fish, light mousseline and the spinach.

Labelle Farm Seared squab breast, black trumpet mushrooms, swiss chard, fava beans, black truffle mushroom puree, pinot noir reduction.

Braised beef short ribs, parsnip puree, red wine braised shallot, fried salsify, brussel sprout leaves,natural jus. as a whole, i was very disappointed wiht the two meat dishes. i felt very little thought had been to what the meats would be paired with. you could basically give the squab the beef's accompniaments and vice versa. i should add that slices of truffle were placed between the slices of squab. braised short rib was a little dry, and lacking the flavor i generally associate with short ribs. not beefy at all. very disappointing.

Cheese course: three stick out in my mind, an alsatian cow's milk meunster served with caraway seeds, a cheese called petite savarin, and a goat's milk blue. the goat's milk blue was very mild as far as blues are concerned. lot's of fruit, nuts, sundried tomato, olives. nice cheese cart.

Red plum shooter. heavily laced with vanilla bean

Dessert Collection: On one side, a chocolate and white caramel tart. don't ask me what white caramel is. i couldn't get a straight answer otu of my server. on the other side of the plate was a warm white chocolate and brioche bread pudding. yes, it was a good as it sounds. both dishes were tied togeter with a vanilla creme anglaise and mint oil.

Lemon apricot souffle. delicious

Gale's miniature root beer with turkish coffee ice cream.
I loved all the desserts. I'm thinking about returning for the dessert degustation. seriously. pastry chef gale gand's fame is well deserved in my opinion.

mignardises and tru lollipops: a cart is wheeled to your table and you're allowed to choose. i had a raspberry and almond tea cake, chocolate and peppermint truffle, sour cherry jelly, and a peppermint lollipop. fun stuff.

okay, here's my summary. i really enjoy the fish preparations at tru. i felt they were much stronger than the meat dishes sent to my table. there is an option for a seafood chef's degustation, so i will consider that next time. the two foie preparations on one plate was really generous of the kitchen. so were the truffles that were liberally sprinked on some dishes. i paid 135 pre tax and tip so i considered my meal to have good value, if such a thing can be said about a 135 buck meal. packed on a monday night. this place is making some serious dough which makes me wonder why the hell they don't have better silverware. it's terrible. it belongs in a high school cafeteria or a prison. it's really that bad. horrible. i also did nto care for the service. soul less. while they did everything technically correct, and there seemed to be an army of them on the floor watching over everything, i never once felt being cared for. maybe as a single diner i covet the diner/waitperson relationship a little more than others, but not once did i ever feel that an effort was made to create a more personal connection. it definitely does NOT deserve the label as best service in the city, or for that mattter best restaurant. It seems to me that TRU wants to be thought of as a hip, happening place but the food doesn't really live up to that. I mean, squab breast with red wine reduction? You can get that anywhere, same wiht a mediocre braised beef short rib. Sushi? not so revolutionary. Neither was the lobster bisque, and the only thing revolutionary about the caviar staircase was the actual glass staircase. I find it kinda hard to put into words how i feel about tru, so please ask questions. I feel a little bit bad because it's obvious they put some external effort into making me feel like a valued guest (i'm staring at my take home menu, autographed by tramonto and gand which is titled "TRU Welcomes [my name] From [the restaurant where i work at]" If only so much effort were put into table side service. a smile everynow and then wouldn't of hurt either. my biggest gripes are with the service as it was a stink that lingered throughout the whole meal. food definitely had it's ups and downs, but at these prices, i expected much more.
okay. enough from me. thanks for reading this far...questions?
mike

p.s. Forgot to mention, some dishes were underseasoned
also, servers could not always answer my questions without having to go back and ask.

#2 Michael Laiskonis

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 12:37 AM

mike,

Thanks for the honest report. I visited three years ago, not long after Tru opened. Perhaps I was carrying a certain amount of political baggage (not necessarily my own) going in, but I left relatively unimpressed. I too dined solo, but thought the service actually outshined the food. Neither Rick nor Gale were present. I did the big Chef's Collection menu, though I think my wine was comped. Desserts, for me, were not as good as I had expected. I've become intrigued within the last year, however, after hearing many positive comments, mostly from chefs (some of them among us on the site). I was almost thinking of giving it another try.
How would Tru rank among other Chicago restaurants, in your opinion, attempting to attain that level of service and food? Have you eaten at Trotter's, Trio, etc.? Do you think chefs like Sandro Gamba, Paul Kahan, or Shawn McClain are actually doing as good, if not better food, in less formal settings?

No pressure. :wink:
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#3 mikeczyz

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 12:56 AM

mlpc- yah, i know what you mean when you say you left unimpressed. i mean, i don't feel bad about the money spent, but i won't go back anytime soon. which leads to your question. i haven't had a chance to eat out taht much because i just moved here. i do plan on visiting many of the places you mention. spring is high on my list. maybe tomorrow if i get the night off.

i do think tru's service is excellent in the fact that they're amazingly well practiced. watching them simultaneously pour water on a six top was pretty cool. like a pack of vultures swooping in for the kill. it's jsut so impersonal. so robotic. i'll take personality over practiced perfection anyday. so many restaurants to try, so little time...
mike

#4 cabrales

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 04:29 PM

mikeczyz -- The turbot sounds very appealing. I have been curious about the caviar staircase for a little while now. What are the accompaniments to it, and how large was the serving of each type of egg, roughly?

#5 awbrig

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 05:09 PM

I love TRU. I especially love the artwork and the minimalist space, and the food. The food is wonderful, colorful, and whimsaical.

The staircase is your basic accoutrments, egg yolk, shallots, capers and creme fraiche. You get a generous serving of each type of caviar and I would recommend upgrading to Beluga....

Check out TRU's website....

http://www.trurestau...om/welcome.html

#6 mikeczyz

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:21 PM

Awbrig- SOunds like your visits to TRU have been a little better than mine. The food is colorful certainly, whimsical maybe, but wonderful? I don't agree. Where was the option to upgrade to beluga caviar? I did not know there was such an option.

Cabrales- The staircase can be viewed at:
http://www.chicagoch...Tru/page_4.html
My staircase was (in descending order) osetra caviar, trout roe, wasabi infused flying fish roe, whitefish roe, egg white, egg yolk, minced capers and red onion. On my little plate was the creme fraiche, and toasted brioche points. They give you quite a large serving of each caviar. I was able to get a good three or four dollops of each roe onto the toast. Very generous serving size.

#7 awbrig

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:26 PM

i thought if you get the chefs degu that you automatically get Beluga...it was when I went...If you dont get chefs degu the up charges are

Tramanto's Caviar Staircase
Sevruga, $15; Platinum Sevruga, $25; Golden Osetra, $35; Beluga, $35; 000 Beluga, $45

#8 mikeczyz

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:30 PM

Awbrig- Maybe I did get osetra. I don't know those caviar's well enough to know the little differences between each.

#9 awbrig

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:39 PM

the differences arent little :smile:

#10 mikeczyz

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:47 PM

yah, this is what i'm talking about. if i had the money, i'd just go out and buy a pound of each and sample them all to taste teh differences. maybe if i didn't waste my money at places like TRU, then i might be able to save enough to make it happen! heh heh
mike

#11 awbrig

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:54 PM

mike, you didnt waste your money!

you just gave a great review and we are thankful and you probably learned a lot of what you like and dont like and prob experienced food and preparations you had never experienced before...

you didnt waste your money and I was being trivial about the caviar...you ate better than 99% of the world last night! :smile:

#12 mikeczyz

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:56 PM

awbrig- Don't take me so seriously! you're right. I learned TONS from my experience at TRU. and i did eat tons of things never before eaten. i'm always grateful for the opportunity to try new things.
mike

#13 awbrig

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 06:59 PM

dont take me serious either I was kidding about being trivial about caviar , I was dead serious... :laugh:

#14 awbrig

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Posted 11 November 2002 - 03:53 PM

Rick Tramonto has an outstanding new book out called - Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites That Delight Before the Meal

The pictures are done by the same photographer that does the Trotter cookbooks, Tim Turner. They are stunning...

The book would be great if you entertain people for dinner and want an impressive amuse to wow your guests. I'm always looking for ideas like that...and this is one of the only books in this area (upscale amuses) that Ive seen - aside from Martha Stewarts Appetizer Book...

There is even a chapter dedicated to Caviar and specifically The Caviar Staircase! I recommend this book for you TRU fans!

#15 dargin

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 07:19 AM

I dined at Tru three weeks ago with my girlfriend (who is a complete food novice - never had Foie or caviar (oh the shame)) here are some random thoughts;

I had the Truffle special dinner and I was very happy with the decision - my G/f had the seafood grand collection and she enjoyed herself as well. There were tons of courses and a bonus sushi course as my girlfriend was amazed at the grating of the fresh wasabi at a table next to us. Needless to say with an excellent wine pairing for most courses, I gained many lbs but was worth it.

Random notes;

Caviar staircase was excellent and the world now has it's newest caviar fan.

Had the bonus cheese course and fully recommend it.

The Truffle soup (more like a hot liquid meal) was amazing.

Her main course was a huge langostino in a vanilla sauce that might have over powered it a tad but by then we were so stuffed as we shared each course.

Desert cart was great as well.

I have more notes and will post an update when I get back in the country.

As a whole - I thought the meal was very good, I thought Jean-Georges had more "Oh My God" moments but outside of NY and Yountville, I thought the meal was excellent. The service was great (after reading notes I was concerned) and would recommend it fully, am going to Trotter's in a couple weeks and will post a full update (with course listing/descriptions)

Happy Holidays

#16 cabrales

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 12:38 PM

Tru recently became another Chicago member of the European-based Relais & Chateaux chain. Since it does not have rooms, it entered as a "Relais Gourmand".

http://www.relaischa.../us/rech_rg.htm

Edited by cabrales, 02 January 2003 - 12:43 PM.


#17 mikeczyz

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 01:15 PM

Thank you cabrales...
mike

#18 adoxograph

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 10:39 AM

Well, It's been 10 months since my last (first) visit to TRU, and I think I'm ready to talk about it. I know some time back someone commented that we don't really talk about TRU, as if it was one of those unspoken restaurants we all understood. I'm not sure if that is exactly true - I think this thread hasn't had an update since January 2003 because I couldn't search for TRU directly - the name's too short. Ronnie, could you check and see if I'm insane in thinking this, or if that is actually the case?

At the very least, I figured I'd give the ball a push with my thoughts from my (*gasp*) 30th birthday dinner back in September.

My sister and her husband drove up from Nashville for 2 days, just to take Sarcasmo and I out for dinner. How I ended up having to drive to the restaurant, I'm not sure. This was the first experience at a restaurant of this caliber for the other three, while I, the ancient one among us, had been to Trotter's before, but that's about it. We were expecting to be dazzled.

I admit, seeing "Happy Birthday Adoxograph" across the top of our menus was a good start. :) We went for full chef's tasting menus, and I pretended that I eat meat all the time so I didn't miss out on fois gras.

A champagne cocktail started us off, which I remember as being, well, nice.

Truffled Celeriac Spoon with Duck Consomme Gelee - Sarcasmo asked me what it was, and so I told him, after tasting, that it was the best mashed potatoes with gravy ever. He was happy with that description.

Grand Amuse-Bouche - carrot parfait, watermelon juice, tomato gazpacho and fluke sashimi. I remember most the texture of the carrot parfait. You could use this to describe the term "mouthfeel" - this was the lightest, smoothest creamiest carroty thing ever.

Caviar Staircase. Just fun.

Here is where they started splitting off the individual plates. I'll list everything for the sake of exposure, but I'll comment selectively, so people can do something else with their day as well. Suffice to say, we passed our plates a great deal.

Fighting Fish Bowl (mine) : marinated tuna, salmon, hamachi, cucumber
Peeky Toe Crab, Green Zebra tomato, tear drop tomato mosaic
Red and Golden beet salad, horseradish foam, micro chervil and beet reduction
Deconstructed beef tartare, capers, quail eggs, consomme gelee.
(I loved the fish bowl, and here is where I become evil - first, I refuse to share. Then grudgingly I allow tastes, but I forget to offer one to my sister, who is paying for the meal. She is the only one who doesn't get a bite of what all agree is the best of these dishes. I suck. My second favorite is the beet salad.)

The Fois Gras course:
Cured Fois Gras au Torchon, Peppered pineapple relish and Muscat Gelee
Lignonberry Fois Gras (mine) Braised red cabbage, Veal jus
Chocolate Fois Gras, Brioche French toast, caramelized banana-chocolate sauce
Caramelized Peach Fois Gras, salsify puree, maine blueberry vanilla sauce
(This was a miss for me - the lignonberry was way way way too tart, I couldn't taste anything but sour. My sister, on the other hand, couldn't wrap her scientific brain around the fact that the chocolate and banana really brought out the flavor of hers. She loved it.)

Lobster lobster bisque (mine) lobster ceviche
Porcini mushroom cappuccino, parmesan tuile
Curried cauliflower cappuccino, buttermilk cracker
conch chowder, shrimp toast
(Have I mentioned I'm an east coast girl trapped in the Midwest? The lobster was a sure thing for me, even it hadn't been quite as excellent. Luckily, it was excellent.)

Loup de Mer, Yukon potato Puree, roasted artichoke, truffle jus
Olive Oil Poached Hamachi, Dashi-Soy broth, Micro Tat-soi
Wild Alaskan King Salmon, salsify puree, pickled ramps, sorrel sauce
Seared Ahi Tuna (mine) Cippolini Onion Puree, Vanilla Emulsion
(I don't remember much abot this course, but I do remember that here is where we were really having fun with the fantastic service. Sarcasmo eats slowly. Very slowly. Since they really wanted to clear the table as a whole, they did a wonderful job of "checking on" nearby tables to see how he was doing without hovering over him saying "shut up and eat, would ya?" like I would have. :) )

Braised Beef Short Ribs, Parsnip puree, crispy parsnips, natural jus
Elysian Fields Lamb Chop, swiss chard, fava beans, tomato marmalade
Australian Beef Tenderloin (mine) thumbelina carrots, cauliflower puree, tarragon jus
Truffled studded sweetbreads, wild mushrooms, veal jus, balsamic reduction
(This was really my first proper piece of meat all year. It was good, but that's about as much as I can say. This was also the course my brother in law started snarling at us if we asked for a taste. Ok, not really, but he liked his enough that he simply did not share.)

Cheese course
The groaning, wimpy boys left cheese selection up to the stalwart Yankee women, and we took a little bit everything from the stinkiest to the mildest. Of course, that means its hard to distinguish our favorites after all of this time. We're cheese people and made sure to sample goat, sheep and cow's milk cheeses, ending up with 12 selections. We thought we wouldn't finish. We did.

Mango-Orange tapioca Shooter
I think this was Sarcasmo's favorite, but I'll leave it up to him to comment.

Gale's Dessert collection
Served in pairs - the boys had a cobbler thing and a cappuccino brownie, the girls recieved molten chocolate cake with blueberry sorbet. My sister swears that there was something else that came with a mint sauce, but we both agree that the cheese course and the mignardises were so wonderful that the desserts proper faded away. Except that blueberry sorbet. That was really good.

Mignardises and lollipops
At this point I was sure a Monty Python moment was soon to follow. Luckily, nothing was wafer thin. Truffles, candied cirus and ginger, a vanilla lollipop which I loved, various other chocolate selections. In fact, a friend took her husband to Tru a few weeks later, and returned with a box of these and a few lollipops for the recommendation. It was a nice bonus.

Wines:
Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough, NZ 2002
Paul Hobbs Malbec El Felino Mendoza, Argentina 2000

Not a whole lot of wine drinkers among us, and we didn't want to raise our bill more than we had to, but I was still pleased with these "bargain" recommendations. I remember the sauvignon blanc particularly not just because I liked it, but because one of the other menus highlighted tomatoes and I thought this wine would go well with that as much as it did with our meal.

Overall, we thought the food was wonderful, with seafood courses being the stronger. The service was terrific - our captain warm and joking with us throughout the meal, despite having one very slow eater. Although certainly not something we poor folk could do regularly, this was great for the special occasion that it was.


And the menu we got had my name on it. SO good for my ego.

Ok, I showed you mine, someone else show theirs. :)
--adoxograph

#19 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 11:02 AM

I think this thread hasn't had an update since January 2003 because I couldn't search for TRU directly - the name's too short. Ronnie, could you check and see if I'm insane in thinking this, or if that is actually the case?

Awesome report adoxograph. Tru is next on my list of high-end places to try and I promise to "show mine" as soon as I get a chance to eat there and write about it. But, I went to Trio last night and I still have to figure out how to convert that amazingly tranformational experience into words. I hope it doesn't take me 10 months :wink: :smile:

...and yes, you are correct. The search function here requires 4 or more characters, so the moral of the story is, if you're opening a restaurant and you want it discussed on eGullet, make sure you create a name for it that's at least 4 characters long. :wink: :biggrin:

=R=
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#20 Sarcasmo

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 01:24 PM

couple things. first, i'm poor and have always been mostly poor. this was a big deal for me, and i don't mean to sound dramatic, but fairly life-changing. i get excited about trio's descriptions for this reason, and i hope to go there one day.

that champagne starter was the huge green flag that told me that i had no idea what we'd gotten ourselves into. it was like drinking featherweight gold (and the bill thought so too).

this was without contest the best food i've ever had. the mango shooter wasn't my favorite though (and no idea where you got that :p). i was obsessed with the melonjuice at the start, because wow...it was so simple, but i really love honeydew melon. there was some kind of magic in that pale green glass.

my night's highlight was the poached hamachi. aside from being the best fish i've ever had, it was the best thing i can ever remember tasting. it didn't look too bad, either. speaking of seafood, the fighting fishbowl, though it wasn't mine, was something i was stealing from a little too much. amazing.

the only thing throughout the night that i wasn't blown away by was the lamb chop. i'm not a big meat-on-the-bone eater, and it was still good considering that fact. however, it was still the least remarkable thing that was set in front of me all night.

the reason i was so slow eating was that i knew the chances of me ever being able to come back. i was smelling every last thing, and dragging it out. i don't have the sharpest memory the past few years, and these were things i didn't want to forget. i may have taken an extra 30 seconds to smell each thing on the table, but i now have a database in my head of all those wonderful things that i can't lose (yay stupid smell memory).

class warriorship aside, this place was worth the money. i can't believe i just said that. if i ever honestly feel i have the means, i will return.
Sarcasmo~
(fictionislying.com)

#21 tammylc

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 06:30 PM

Didn't think this merited starting it's own thread, so I'll revive this old one...

How long for dinner at Tru? I'll be making a quick visit to Chicago next week and I'm trying to figure out if I can fit in dinner and get to O'Hare in time for my 9:40 flight home. Website says they open at 5:30.

I'm sure I can manage the 3 course prix fixe, but if I'm going to Tru it would seem a shame to only do 3 courses.

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#22 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 06:48 PM

Tammy,

You definitely won't want to hurry but you may have to take on fewer courses than you'd like in order to make your flight.

When we were there a few months ago (I still have to post about our glorious experience) we did a seven course plus a couple of the "after" courses (plated desserts, cheese, digestifs, petit fours) and it took about 5 hours. Of course, we were taking our sweet time and chatting, etc.

But Tru is all about service, so I'd highly recommend contacting the restaurant directly and asking about it. They will be happy to take care of you and if you explain your situation, they will likely craft a service that meets your preferences and requirements.

When we were there (on a Saturday night) we spotted more than a couple solo diners and their courses seemed to be, logically, coming out much more quickly than ours. I don't know if you'll be solo or not but the point is that Tru offers quite a bit of customization to its patrons.

Tru Restaurant
676 N. St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 202-0001

=R=
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#23 tammylc

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 02:30 PM

Ron - thanks for the information. We did indeed end up at Tru, and it was a great meal. What with the various extras, the 3 course meal is really 7 courses, plus we added a cheese course, so we definitely got a good experience in the two hours we had for dinner. We called in the afternoon to say that we wanted "the best Tru experience we could get in two hours" and they assured us that the 3 course would meet our needs, and it did.

Tru is a beautiful restaurant. Three suited men greeted us "Good Evening" in unison when we arrived. The tables are nicely spaced apart, so you're not overhearing your neighbors, and the ceiling is soaring. There are little windows into the kitchen. The sinks in the bathroom are a sloped pane of frosted glass and really have to be seen.

Upon sitting down we were presented with our first non-course - a spoon containing white bean puree topped with a haricot vert. And some sort of sharp something - I thought cilantro or something in that family, but my companion says that the haricot vert was pickled and that's what I was tasting. In any case, a yummy little hint of things to come.

We made our selections of appetizers and entrees from the three course prix fixe menu, and ordered wine (a half bottle of Condrieu). We got to choose from an assortment of many kinds of bread - I had the sourdough, he the baguette and pumpernickel, and both of us scarfed a couple of the little (and extremely delicious) parmesan biscuits. Then arrived the second of our non-courses, the chef's amuse bouche collection. Four little bites, to be eaten in this order:
1. Carrot and Ginger soup (a single spoonful - delightful)
2. Braised short ribs with cucumber salad (my favorite taste of the night - intense)
3. Baby beets with horseradish cream (mmmm)
4. some orange drink thing - also good, but I can't remember anything about it except that it was served in a shot glass

So far so good. I had high expectations going in, and they were meeting them so far.

As is our usual way, my friend and I picked two appetizers that we wanted to try, each ate half, then swapped plates. I started with the black truffle risotto, creamy hot truffley-decadent and delicious, with haricots verts and big chunks of lobster hiding amidst the rice. It was served in a shiny little copper pot, with the lid still on to keep the truffle aroma inside. Then we switched and I finished the chicken and foie gras ravioli, which was decadent and rich with creamy melting pieces of foie gras, and even better than I had expected.

Next up the entrees. I started with the seared ahi tuna, served very rare, just as we'd requested. This was swoon worthy tuna. Buttery smooth and delicious. It was served with two sauces I don't recall the details of, and a small mound of mixed vegetables - tiny florets of cauliflower, leaves of brussel sprouts, bits of roasted tomato. Tasty, tasty dish - very light and fresh tasting. I definitely was the winner, getting the tuna first, as as the pork dish that was our other entree choice was very rich, and I'm sure it wasn't quite as nice eating them in the other order. There were little rounds of pork tenderloin, fatty pork belly that melted in your mouth, and pork rilettes that were almost overwhelmingly rich. All very good, but I preferred the ethereal lightness of the tuna.

At this point it was only 7 pm, and he and I are wondering if we could have managed the 7 course after all - we still had 75 minutes before I needed to be in a taxi. And then they rolled out the cheese cart. We were given the option of either or both of us having a cheese plate as dessert, or simply adding a cheese course. Given that we had plenty of time, we opted to add a cheese course. We chose the Bleu D'Avergne, the Epoisses, a goat milk camembert, a fresh goat cheese topped with apricots and pistachios, and a strong and stinky Corsican sheep's milk cheese. There were yummy sweet crackers/cookies to go with, as well as some sundried tomatoes and a fruit and nut bread. Very good cheese, nicely ripe. I even quite liked the blue (I'm just now coming around to liking blue cheeses).

By this time I'm really feeling pretty stuffed, and dessert is still to come. Before we were served our desserts there came a dessert amuse bouche/palate cleanser of sorts - a little shot glass of strawberry lemonade. Lovely. I'm a big dessert fan, so I was really looking forward to checking out Gale Gand's dessert selection. But I think we made a criticial error in ordering, and didn't get the best we could have. We had a Buttermilk Panna Cotta, served with fresh strawberries and a balsalmic strawberry sauce. This was very nice - I'm a huge panna cotta fan, and appreciated the lightness of it coming after the heavy pork and cheese courses. For the other dessert, my friend insisted that we should order the Chocolate Immersion, as an opportunity to try 4 different chocolate things - a chocolate creme brulee, an opaline (sort of chocolate candy), and two different sorbets/ice creams. They were all good, but really - death by chocolate desserts are much the same anywhere you go, and I always find myself disappointed by them. Don't get me wrong - I love chocolate as much as the next person - more, probably - but coming at the end of a decadent and rich meal, on a full stomach, I think I'm happier with something else. Especially since one almost always gets a selection of petit fours at the end of the meal that includes the bite or two of sinfully rich chocolate indulgence that is all one really wants anyway. The Tour of Teeny Sundaes would have been fun (although hard to split, as I expect each of the 5 sundaes was in its own spoon). And I seem to recall some sort of shortbread with a lavender ice cream or something. Even the other chocolate dessert, with orange accents and cardamom ice cream, would have been less oppressively chocolatey.

Sure enough, as soon as our half-finished desserts were cleared, a lovely, lovely petit four cart comes to our table. Many beautiful tiny bits of sweets to choose from, and all I could manage was a single passionfruit gellee. Which was perfect, and all I really needed. But I still wished I'd had the appetite to try some of the rest.

I think it was about 8 pm as we headed out, lovely parting gifts in hand (a pair of Canelles, a type of soaked cake), suggested to be eaten with your morning tea or coffee, as a reminder of the evening's meal. Nice.

Quite an excellent meal. Service was good - very attentive but non-intrusive, and well tuned to the mood of the table. One of our waiters caught on to our running joke about crumbs on the table cloth and played right along, bringing an extra napkin and covering my friends side of the table with it (when in reality I was the crumb leaver). That was really fun. The only slight faux pas was the long and unexplained gap between our deciding we wanted the cheese course and someone coming to serve it to us, while we waited and looked wistfully at the cheese under glass.

Tammy's Tastings

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Dinner for 40


#24 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 03:12 PM

Thanks, Tammy, for the write-up. I'm glad to hear that you had such an enjoyable time. I absolutely loved that lobster and black truffle risotto. It was probably my favorite dish of our entire meal at Tru.

BTW, those canneles were out-of-this-world fantastic. It takes quite a deft hand to turn them out as evidenced by some of the comments (by seasoned bakers) in this thread.

=R=
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#25 mhadam

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 08:35 AM

I have to brag and have no one to brag to, so I thought Egullet would be the place.

In 3 months and 19 days, to celebrate our 5th anniversary, hubby is taking me to Tru.

*swoon*
There's a yummy in my tummy.

#26 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:01 AM

I have to brag and have no one to brag to, so I thought Egullet would be the place.

In 3 months and 19 days, to celebrate our 5th anniversary, hubby is taking me to Tru.

*swoon*

View Post

I hope -- and suspect -- that you'll have a wonderful time.

Please let us know all about it . . . the countdown begins now :wink: :smile:

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#27 mhadam

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:25 AM

I have to brag and have no one to brag to, so I thought Egullet would be the place.

In 3 months and 19 days, to celebrate our 5th anniversary, hubby is taking me to Tru.

*swoon*

View Post

I hope -- and suspect -- that you'll have a wonderful time.

Please let us know all about it . . . the countdown begins now :wink: :smile:

=R=

View Post


Sorry, i didn't think about adding my note to this thread. I'm so excited!!! I was giggling on the phone when making the reservation :rolleyes:
There's a yummy in my tummy.

#28 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:56 AM

Sorry, i didn't think about adding my note to this thread. I'm so excited!!! I was giggling on the phone when making the reservation  :rolleyes:

View Post

No apologies necessary. Unfortunately, our Search feature needs at least 4 input characters to function properly, so I'm not sure this thread would have been easy to find. That's why I added "Gand and Tramanto" to the subject line of the thread; so it would come up in more searches.

I really loved my experience at Tru earlier this year. I still think about the lobster and truffle risotto I had there constantly :biggrin:

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#29 mhadam

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:04 AM

I'm not sure if we should order the Prix Fixe or one of the Collections. Thoughts? advice?

Husband said we can do whatever I want. And driving home isn't an issue as we will be at the Drake.

So excited, nervous, scared, eager and it's 3 months away!!!!!!
There's a yummy in my tummy.

#30 jesteinf

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:08 AM

I would suggest going with the Chef's Collection. Put yourselves in Rick and Gale's hands and enjoy the evening.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/