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TRU - Chicago


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#61 ulterior epicure

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 06:45 PM

If I can find mine, I'll post it too so you can see what they served us.

How was the steamed lamb? I don't believe I've ever had lamb prepared by steaming.

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#62 gaya

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 08:07 PM

ronnie: I just heard this on thursday.....it was a from some one who has been dealing with Rick for several years...not saying it may the most reliable source, just saying it was said. Source also said pump room is planning on closing soon.

#63 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 08:16 PM

ronnie:  I just heard this on thursday.....it was a from some one who has been dealing with Rick for several years...not saying it may the most reliable source, just saying it was said.  Source also said pump room is planning on closing soon.

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Very interesting. I've no reason to doubt you -- and things do tend to change very rapidly in the restaurant world. I guess we'll just have to wait and see unless someone else has some credible info to add. That Pump Room news is completely new to me but again, nothing would surprise me and it would hardly be a shock. I think my parents took me there for my graduation dinner from junior high. That was in 1977 and I think it was past its prime then.

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#64 little ms foodie

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 09:00 PM

john I agree, the picture on the menu was a surprise!

UE the steamed lamb was a perfect cube wrapped in the ramp leaves, it was incredible! juicy,red, really flavorful

#65 VeryApe77

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:44 AM

ronnie:  I just heard this on thursday.....it was a from some one who has been dealing with Rick for several years...not saying it may the most reliable source, just saying it was said.  Source also said pump room is planning on closing soon.

View Post

Very interesting. I've no reason to doubt you -- and things do tend to change very rapidly in the restaurant world. I guess we'll just have to wait and see unless someone else has some credible info to add. That Pump Room news is completely new to me but again, nothing would surprise me and it would hardly be a shock. I think my parents took me there for my graduation dinner from junior high. That was in 1977 and I think it was past its prime then.

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Last time I heard, Tramonto was acting as consultant at the new Pump Room (it's changing owners) but wasn't moving on from Tru. Maybe things have changed, who knows?

Article here

#66 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:47 AM

Thanks, VeryApe, for the link. Here's a section from the March 15 article:

Chicago's Pump Room restaurant will close in a few months, but fans of dining tradition shouldn't worry about a Berghoff-like loss. The Pump Room will reopen, and it's already under the control of a star chef.

Rick Tramonto, a founding partner at the recently closed Trio in Evanston and executive chef at the ultra-expensive Tru restaurant, is redoing the Pump Room menu.

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#67 Elrushbo

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 01:13 PM

Question-what does Tru do when you sit at the Kitchen Table? Is it more interactive, etc? I heard it's a different menu, I was just wondering what's different than in the dining room, and to those who have done both, which did you prefer?

#68 little ms foodie

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:00 PM

Elrushbo I haven't done both but in the kitchen you don't actually have a menu- it's the chef's choice. Also the chefs are very interactive, bringing the dishes in and discussing the plates. and of course the staff is very catering to you, a VIP type of attitude.

#69 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:57 AM

Here's a bit more information on the new places in Wheeling, from the Daily Herald's May 9 edition:

The Wheeling village board Monday approved two new restaurants from renowned area chefs that will go inside the Westin North Shore hotel.

Peter Dumon, president of the Harp Group, one of the developers on the Westin hotel project, said the restaurants will feature the cuisine of Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand, who currently work as executive chefs for Tru restaurant in downtown Chicago.

“This is really the culmination of a long national search in which we talked to a couple of dozen national restaurant groups,” he said.

“We didn’t like any of them, so we decided to start our own, and were fortunate enough to start a partnership with Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand, who are arguably the best chefs in the Chicago region,” he said

Star chefs behind food for new Wheeling hotel

Still, I get the feeling that we may not be getting the entire story as far as what this really means for TRU. I guess that time will tell . . .

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#70 Elrushbo

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:54 AM

Elrushbo I haven't done both but in the kitchen you don't actually have a menu- it's the chef's choice. Also the chefs are very interactive, bringing the dishes in and discussing the plates. and of course the staff is very catering to you, a VIP type of attitude.

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Sounds wonderful! Will have to do that sometime! The photo printed on the menu is a wonderful touch. Your review was excellent, very well written. I liked hearing that there were no 'clunkers' on the menu. There shouldn't be at a place like that...imho, if there are clunkers, it means a chef is too ambitious and trying to do too many courses. I take it you did the late seating at the Chef's Table? Suprised there would be anyone left in the restaurant. Also, I'll have to remember to skip lunch when I try it. After seeing the reviews, it seems like a lot of food at the Chef's Table. Would definitely want to be hungry for that experience!

Edited by Elrushbo, 13 May 2006 - 06:01 AM.


#71 JWest

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 12:33 PM

Just dined at Tru last night... I will have pictures once I get back in town...I had the Summer Collection.

Overall I felt it didn't live up to the hype from the books or anything.

The service was absolutely perfect, dining by your self, you really get to watch and notive everything they are doing. No mistakes in service ettiquite, timing of marking courses, water replenishments, descriptions, in between course timings, everything. Not one mistake or fumble. if you want to get picky, I noticed that their linin was not pressed very well... to many crease marks. That's just one of my pet peeves about fine dining.

Amuse
Piquillo peppers on the bottom, something else, and tomato water gelee on top in three different layers inside a double shot glass. Small Sorrel Leaf on top.

Delicate flavors, something I found to be evident throughout the courses.

Bread and butter: SanFrancisco Style Sourdough, Pumpernickle, and Parmsean Biscuits. Served with two styles of butter: Salted and unsalted... Unsalted was from Vermont.

The sourdough was really flavor lasting and bothered me because of the flavor coating in my mouth. The pumpernickle was my favorite..very robust and flavorful. The biscuit was a little crumbly... I've had better.

I really didn't care for the butters... I felt they weren't very satisfying for some reason.

First Course: Amuse Bouche

Tuna two ways: one with Cucumber Water and the other with apple gelee

Apple gelee was crisp in flavor and soft in texture. Cucumber water was cleansing. Delicate again.

2nd Course: Oyster with Caviar, Scallop carpaccio.

Just wondferful.

3rd Course: Butter Roasted Langoustine, Hearts of Palm, Lemon vinaigrette like sauce.
Best Langoustine I have ever had, you would have thought it was poached slowly in butter because of its melting texture. It was my favorite taste and texture of the night. The lemon mixture was extremely Sour... I felt that when you put everything together in one bight, it was harmony. This plays in a lot of the dishes I had... you needed to have everything at once in order to achieve what I think the Chef wanted to happen in your mouth.

4th Course: Corn Veloute Soup with Corn and Herb Fritters.
THe soup is just luxiurous and extremely powerful in terms of corn. The fritters were perfect in crispy and soft textures. So good.

5th Course: Foie Gras Torchon, Apple walnut, frisee, Radish, Sour Cherry Sauce, Warm Country Bread.

The foie gras by it self seemed very metalic...just more than usual. The components together were spot on perfect, I loved the country bread to enjoy with my foie gras. I took my time to enjoy this one.

6th Course: Grilled Loup De Mer with Braised Fennel, Orange-carrot Nage, Fried Fennel Fern.

Mmmm... I love grilled crispy skin on fish. Fennel kept its flavor and had a perfect bite in texture... not too soft and not too hard. The Nage was flavorful but delicate to the tongue.. almost tingles it.

7th Course: Lamb Saddle with Fingerling, Favas, baby carrots, onions.
Lamb was extremely soft to the chew and flavored with salt thoughout the entire meat. The vegetables seemed okay...

8th Course: Cheese Cart

I had four cheeses.... I can't spell any of them right now and I dont have time to look them up..Im at an Apple Store using their internet :biggrin: but this was one of my more fun courses, I chose to have all the accompaniments that were offered..... good cheeses!

9th Course: Mixed Berry Sparkler.... boy was that in your face! mmm

10th Course: Banana, Bread and butter Pudding, Chocolate Semifreddo, Black Berry.
Her desserts are dazzling and charming to the mouth. Visually she shows her fun side. Delicious Desserts... Amazing almost.

11th Course: Chocolate Ice Cream and Root Beer Float... MMM I like the flavor combo!

12th Course: Mignardise Cart

Chocolate Lollipop, Marshmelllow, peanut and cashew Brittle,candied grapefruit skins

13th Course:Truffles

Parting Gift: Chocolate Madelines.


Overall I felt that the flavors were too subtle. I was dissapointed in that I didn't see any micro greens, no emulsions and foams, nothing innovative. Maybe they are going in a different direction... but nothing even came close to what they had in the book. Oh well :sad: Although the service was amazing, the food was perfect but nothing exciting.... I would say it was just as perfect or better than Alinea's service. As someone who is young and not as experienced as some older cooks and chefs it was extrmemly exciting... I was almost nervious at the beginning.
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#72 tupac17616

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 08:03 AM

Just dined at Tru last night... I will have pictures once I get back in town...I had the Summer Collection.

Overall I felt it didn't live up to the hype from the books or anything.

The service was absolutely perfect, dining by your self, you really get to watch and notive everything they are doing. No mistakes in service ettiquite, timing of marking courses, water replenishments, descriptions, in between course timings, everything. Not one mistake or fumble. if you want to get picky, I noticed that their linin was not pressed very well... to many crease marks. That's just one of my pet peeves about fine dining.

Amuse
Piquillo peppers on the bottom, something else, and tomato water gelee on top in three different layers inside a double shot glass. Small Sorrel Leaf on top.

Delicate flavors, something I found to be evident throughout the courses.

Bread and butter: SanFrancisco Style Sourdough, Pumpernickle, and Parmsean Biscuits.  Served with two styles of butter: Salted and unsalted... Unsalted was from Vermont.

The sourdough was really flavor lasting and bothered me because of the flavor coating in my mouth. The pumpernickle was my favorite..very robust and flavorful. The biscuit was a little crumbly... I've had better.

I really didn't care for the butters... I felt they weren't very satisfying for some reason.

First Course: Amuse Bouche

Tuna two ways: one with Cucumber Water and the other with apple gelee

Apple gelee was crisp in flavor and soft in texture. Cucumber water was cleansing. Delicate again.

2nd Course: Oyster with Caviar, Scallop carpaccio.

Just wondferful.

3rd Course: Butter Roasted Langoustine, Hearts of Palm, Lemon vinaigrette like sauce.
Best Langoustine I have ever had, you would have thought it was poached slowly in butter because of its melting texture. It was my favorite taste and texture of the night. The lemon mixture was extremely Sour... I felt that when you put everything together in one bight, it was harmony. This plays in a lot of the dishes I had... you needed to have everything at once in order to achieve what I think the Chef wanted to happen in your mouth.

4th Course: Corn Veloute Soup with Corn and Herb Fritters.
THe soup is just luxiurous and extremely powerful in terms of corn. The fritters were perfect in crispy and soft textures. So good.

5th Course: Foie Gras Torchon, Apple walnut, frisee, Radish, Sour Cherry Sauce, Warm Country Bread.

The foie gras by it self seemed very metalic...just more than usual. The components together were spot on perfect, I loved the country bread to enjoy with my foie gras. I took my time to enjoy this one.

6th Course: Grilled Loup De Mer with Braised Fennel, Orange-carrot Nage, Fried Fennel Fern.

Mmmm... I love grilled crispy skin on fish. Fennel kept its flavor and had a perfect bite in texture... not too soft and not too hard. The Nage was flavorful but delicate to the tongue.. almost tingles it.

7th Course: Lamb Saddle with Fingerling, Favas, baby carrots, onions.
Lamb was extremely soft to the chew and flavored with salt thoughout the entire meat. The vegetables seemed okay...

8th Course: Cheese Cart

I had four cheeses.... I can't spell any of them right now and I dont have time to look them up..Im at an Apple Store using their internet :biggrin:  but this was one of my more fun courses, I chose to have all the accompaniments that were offered..... good cheeses!

9th Course: Mixed Berry Sparkler.... boy was that in your face! mmm

10th Course: Banana, Bread and butter Pudding, Chocolate Semifreddo, Black Berry.
Her desserts are dazzling and charming to the mouth. Visually she shows her fun side. Delicious Desserts... Amazing almost.

11th Course: Chocolate Ice Cream and Root Beer Float... MMM I like the flavor combo!

12th Course: Mignardise Cart

Chocolate Lollipop, Marshmelllow, peanut and cashew Brittle,candied grapefruit skins

13th Course:Truffles

Parting Gift: Chocolate Madelines.


Overall I felt that the flavors were too subtle. I was dissapointed in that I didn't see any micro greens, no emulsions and foams, nothing innovative. Maybe they are going in a different direction... but nothing even came close to what they had in the book. Oh well  :sad: Although the service was amazing, the food was perfect but nothing exciting.... I would say it was just as perfect or better than Alinea's service. As someone who is young and not as experienced as some older cooks and chefs it was extrmemly exciting... I was almost nervious at the beginning.

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Sounds like a pretty good meal to me. I look forward to the pictures.

#73 JWest

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:14 PM

Pictures from my last post:

My 9:15 PM reservation happened on a Monday. I've always been a fan of Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand. I've read everything about Tru, read the books, and the only thing that I haven't done was to eat at the restaurant. Whenever I go to restaurants at this level, I feel nervious and excited at the same time. It's almost that same gut feeling you get when you are waiting for the announcement weather or not you got 1st place or last place. I don't know if that's normal or if it happens to anyone else but for me it does. I decided to go with the Summer Collection.


Posted Image
Lobby: Arrived a little bit before the reservation.


Posted Image
First Amuse: Piquillo Peppers, Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Tomato Water, Small Sorrel all layered in a shot glass.


Posted Image
Bread Service: SanFrancisco Sourdough and Parmesan Biscuit(Biscuits made in house). Later on I had an amazing Pumpernickle which was full of balanced robust flavors. Bread was served with Salted and Unsalted Butter.... I felt they had an off taste of metalic.... these were not my favorite.


Posted Image
Second Amuse: I was confused with the two amuses but Im guessing everyone gets the first one and the 2nd one is for the summer collection. This was Raw Tuna served two ways. One in Cucumber water and one with Apple Gelee.

I personally enjoyed the tuna with apple gelee... just very crisp and cleansing at the same time.


Posted Image
First Course: Raw Maine Diver Scallop, Kumamoto Oyster, Italian Black Pearl Osetra Caviar, Preserved Lemon.

Clean, Smooth, Citrusy, Salty, Delicious.


Posted Image
Second Course: Butter Roasted Langoustine, Hearts of Palm, Sunchoke, Brown Butter.

The langoustine was better than any lobster I have ever had. It melts immediately in your mouth. I felt the hearts of palm and sunchoke were very sour from the lemon but when you had everything together at once, it was harmony. I feel like that was the theme throughout the tasting menu, everything together tastes great but seperately not so great.


Posted Image
Third Course: Veloute of Summer Corn and Leek, Corn-Herb Fritters.

The soup had the taste of a 100 ears of corn. The soupe was extremely rich and coating. The Fritters were perfectly crispy and soft in the center that went well with the soup.


Posted Image
Fourth Course: Canadian Foie Gras Torchon, Salad of Ranier Cherries, Hazelnuts & Radish, Country Toast, Cherry Jus.

I've never had Foie Gras from Canada but I felt the torchon had a lot more mineral flavor than usual. The walnut salad was sweet and nutty. I also loved that Country Toast as something else to go with the foie gras... I enjoyed this very much so.


Posted Image
Fifth Course: Grilled Loup de Mer, Braised Baby Fennel, Tomato-Orange Nage

Im a big fan of grilled fish skin especially bass. The fennel was soft to the bite and firm to the fork, I could drink the nage all day long.


Posted Image
Sixth Course: Roasted Elysian Fields Lamb Saddle, Salt-Poached Potatoes, Petite Summer Vegetables, Lamb Jus.

The Lamb was excellent, everything else was okay, I felt the jus was inferrior. I felt it tasted cheap and poorly executed.


Posted Image
Seventh Course: The Cheese Cart.

I went for the cheese option and Im glad I did! I can't exactly remember the names but if I ever hear the name I would remember. I chose 4 different cheeses along with all of the accompaniments.


Posted Image
Dessert Amuse: Mixed Berry Sparkler

A nice punch in the mouth to wake your senses alive. Intense berry flavor.

Posted Image
Single Shot Espresso: Illy Brand with Classical Accompaniments

Nice Crema! :)


Posted Image
Eight Course: Gale's Dessert Collection of Banana&Butter Bread Pudding and Chocolate Semi Freddo with Blackberries.

So good! The desserts in my mind were the highlight of the night. The Bread Pudding was tingling to the tongue and the semi freddo was smooth and velvety to the mouth.


Posted Image
I really enjoyed Chocolate and rootbeer together... As someone who takes his rootbeer seriously, I felt that chocolate ice cream is a nice partner with the soda.


Posted Image
Mignardise Cart: A selection of lolly pops, sweet delights, and candies.

I selected a chocolate lolly pop, Candied Grapefruit Skin, Cashew Brittle, Marshmellow, and a raspberry tart. I really enjoyed all of this even though I was about to pass out on how much food I ate... but my suprise was the grapefruit skin. It was firm on the outside and when you bite into it melted. I usually have to chew on candied citrus rinds to consume them but this one was just extra special.

Posted Image
MORE CHOCOLATE: They really do a good job stuffing you!

Posted Image


I noticed that the tasting menu had about the same sized portions as Alinea did but I was getting worried because Alinea was serving me twice the amount of courses. Then after eating the cheese course I was stuffed! It's amazing how much food is in the Summer Collection. They also send you away with a complimentary Chocolate Madeline, makes a great midnight snack.

Overall, Flavors were subtle but the desserts are in your face full of flavors. Everything was perfect just not amazing. The only amazing part of the meal was the service. I would go again just for the service alone. I think I was expecting the same kind of food that are in the books. :hmmm:

Edited by JWest, 22 July 2006 - 12:17 AM.

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#74 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 04:37 PM

JWest,

I've heard credible rumors that with their new deals (for the upcoming Wheeling venues, etc.) now in place, Gale and Rick aren't spending as much time at TRU as they once were. Again, I don't know if it's 100% accurate but if so, it may put some perspective on your most recent meal there.

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#75 JWest

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 06:52 PM

I had a feeling about that...

Even though I was almost positive that Tramonto and Gand were not there I asked a server if they were there that night anyways. He lightly laughed about the idea as he was telling me they were not in. I took it as if they're rarely there.
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#76 ulterior epicure

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 07:41 PM

JWest. Thanks for the post - great photo journalism.

Re: Tramonto and Gand. I have heard the same as ronnie. Personally, from my one experience at the kitchen table, I would agree that the food was perfectly executed, but lacked "passion," if you will. And, as you noted, the service was the highlight.

By the way, the salad of Rainier cherries looks great. At first glance, I thought it was a cake of beef tartare! :laugh:

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure, 22 July 2006 - 08:01 PM.

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#77 ulterior epicure

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 07:20 PM

Tramonto and Gand battle it out with Batali on Iron Chef America this Sunday (July 30th) at 8pm CST on the Food Network.

u.e.
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#78 babern38

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:06 PM

what are these vague rumors about these new Tramonto venture's you are discussing?

#79 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 09:30 PM

what are these vague rumors about these new Tramonto venture's you are discussing?

View Post

See above. Post #69 in this thread, for example. Though the links are now dead, you'll get the general idea.

Edited to add this link to Westin's information page.

=R=

Edited by ronnie_suburban, 27 July 2006 - 09:35 PM.

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#80 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 09:52 PM

Here's a link to another story about their new projects, which originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune (now via Hotel on-line):

Hotel restaurants built in Tru fashion: Chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand of Tru will join other celebrity chefs in the trend that is transforming hotel dining

But next up, Tramonto and Gand this fall will unveil four new restaurant concepts at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel, a 411-room hotel going up at Lake Cook Road and Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling. None will compete, on the most rarefied level, where Tru operates.

Rather, there will be Osteria di Tramonto, a midpriced Italian spot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; Gale's Coffee Bar, with grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items; Tramonto's Steak & Seafood, a fairly pricey dinner-only restaurant; and RT lounge, featuring small plates of oysters, shrimp and the like.

And that's just the beginning.

The partnership formed for this venture intends to open restaurants in a 525-room Le Meridien planned for Rosemont, and in Naperville, at a Holiday Inn Select that is being renovated and will be rebranded. And they have their eyes on other markets, including Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., New York, Miami and Scottsdale, Ariz.

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#81 babern38

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 05:58 PM

just a reminder that Tramonto/Gand are battling on Iron Chef America tonight at 8pm central on food network

#82 nathanm

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:47 PM

So, I was planning on dining at Tru tomorrow night. I heard from another chef that Rick Tramaunto was definitely not at Tru anymore, and that the menu had changed.

On one hand, many celebrity chefs leave their restaurants while they do other projects or travel. I don't really care if the owner is in the kitchen.

What I am curious about is whether the restaurant has substantially changed recently.

Anybody know?
Nathan

#83 JWest

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:57 PM

You're going to recieve outstanding service and perfectly executed food. The style of food seems to have changed a little bit.
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#84 tammylc

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 12:48 PM

just a reminder that Tramonto/Gand are battling on Iron Chef America tonight at 8pm central on food network

View Post


Did anyone else watch this episode?

SPOILERS BELOW





I thought Rick and Gale represented well, but wasn't surprised that Batali won - the judges seemed to prefer his big flavors to the more subtle ones they presented. But 7 dishes was pretty impressive, and Gale's caramel spring was oh-so-cool.

One of the only things I like about Iron Chef America vs Iron Chef Japan is that I can or have actually eaten at the challengers restaurants. So it was cool to see them serving risotto in a little copper pot, cause I've eaten risotto out of a little copper pot at Tru. And the betta fish bowl - isn't that a Tru classic as well?

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#85 Pugman

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 02:27 PM

just a reminder that Tramonto/Gand are battling on Iron Chef America tonight at 8pm central on food network

View Post


Did anyone else watch this episode?

SPOILERS BELOW





I thought Rick and Gale represented well, but wasn't surprised that Batali won - the judges seemed to prefer his big flavors to the more subtle ones they presented. But 7 dishes was pretty impressive, and Gale's caramel spring was oh-so-cool.

One of the only things I like about Iron Chef America vs Iron Chef Japan is that I can or have actually eaten at the challengers restaurants. So it was cool to see them serving risotto in a little copper pot, cause I've eaten risotto out of a little copper pot at Tru. And the betta fish bowl - isn't that a Tru classic as well?

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Yes, I watched the episode and have enjoyed Rick and Gale's food at Trio, the short-lived Brasserie T and TRU many times. I've only had the pleasure of dining at Babbo once, but it still "reigns supreme" as the best Italian dinner I've experienced. Given the fact that Mario played up the theme ingredient to a fuller extent, I have to agree with the judges. (I sure would have loved to be on the judging panel!)

I watched the episode with my decidely "non-foodie" mother and I don't think she grasped why it was so exciting for me to watch the competition. She was mostly concerned for the Betta fish's fate, but I explained that he wasn't going to be live sashimi. Although, at least one of TRU's decorative fish has ended up in a diner's stomach...much to the dismay of the serving staff. (Which resulted, I'm told, in a hefty add-on charge to their dinner tab.) Those fish are treated like pets and the ill-fated one had been "on staff" for quite some time. Poor little guy.

Does anyone know when the Morimoto v. Cantu (Moto) battle will be aired?

#86 nathanm

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 07:23 AM

You're going to recieve outstanding service and perfectly executed food. The style of food seems to have changed a little bit.

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Yes, that is pretty much what happened. Excellent service. Wonderful recommendation by the sommilier. The food was well executed. Overall the dishes were not as spectacular as say, Alinea, but it was well done.
Nathan

#87 mike_r

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 03:03 PM

i was curious--i am planning on eating at tru in the near future and have to budget accordingly...what can i expect to spend if i want to see everything--caviar staircase, cheese, etc. are there other "add-ons" i can look for? i spent some time looking over the tru site and though it mentions the summer collection is $110, they don't mention the caviar staircase. should i go for gand's dessert collection in conjuction with the grand tasting? so confused! :blink:

#88 babern38

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 08:01 PM

When I went with my family last year, my dad and I both had Chef Tramonto's collection. This was $135 9-10 course meal that included the caviar staircase, cheese cart, foie, salad, soup, amuse, appetizers, fish dishes, meat dishes, dessert, mignardises, more chocolates, parting dessert, the works.

My mother had the grande collection (possible the summer menu you mentioned) for $110 and included the staircase, although I believe she had a lower grade caviar at the top (not the beluga or sevruga my dad and I had). Hers did not include the cheese cart, but my dad and I shared.

My fiancee had the $100 vegetable menu.

If its your first time and can swing the extra $20-30 bucks, I definitely recommend the blowout Tramonto collection. Another upside to this is that others dining at your table will get a completley different menu (for most courses) so if your companions are nice you can share. :biggrin:

If I remember we started with 4 glasses of $22 Rose champagnes, 2 tramonto's, 1 Grand, 1 vegetarian, 3 wine pairings, and perhaps coffee that i think came to $800-875 without tip. A relative bargain considering the 30+ different dishes we recieved, not including all the mignardises, etc. and some of the best service I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. Enjoy

#89 mike_r

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 08:54 PM

cheers! that actually sounds quite reasonable. i'm extremely interested in the service aspect at the moment; although i love food in every regard, i have heard much in regards to tru's service. since i'm currently working in a service-based environment, i'd like to see how others view certain steps in hospitality. another question: do you know if it is possible to set up a wine tasting program with them, or is it preferable to order a few glasses or a bottle?

#90 babern38

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 03:24 PM

First, regarding wine. I would definitely recommend letting the sommelier choose for you a glass for each dish. This is what we did and it was one of the first times the harmony between food and wine became apparent. To me, food and wine have always gone well together, but never like the pairings at TRU. The wines we had had various flavors that echoed/continued the taste of the food exceptionally well. Its fun to try so many different wines as well and it is also a lot cheaper than ordering several bottles.

Second, here is what I thought about the service. The entire housestaff is very formal and reserved, but they don't hesitate to return a smile, a nod, or a "hello" They are very unobtrusive, but always present as part of the entire "show". It wasn't really until the second course that I started to pick up on the synchronized pouring of water glasses, the eye contact between servers and barely imperceptible communication as when to rotate clockwise one seat to pour the next set of glasses. I also noted how, each time the basket of various breads was brought to the table, there were exactly four pieces of each type (the same number of pieces for the number of people at the table). I also remember the sommelier being excited that he was going to be able to offer us a pour of some rarer wines. I'm not really sure of the story, but he apparently worked some sort of magic and was able to give us a free upgrade or two on our pairings. The service at TRU is honestly one of the most fascinating, coordinated operations of human beings I have ever witnessed. I only wish I could have sat in the kitchen for a couple hours to see how they communicated with each other as well as the housestaff. I hope this is what you were looking for.