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TRU - Chicago


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#91 ChefCAG

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 04:24 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.

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Scott Tyree is an amazing sommelier. I worked there for two years and never saw the FOH staff ever sweat anything. The only time they ever had issues was with with the kitchen. I have never worked with a service staff that comes even CLOSE to what Tru's service has accomplished. VERY impressive :wink: :cool:
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#92 nathanm

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 05:19 PM

The sommilier at Tru is FANTASTIC. I did not get the pairing - instead I asked the sommilier to recommend two great, but lesser known small producers that I would not have heard of. I often do this. He chose two really incredible wines (white and red). Both were quite inexpensive, and were things I had never heard of...

Edited by nathanm, 07 August 2006 - 05:20 PM.

Nathan

#93 babern38

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 06:40 PM

Perhaps someone could help me out with this question. I seem to recall reading in the Relais & Chateau guide last year that TRU was one of the Relais Gourmands wherein you could spend an afternoon/evening working/observing in the kitchen. Is this true? If so, I was hoping that I could arrange for my wife (an avid baker) to spend some time learning in the TRU kitchen.

I had sent an e-mail to them last week, but still have not heard from them. My wife is not professional by any means, but I have yet to be disappointed yet and I know she would love to be surprised by me arranging some time in such a fabulous pastry kitchen.

#94 mike_r

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:49 PM

as far as that goes, perhaps you would have better luck phoning and trying to set up a stage for a day; meaning work for free and see some cool stuff. generally it is used as a filtering process when one is applying for a job, but it can be used solely for educational purposes as well. be prepared for a lot of menial, labor-intensive tasks, such as shelling peas, juicing corn, chopping onions, etc. i am speaking from experience at other restaurants only; i don't know how they treat stagesat TRU.

in any case, you have all succeeded in getting me pretty damn excited for my meal; i only hope they can live up to the hype :raz:

#95 Lateralus

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 08:28 AM

Does anyone know what is going on at TRU?....I have heard endless rumors about possible new chef/chefs. Just heard Laurnet Gras is now new chef.....?

#96 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 10:00 AM

Does anyone know what is going on at TRU?....I have heard endless rumors about possible new chef/chefs.  Just heard Laurnet Gras is now new chef.....?

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Try this thread. It contains some information about newer happenings at Tru.

=R=
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#97 ulterior epicure

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:55 AM

FYI, TRU gets a wine lounge with a la carte offerings.

u.e.
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#98 jesteinf

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 09:53 AM

The fiancee and I recently came into quite a few LEYE gift cards so we decided to blow them all at once at Tru. With all the talk of Tramonto and Gand no longer spending much time in the kitchen, I figured this would be a good opportunity to investigate if things had fallen off (with little no financial risk on my part).

Well, if Tru was a four star restaurant the last time I was there (about three and a half years ago) I would put it at about 3.5 stars now. When Michelin arrives, I can't see them getting 3 stars.

The service was as stellar as I remember. Very formal, but approachable. I would describe it as highly professional. The servers here are not robots, but they're not really trying to be your best friend either (which I like at this level of dining).

The food itself was quite good, but there were a few missteps that came across as a lack of attention to detail more than anything else. I had a lamb dish that probably should have had a bit more fat trimmed off of it than it actually did. Also, one course (a chestnut pasta in a broth...sorry I don't have the menu in front of me), was probably served at the wrong temperature (it arrived cold when I'm pretty sure it was meant to be room temperature).

One weird thing...There is a white truffle collection on the menu right now and both of us wanted to add a course from that collection to the tasting menus we had ordered. Not a problem. The kitchen added the housemade tagliatelle with brown butter sauce a shaved white truffles. When the dishes arrived the truffles had already been shaved on top. Now, I don't go around eating white truffles everywhere I go but I can't say I've ever seen this type of dish presented like this. I thought the truffles were always shaved at the table. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

ETA - There was no supplement for the white truffle dish on our check, which to me makes the whole thing even more odd.

Finally, a heads up. The caviar staircase is no longer being served as part of any of the tasting menus. It is now only available a la carte at the low low price of $200.

Edited by jesteinf, 11 December 2006 - 09:55 AM.

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#99 ulterior epicure

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:00 AM

One weird thing...There is a white truffle collection on the menu right now and both of us wanted to add a course from that collection to the tasting menus we had ordered.  Not a problem.  The kitchen added the housemade tagliatelle with  brown butter sauce a shaved white truffles.  When the dishes arrived the truffles had already been shaved on top.  Now, I don't go around eating white truffles everywhere I go but I can't say I've ever seen this type of dish presented like this.  I thought the truffles were always shaved at the table.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?

ETA - There was no supplement for the white truffle dish on our check, which to me makes the whole thing even more odd.

I have had white truffles in Europe and the U.S. on a number of occasions. In my experience, the table-side shaving has only taken place twice. It's certainly more theatrical, but I don't think TRU was shaving imitation (or stale) truffles in the back, if that's what you are concerned about... How did it smell?

Finally, a heads up.  The caviar staircase is no longer being served as part of any of the tasting menus.  It is now only available a la carte at the low low price of $200.

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The HECK? Please tell me there's an unintended extra zero on that!!

Edited by ulterior epicure, 11 December 2006 - 10:00 AM.

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#100 jesteinf

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:14 AM

It certainly smelled truffle-ee, but not as strong as when the truffle is shaved right in front of you. I know there's a certain element of theatricality to the whole thing, but I like that.

And no, there is no extra zero on the price of the staircase.

-Josh

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#101 ulterior epicure

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:19 AM

It certainly smelled truffle-ee, but not as strong as when the truffle is shaved right in front of you.  I know there's a certain element of theatricality to the whole thing, but I like that.

And no, there is no extra zero on the price of the staircase.

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Then they must be serving real caviar - as in sturgeon/paddlefish, instead of tobiko and trout roe.
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#102 Pugman

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 01:29 PM

It certainly smelled truffle-ee, but not as strong as when the truffle is shaved right in front of you.  I know there's a certain element of theatricality to the whole thing, but I like that.

And no, there is no extra zero on the price of the staircase.

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Then they must be serving real caviar - as in sturgeon/paddlefish, instead of tobiko and trout roe.

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It is now an all-sturgeon assortment, apparently. Rick's caviar staircases are also being featured at their new RT Lounge at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling (including less expensive options with flavored roe). I think the price range is $65-$125. The sushi chef said caviar service should start this week (they opened just a few days ago).

BTW, the RT Lounge is excellent: no fake wasabi powder; a good balance of trendy and traditional sashimi, nigiri and maki; and the home of my new favorite dessert (a "dreamsicle" of mandarin orange gelle and vanilla panna cotta, topped with pomegranite seeds and a bit of shiso).

#103 gmi3804

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 06:59 PM

Finally, a heads up.  The caviar staircase is no longer being served as part of any of the tasting menus.  It is now only available a la carte at the low low price of $200.

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Yikes! Do you get to keep the staircase to take home?!? :shock:

#104 babern38

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:30 PM

I was just hoping to check in on this thread and see if those posts from awhile back regarding the absence of the caviar staircase with most collections (unless you fork over $200) is true or not. I have been looking forward to returning to Tru in a couple months and would hate to be disappointed if I was expecting to dine on "the staircase" again.

#105 sbarton

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

[FONT=Times][SIZE=1]

I was just hoping to check in on this thread and see if those posts from awhile back regarding the absence of the caviar staircase with most collections (unless you fork over $200) is true or not.  I have been looking forward to returning to Tru in a couple months and would hate to be disappointed if I was expecting to dine on "the staircase" again.

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I can give you an answer on your question. My name is Scott Barton, and I am Rick and Gale's partner @ Tru.

The caviar staircase that had previously been offered as a first course with most of our collections consisted of an assortment of one sturgeon caviar, and three different fish roes(salmon, trout, smoked whitefish, wasabi tobiko, etc.). We do not use that as a starter course for our collections currently, but if you are interested in starting with that, we will gladly do it for you. Based on the sturgeon caviar that you choose, there may be an additional charge. You may ask your server when you arrive, or let us know when making a reservation.

Currently as a first course, we offer a selection of Japanese sashimi-grade fish with complementary garnishes.

The caviar staircase that is on our menu right now is a tasting of different Iranian and sustainable sturgeon caviars. It is a much different tasting than the staircase previously offered on our collections.

If you are interested in coming, when calling Tru(312.202.0001), please ask our reservationist to contact me so that I can handle your reservation personally!

I hope this helps!

sb


Oh, and regarding white truffles. We have offered white truffles(during the season) at Tru since we opened. They are always fresh, and periodically(based on their size), we will shave them tableside.

#106 molto e

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:49 PM

Congratulations on winning the James Beard Award for Restaurant Service
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#107 babern38

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 01:45 PM

My wife and I went to Tru for our one year anniversary. This was our mcuh anticipated second visit.

First I will transcribe the menu with a few notes and follow by some comments and observations. Its been awhile and I din't take notes so comments will be brief

1. Amuse - Buffalo mozzarella dumpling with green olive emulsion & black olive powder
- a wonderful amuse. got us warmed up as its supposed to do

2. Zucchini pea Gelee, crunchy zucchini, Orange, ginger, spring vegetable cream
Lieb cellars Blanc de Pinot Blanc North Fork of long island 2002
- okay. Very well done, but nothing too wowing

3. Selection of sashimi Grade fish, complementary garnishes for me
King Oster mushroom, white asparagus, ramps for my wife
Emilio Bulfon Cividin Friuli 2005
- nice selection of sashimi. My wifes dish was also tasty

4. Roasted with asparagus, shallots, parmesan
Knoll Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Ried Kreutles Wachau 2005
- more asparagus. Okay for a salad course, but not too inventive. still nice however

5. Rabbit Consomme, Morels, Pea & lavender Emulsion for me
Green Garlic soup, chive, garlic pave for my wife
Barbeito Sercial Madiera 1978 for me
Chinon Blanc Les Chiens-Chiens Domaine de la Noblaie 2005 for my wife

- While both of these dishes were good, the rabbit was the best. I was surprised by the rabbit loin matching so well with the lightl flavored pea and lavender emulsion. the only put-off about this dish to me was the wine pairing. I thought this was the only slip-up with pairings of the night. The madeira was far too potent and heavy for such a delicate dish. Great on their own, but not together.

6. Whipped salt cod, creamy potato, smoked gelee, caviar for me
Creamy celery root and romaine, cocoa gelee, raspberry, meyer lemon for wife
Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St. Jean Guy Amiot 2002 for me
Lewis Cellars Vin Gris of Syrah Napa valley 2006 for my wife

- the salted cod was by far the best dish for me of the night. If the kitchen had said "we refuse to do the tasting menu for you, but here, try this" I might have complied happily. My wife ate all of her dish, but didn't really make any comments one way or the other. I must say it was a very nice presentation

7. Tagliolini, peeky toe crap, Uni for me
Spinach, ricotta gnocchi, goat cheese, zucchini pistou for wife
Kamoizumi komekome specialty sake for me
Sancerre Domaine Vacheron 2005 for wife

- I really enjoyed this dish, especially because of the pairing with sake. I just wish there had been a bit more because it took me a while to really understand the complexity of the flavors, but by then the 3 bites were all gone.

8. Scottish King Salmon, Red wine Boullion, white bean
Greenhough Pinot Noir Hoper Vineyards Nelsen 2004
- well exectued and tasty dish, but similar to things I've had before

9. Colorado lamb ribeye, white turnips, grapefruit, bergamot for me
Spring vegetable fricasee, meyer lemon emulsion for my wife
Bierzo petalos descendientes de J Palacios 2005
- I love lamb and this dish was very nice. I think my wife's vegetable had more asparagus again.

10. Cheese cart
Coteaux du Layon Domaine des Baumard 2003
- I love a good cheese cart and TRU has just that

11. Mint lemonade with yogurt drops
- I would have liked a whole glass of this. One of the best intermezzo's I've ever had. Completely cleansed my palate but remained tasty

12. Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse, orange sherbert, cardamom-scented oranges
Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos Chateau Pajzos 1999
- very, very, very delicious. You can't go wrong with a Gand desert. I do wish we had received a duo of desserts as we had in the past if only to experience more of her talent. I also love tokaji and was hoping one would find its way into a pairing.

13. Mignardise and lollipops
- gotta love the giant cart at TRU

14. take home gift of miniature lemon cakes
- I love lemon cake and these were some of the best I've had


- first, the service was outstanding as ever. The only thing different was that the synchronized pouring of water was not always present as it was on our first visit. Perhaps because we were seated at a two-top, booth/chair seat whereas before we were at a free-standing 4-top.
- I miss the old dishes the butter came on. They used to be two perfectly cut (slightly green) glass squares and one had a slight square indentation on the top holding a pinch of salt to let you know which butter was salted. We simply had two wavy glass squares of different colors and I kept forgetting which was salted or not. Pluse, these new butter servers do not exactly match the exploding box chargers placed before you at the start of the meal.
- One of the things that made our first trip to TRU so memorable was the excess of everything, especially the expensive, high-end foods such as caviar, foie gras, etc. I know that foie gras' been banned in chi-town so not really Tru's fault there. However, they also no longer include the caviar staircase with their tasting menus. Instead, you must pay a much higher price for premim caviar service in addition to the tasting menu. I was aware of this change, but it still remains a slight disappointment.
- At one point I made the observation that many of TRU dishes and presentations seemed to have changed in their basic concept. Our first visit yielded dishes with many things on the plate that the diner was required to mix and bring together after sampling individually. Things such as gelees, foams, powders, sauces, etc. However, this visit the dishes were a bit more composed and constructed (stacked, layered) together like at Alinea. This does not change the way the food tastes, but I wonder if it just happened to be the dishes we received that night or some behind the scenes motivation changing the types of dishes.
- One more thing, gone are the spontaneous menus or possibility of everyone at the table getting a separate tasting menu. That will be disappointing if and when we return with my family or others and no longer get to experience 4 times the number of dishes as we did on our first visit. I remember that being an exceptional thing on our first visit that I have not experience elsewhere as of yet. In addition to this, I wonder if this means the kithcen stocks a few less ingredients. I say this because I noticed white asparagus creeping into many of our dishes 9especially my wife's) more often than desired. We like asparagus, but more variety for her would have been nice. I remember on our first visit that the vegetarian menu was a bit more complex and varied with pastas, fruits, vegetables, soups, etc. that were prepared with more varying techniques and styles as opposed to a more raw approach.
- Scott Tyree, the sommelier is by far the best sommelier ever. The wine program at TRU is simply stunning in that the unique wines paired with the various dishes fit so extremely well. I loved the idea of throwing a glass of sake in as a pairing. well done
- My wife LOVES!! wedding cake. Since we were to be out of town and away from the top of our wedding cake in the fridge at home I had requested that a special dessert be made for us. I had rememebered reading about the cake Gale Gand made for her wedding and that she occasionally used this at TRU. I had requested far in advance and was under the impression that everything would be taken care of. We did receive a small(silver dollar), heart shaped brownie with a single candle on a plate with icing expressing "happy anniversary", but this was not really what I had in mind. Also, I'm not sure how or why, but this was taken away before we even got to eat it. Oh well.

Final: while many of the above comments may sound negative, and some are, TRU is no less than one of the finest restaurants that I've dined at. Most of the negative comments are the result of fond memories I had of my first visit and my placing of expectations on the restaurant which I know may not be met. So in a way, some of those feelings are my own fault, but valid points of discussion none the less. Perhaps it is also do to the fact that my culinary experiences have increased since the first visit (i.e. we've gone to ALinea, Moto, etc. since then). All in all, this was a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary. The service was outstanding, the wine selections were amazing, and the food was delicious. Perhaps I was not as wowed this go around, but we look forward to returning in the future.

#108 GordonCooks

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:03 AM

Rick Tramonto leaving

#109 Chris Hennes

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:25 PM

With Tramonto now gone, Anthony Martin is the Executive Chef at TRU: my wife and I had dinner there on Thursday, and it was quite good. A couple highlights off the tasting menu were an excellent pea soup, and a glazed veal dish served with morels. I was a bit surprised that the biggest disappointments of the evening were in the dessert category, none of which were really noteworthy, and some were not very good. The service, however, was top notch, and by the time dessert rolled around I was stuffed anyway, so it didn't really affect the meal that much.

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#110 furzzy

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 03:39 PM

Now that it's been a while since Rick went to NOLA and Gale doesn't spend much (if any) time at TRU, I'd like to revive (bump) this thread by asking who's been there recently & how was the experience & the food, etc. We haven't been for ages but had recently mentioned that we hadn't & should.

After reading the later art of this thread, I'm wondering.