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.