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Everything posted by babern38

  1. Living in Columbia, my family and I went to Sycamore withing the few weeks weeks of its opening. Our experience sounds similar to yours. The room was very nice and the service was acceptable (with minor problems) and the meal had its ups and downs. However, it sounds like the menu items have become a bit more creative since our meal. For instance, I don't remember sweet breads, truffles, etc. Perhaps things have stepped up a bit and I am now looking forward to another try. Going to Trattoria this Saturday first and I'm looking forward to seeing if anything is new. I do agree that the massive expansion of chain restaurants is not preferable to locally owned, orginial restaurants, but I do enjoy having more options.
  2. I have taken my sweet (& savory) time getting around to this review, but here goes. My parents and fiancee dined at S&S on December 27th around 7PM. I had read all of the great comments about this place here and decided we should check it out. I had e-mailed the chef to let him know that my fiancee was a vegetarian and if we would still be able to do a tasting menu. I was told that that would not be a problem. I had also asked about the possibility of doing a white truffle menu. Upon walking in the door, we didn't have to give our name, the host/waiter was expecting us. We were seated at the 4 top next to the bar and presented with the menus for our perusal. We were all given a glass of water w/ cucumber, which I had never had before, but I eventually grew to like the new garnish to water. Anyway, I mentioned to the waiter that we were thinking about doing a tasting (as I had read that this was the best way to go, especially the best value). To my surprise, the waiter said he'd have to go check with the kitchen. I was surprised, because it seemed that the chef had relayed the rest of my e-mail, but not the part about doing a tasting menu. When the waiter returned, we were told that the chef would have a difficult time meeting my fiancee's vegetarian requirements. It was also stated that the chef, knowing we had flown in from Missouri, thought it would be in our best interest to order off the menu so we could get to sample a variety of things on the menu. I was confused as I thought that was the idea of a tasting menu, especially in which we would get to taste more, small courses as opposed to 3-4 larger ones. Also, I was aware that ordering off the menu would have been far more expensive than the tasting menu prices listed on eGullet. O.K. so I was a bit disappointed and frustrated at this point as my efforts at prior planning had gone out the window. Rolling with the punches, we settled on an appetizers, a soup course, and an entree. The waiter also mentioned a few times, that because there were only a few vegetarian items on the menu, the kitchen was going to send out something special. Appetizers Lobster Risotto w/ white truffle shaved on top - I had mentioned that I had never had white truffles before and was excited at this prospect. We were fortunate, that for the $10 supplement, about $50 of white truffles were shaved ono the plate. I could definitely taste the difference between black truffles and found the taste far more pleasing to my palatte. Anyway, this was a very solid dish of creamy risotto with giant chunks of lobster throughout. We also had the foie gras appeitzer. I remember it was a grilled piece of foie, nice size, but don't recall the other garnishes. I remember thinking that the foie was not cooked as much as I would have liked and that the blackened grill marks yielded a little too much carbon throwing off the other flavors. Soup My mother and I had the mushroom soup, which was very good, but had some problems. For instance, it was brought out in a HUGE bowl. This would have been enough for a meal in itself. Also , the soup was so salty that half way through, my tongue was getting raw. I kept thinking to myself that this would have been much better in a tasting menu sized portion. At least it was good. My father and fiancee were not so fortunate in their selection. They ordered the tomato bread soup. This was basically a light, tomato soup, with soggy croutons floating in it. It actually tasted good and was enjoyable, except for one thing..........they finish off the bowl by pouring in a huge amount of olive oil. I mean it was like the olive oil Exxon Valdez capsized in the bowl. It was making my fiancee sick. Granted, it was good, but I couldn't bare going back for a second tasting. NOTE: Here is where the evening took another wrong turn. When the waiter picked up our plates, possibly noticing the large amount of soup left in my fiancee's bowl, asked how everything was. She replied that it was good, but had a lot of oil on/in it for her tastes. Nothing snobby, just a casual comment. The waiter simply said, "well thats what you get when you order this dish" and then proceeded to go on about how that is the classic way that soup is made and how they drizzle olive oil around the rim of the bowl to finish it. OK, that would be one thing, to finish the dish, but the olive oil was poured all over the place, we are talking like a whole cup of oil. We were a bit surprised at the waiters reaction. Entrees I had the short ribs which were awesome. They melted off the bone and the sauce was rich/meaty enough with a nice sweet component. I'm sorry the details are lost, but the plate went back to the kitchen bare. My fiancee had the gorgonzola, pear, walnut, salad or something similar. She said it was good, but she was still feeling a bit ill from the olive oil soup and a bit put off by the waiter's comments. My mom had the kobe beef burger which was awesome. Truly a sight to behold and to taste. I don't remember my dad's entree, I think it was a fish dish, but don't recall. Anyway, we also split an order of the duck fat fries, which were cool to see the giant, super-thick cut fries. They tasted good, but again, they were about as salty as a salt lick. I ate about half of one and had to stop in order to keep some of the skin on the roof of my mouth. my dad had the lobster stuffed baked potato as a side. It was really cool so see the potato placed on its end, have the filling removed, mashed up and mixed with lobster and placed back into the potato. It was also very good. Desserts Here is a whole other story in its own right. So the meal had some highlights and some pretty big pitfalls, but dessert was yet to come. We were already so stuffed from the huge portions, but felt like we had to sample the desserts. Having heard about the wonderful dessert creations and how large the portions were on the dessert tasting menu were, we enquired about what desserts were on the 5-course dessert tasting, thinking we might split it with the whole table. We were told that it was the chef's choice. Well there were two items on the menu inparticular that my mom and fiancee wanted so we decided that they would each pick their own dessert and my dad and I would do a 3-course dessert tasting. A few minutes later, we were presented with four plates, none of which my mom or fiancee had ordered. Before having a chance to say anything, the waitress informed us that the chef couldn't make up his mind and decided that he was going to give us one of everything on the dessert menu. OK, cool, but also scary considering I wouldn't be able to eat an entire dessert, let alone help 3 other people tackle/taste 8-9 different desserts. I wish I could recall everything, but I was in a hyperglycemic coma by this time and couldn't function for my life. I remember enjoying nearly every single dish except for 1-2. I'll admit it was fun passing around tons of plates, w/ full size portions of desserts on them, but it got kind of old after the second serving. And unfortunatley, the 2 desserts my mom and fiancee had ordered specifically didn't come out until the last round and they were way too full to try more than a fork full. Summary Alright, so that was a huge long review with great mixtures of emotions and feelings. I will try to summarize the bulk of them. Sweets & Savories is a nice little "neighborhood" restaurant. A place I can see going to with a couple friends once every couple of months if I lived in that particular area of Chicago. Most of the food was very good and definitely edible, but portion and salt control could be straightened out a bit. I was disappointed that my expectations and plans for the tasting menu were not met, but I'm sure the chef had his reasons for the night. I, along with my fiancee, was also put-off my the one server in particular who had made the various comments to her about the soup course (see above). He seemed to have something against vegetarians as we overheard him make some similar statements and use a similar vocal tone when another table mentioned they were in the presence of a vegetarian. All in all it was definitely an experience. One with some very good food, some problematic, and either an apparent lack of communication or some sort of confusion going on in the kithcen or with the waitstaff. At least I'm fatter for the experience.
  3. Chef Achatz, If there is some question about the desire of people to either, go back to revisit old dishes, or simply want to experience past classics for the first time, why not do a 3rd menu option for a limited time consisting of ~10 courses of past classics. It would be interesting to see how many would elect to do this menu. I would think it would be more than the 10% of those ordering the 6 course menu. If I knew that for one or two months a year, Alinea offerered a tasting of past classics, you could definitely count me in.
  4. Chef Achatz, Now that you have eliminated menu 2 and are just doing the 12 course and Tour are you planning on creating any new menu variations (spontaneous menu, prix fixe, etc.) or will you leave it with only the two current options?
  5. Those pictures are fantastic. I have thought about my meal everyday for the last 2 weeks and can't help but smile every time. The more I reminisce, the stronger I feel about all my experience at Alinea. It truly is an amazing restaurant that I look forward to visiting again in the future. Sorry to get off the NYE discussion, but I was curious about the plate/bowl used for the hot potato. I think I read somewhere that the bowl is made out of wax and is remoldable? I'm just wondering if there is a reason for this as opposed to having a hard plastic bowl? Also, I also loved that Curious & Ancient Port. I don't recall ever having a port with such a light red color. But then again, I'm still young.
  6. it was that episode. It was part of the first week's episodes. I think it was episode 1 or 2. It was cool, but the buffering was way off and it sucks to watch a 4 minute clip in 5 second intervals.
  7. I briefly caught a glimpse of an add on the food channel about a new show or some already existing show that would be talking about new technological ways of cooking and I thought I caught glimpses of Cantu from Moto in Chicago. I overheard the add talking about edible menus out of risotto. I have not seen this add again. Does anyone know what i'm talking about or have any more info?
  8. I briefly caught a glimpse of an add on the food channel about a new show or some already existing show that would be talking about new technological ways of cooking and I thought I caught glimpses of Wylie and Cantu from Moto in Chicago. I have not seen this add again. Does anyone know what i'm talking about or have any more info?
  9. On December 29th, my parents, fiancee and myself experienced Alinea for the first time. It will not be my last. I have read everything on this thread and elsewhere on the web over the past several, months, numerous times, waiting for the opportunity to go and experience the amazing creations of Achatz and his kitchen. I will mostly make a few general comments and then list the menu, with minimal discussion as most of the dishes have been listed previously and I can't possibly do the experience justice. At times I had wondered if reading all these threads and seeing the pictures would somehow ruin or lessen my experience. It didn't. There were many subtleties and differences that I did not expect. First, I did not think the restaurant would be as noisy as it was. The kitchen was silent, but many tables were obviously having a good time. At first I was thrown off guard, but then realized this would be a more relaxed, less formal affair. The dining areas were also lit far more than I imagined from the pictures. This is probably the most attractive restaurant I have been in to date. My fiancee is a vegetarian and they did a great job meeting her special requirements including her dislikes of celery, avocado, and fennel. It was nice that her dishes were designed to match the rest of ours in appearance even though the ingredients differed. We ordered the 12 course, but wound up getting 17! I would have loved to do the tour, butthe rest of my family was not up to it. I'm glad I got the extra courses. I'll list the dishes: Hot Potato - very cool and a great start Pear - I loved how the curry shell broke, but was disappointed that the celery flavors overwhelmed the pear. Bison - I loved every time these dishes went through the room spreading the wonderful juniper aroma. I just wish this was more than a single bite as it was deserving of a plate in itself. Chestnut - Cool. Very fun to mix and match. I'm amazed at how all the flavors are so distinct, both seperately and when mixed. Normally, when told what goes into a dish I can only recognize 1-2 flavors. Awesome. The marsala gelee was my least favorite however salsify - this was like a new take on french fries. I loved how the roe was used instead of salt. very cool king crab - I didn't know that I loved crab w/ passion fruit, but its a good thing the chef did. pork - one of my favorite dishes. THe cornbread pudding was great. I lloved the fresh honey. kumquat - THis was a unique and originial palatee cleanser. Not so much tasty, but effective. Sweet Potato - Duck - yummy Kobe Beef - not sure what to say about this. Very original. very good Idiazabal - I was hoping I got to try this. ChefG should sell the recipe to Cheeto's Applewood - I'm glad I got to try the antenna. THe flavors in this little bite were, like everything else, awesome Gingerbread - I really liked this dish, the butter sphere-thing was cool, but I thought there was almost too much butter after it exploded, lessening the other flavors in the dish. Plantain - Yummy! Chocolate - I loved the thickened chocolate. I was really curious to try avocado with chocolate and very pleased to find it was very, very delightful. I wonder why you don't see chocolate avocado ice cream? caramel - good stuff. We also did the basic wine pairings which I really enjoyed. I felt that here the wines acted more as a canvas to the food as being an accompaniment. I may be wrong, my palatte is still young. At the end of the mal, we were given a tour of the kitchen which was very cool, got to meet chef Achatz, given copies of the menu, and 4 jars of the extra honey. In summary, I am very jealous of all of you who live in Chicago and thus have the ability to dine at Alinea more often. I will be back.
  10. Now for a report of out tasting....... 1st course: delivered on a long rectangular piece of "sheet metal?" that was placed between my fiancee and myself. For me, a single kumamoto oyset in the shell atop a bed of sea salt. There was more to the oyster, but I don't quite remember. I think there was a soy gelee, smoked salmon pearls, and green foam. very good. for my fiancee: a slice of artichoke with a fried mayonnaise sphere atop it. There was a red pepper mayonnaise sauce dividing the plate making the dish resemble a percentage sign "%". very cool 2nd course: Brought out on smaller versions of the stainless steel plates, O-Toro for me, which I loved how the server Jeremy described it as "stupid good!!" It was that good. It was accompanied by soy gellies, some greens and some rice krispies. for my fiancee, it was really cool, as her dish was made to look exactly like mine, although she had persimmon shaped like my rectangle of O-Toro. Very creative and very cool. 3rd course: Chef Blais' take on bread service. We were each brough two giant, extremely heavy, green slate kitchen tiles. To the top of the plate were 3 or 4 Touilles? I'm not sure if that is what they are called, but they were ultra thin rectangles of porous, crispy, salty, buttery, wonderful bread. Across the plate was drizzled lavender honey giving off an amazing scent. For me, was a wonderful disc of foie gras that had been cooked and cured in the fridge for a couple days. My fiancee, a vegetarian, had a similar disc, but consisting of butter. It was not ordinary butter though, it was enchanted Pre-4th course entertainment. One of the green slate tiles was placed in front of me with one of the stainless steel plates on top of it. Chef Blais brought us a small copper pot of which he had melted some brown butter. He instructed us that we should spoon the butter onto the steel, which he had just dipped in liquid nitrogen. This would infact allow us to make a butter pancake. Very fun, but we were a bit confused as to whether we were to eat brown butter pancakes as a course by itself, But then........... 4th course: Soup. We were each presented with a large white bowl that had a clear glass cylinder inside it. Outside the glass was a green apple sorbet and inside was an orange liquid. Mine contained Butternut Squash and sausage soup. I don't remember, but I think my fiancee's was sweet potato. Anyway, the glass cylinders were lifted, letting the warm orange soup mix with the cool green apple sorbet. We were then told that we may add our brown butter pancakes as we liked. This was some seriously good stuff. Like, liquid crack with a crispness of apple. 5th course: Pasta or as it was described pasta that is not pasta. Rather than traditional noodles, were made from scallops, I remember chef Blais mentioning transglutaminase. All the glasses of wine have begun making things a bit hard to remember, but I remember they were good. My fiancee had dark brown noodles that I believe were made from seaweed. They looked a lot like the onions in french onion soup, but they tasted soooo much better. Anyway, these noodles were layed on top of this ultra thick mushroom soup. It was like the consistency of wet concrete, but tasted like mushrooms. Awesome. I would like to mention that while Chef Blais was describing this dish to us, I noticed there was something on my plate that shouldn't be there. I was not going to say anything, but luckily Chef Blais noticed, grabbed both dishes and politely told us he would bring them back. Needless to say, we were brought two entirely new dishes that had been completely been replated. That is dedication to quality and service and shows the pride taken in the creations. Thanks for that chef. 6th course: Main courses Beef brisket for me and a roasted apple for my fiancee. While I remember this being the best brisket I had ever had and remember my fiancee raving about the apple, I was getting so stuffed both with food and emotions from the previous courses as well as wine, i can't remember more details. They didn't take away full plates though. Chef Blais then came out for the final time and left us in the capable hands of his dessert chef. 7th course: a small sphere of cream cheese on a spoon with a candied, dried apple chip was a nice start to the last course. 8th course: The homemade Kit Kat Bar. Awesome, so stuffed. But finished it all. We entered at 8:30 and were the last to leave around 11:30 extremely happy. I will give some final thoughts later. But until then, to those of you lucky enough to be in Atlanta, got to ONE.midtown tonight and as many other nights as possible.
  11. The squab was not encrusted in brioche It was a loveseat, a light gold color with purple silk pillows. do you mean sofa or loveseat(small sofa) some may be confused by this due to tha fact that one of the changes made was the removal of the banquet. that is the infamous value to portion to experience problem many have with WD-50 and of course this thread is great even if you have no interest in Masa Is Masa worth it? ←
  12. I was wondering if anyone had any info on the menu or special New Year's Eve plans at Alinea? P.S. I can't wait for my reservations on Thursday.
  13. There is one other thing that confuses me about this restaurant compared to others I have eaten at such as TRU in Chicago and La Ferme in Chamonix, France For the price payed at Seeger's there was half as much food for the same price at TRU. Also at TRU, I was given a staircase of various caviars, not just a spoonful. At TRU truffles were shaved thick and generously as opposed to my two pitiful nickel sized slivers. Do you think Seeger's is trying to pay off their new renovations or is it that being a fairly new foodie I am missing something at Seeger's compared to other places? Thanks for the info
  14. I traveled to Atlanta(for the first time) last week with only a few days notice and after much perusal of reviews on-line and here on eGullet, I decided that one night I would go to ONE.midtown kitchen and Seeger's the second. (I considered myself lucky to get a 5:30 res at Seeger's on such short notice). I will try to keep this review brief, but would like to mention two things. TFirst, the previous night I had an amazing tasting menu at ONE.midtown and two, this was to be my first time dining alone at such an "upper level" restaurant (not a major factor, but makes one desire to be entertained more by the food than by the company). I think I am capable of giving an unbiased opinion, but felt this should be mentioned for accuracy. In brief, before disussing the food, I found the restaurant without incident and pulled into the small parking lot in front. There are three spaces with handicapped signs and two without. I pulled into a vacant non-handicapped spot and was then greeted by the hostess. She informed me that this small parking lot was for handicapped only and that I should use the valet. "But where?" She explained it was around the back and she would come down the short garden path to meet me there. Even though there was no sign indicating this was how things worked here, I felt a slight twinge of embarassment and then I proceeded to the valet. Okay, no biggie, water off a duck's back, not gonna ruin my meal. Okay, so made it inside, was well received, led to sit in the bar where I ordered a glass of champagne. With my champagne I was brought a small plate of ordinary-tasting popcorn and small goat cheese tart. Whooppeee! While one expects attention at such an establishment I couldn't help people were staring at me more often as it is probably unusual to see a 24 year-old (who looks 17) dining at Seeger's alone. Whatever, I'm here primarily to eat some good food. I should mention that while waiting I overheard the waitstaff speaking to one another quite casually behind some curtains. i.e. "same shit different day." I'm not offended, but would think that at such a restaurant with only 12 tables, they would know when the first one has arrived and is sitting right outside. Okay, I was seated in the very pretty, dining room at the corner table on the sofa overlooking the rest of the dining room. I was already a bit "worried", but then my waitress/captain/whatever came by and helped my relax while I was waiting for the first course. Her name was Molly. She was the one person I ever got any real personality out of that night. I really tried to get some of the other waiters and sommeliers to let down their guard a bit, not as a trick, just to be more friendly, help teach me a bit more about the cuisine, etc. But, Molly was very nice carrying on some small talk, etc. First course/Amuse: A nickel-sized sphere of foie gras, coated in a nut (almond?) and served with a little persimmon jelly. Not bad, standard stuff, but got me ready for more, which is its purpose. second amuse: a creamy celery soup. This was nice. It was more like a small bowl of concentrated butter with a hint of celery. You can't go wrong with the power of butter and/or cream. Very nice to warm me up a bit. 3rd course: Tuna Tartare: Georgia mountain trout, slightly smoked, horseradish cream, select american caviar, beet apple chutney, juniper oil. very nice presentation, with the round tartare surrounded by the little drops of oil. I don't recall the last time I had trout like this. I'm not sure if it wasn't smoked enough, or trout, in this manner of service, was too oily and fishy tasting for me. (as a note, I love many kinds of sushi) I liked examining the difference between the chutney and caviar when mixed with the trout. Anyway, this was something I was okay with trying, but would not order it off a menu if given a choice. I could have done with half as big of a serving. 4th course: 4 washington sate kumamoto oysters were borought out, each in their individual little dish, atop a jerusalem artichoke mousse, with vegetable vinaigrette and spice of the angels. I haven't had too many experiences with raw oysters, so this was nice to try them. I liked the artichoke mousse they were on and appreciated their briny flavor. They really speak more for themselves than of Chef Seeger's culinary prowess. 5th course: Maine codfish, sashimi quality, poached in court bullion, root vegetables, horseradish snow I had been a bit worried and let down until this dish, which had the first flavors I really started to enjoy. The fish was well cooked, but for some reason, I really only started tasting the broth and flavors closer to the inside of the serving. I also failed to taste any horseradish on the foam set atop the fish. I love horseradish and would have loved it giving another angle of flavor to this dish other than a nice cooked piece of fish in a creamy broth. 6th course: a flown-in-today live diver scallop from Mass, grilled, with marinated prune and black truffle from Vancluse. I enjoyed this reasonably well. Every scallop I have ever had has been a bit soft, not chewy, but soft. This scallop was much more firm and had a much more meaty texture that I found very enjoyable. I liked the prune, but was disappointed at the 2 ultra-mega-thin slices of black truffle. 7th course: Squab from california, baked in cinnamon cream, sausage, giblet confit, glazed carrots, date chutney, carrot cream By far, this main course, superseded anything else of the night. I wish I could have just had 8 plates of this. The squab breast was amazingly full of flavor. I had never had squab before and thought it would tast gamey, but it was awesome. They used the leg and made sausage that was stuffed with oyster mushrooms and a little foie gras and some herbs. A completely different flavor from the brease, but awesome hearty flavor as well. The giblet confit (I believe the heart and liver) was also very good. It was tender, yet chewy, but full of flavor. It reminded me of the beef cheek ravioli at Babbo in New York. 8th course: Cheese course - will not discuss here, but very nice selection 9th course: Terrine of mango and creme fraiche, topped with a spicy mint granite. This was the little pre-dessert amuse. I really liked this and was surprised that the mint was not overpowering at all. 10th course: Souffle of meyer lemon, citrus compote, and white chocolate sorbet. This was very enjoyable. I loved how the souffle was baked and served in the hollowed out lemon. Very light and tasty. Mignardises - These were all very good. Molly, the waitress was kind enough to offer to give me extras to take home to my fiancee. I gladly accepted. Summary: I've had about a week to reflect on this experience before writing it up and am still not sure what to think so this may be a jumble of thoughts and feelings. I really liked the appearance of the restaurant. I was glad to try some things I wouldn't normally order and it is apparent that Chef Seeger lets the featured food proucts speak more for themselves rather than dressing them up in fanciful sauces, etc. I should mention that I did have wine pairings with almost every course and while the wines were all very unique and tasty, they seemed out of order. By this I mean, I would have a glass that I thought would have paired better with the previous course and a glass that would have been more suited to the following course. I do not think this was some mistake in communication, just selection. However, I have a long way to go to fully developing my palatte, but this is still my feeling. There is also the unpleasant matter of the bill. I knew this was an expenseive restaurant and have no problem paying for that. However, many of the things I read about Seeger's on-line was that the dfegustation was $95. Its really $128. I think for the quantity of food I was given and for my enjoyment of the meal, I would have felt more comfortable and reasonable paying $95. The wine pairings were $80 and well worth it compared to my glass of champagne at $25. With the included gratuity it all came to just under $300. I guess experience is expensive. I'm gonna stop here as this turned out way to long, but perhaps someone will read/listen and comment.
  15. Last Tuesday my fiancee and I arrived in Atlanta after a 9+ hour drive from St. Louis. We only had about 1 1/2 hours after checking in before we left for our 8:30 reservation at ONE.midtown Kitchen. I was a slightly nervous for two reasons. First, my fiancee is a vegetarian and usually quite restrained on the styles and variety of food she eats. Second, OMK's website did not offer much of a feel for their menu and I was worried whether my fiancee would find it enjoyable, since I decided on the restaurant after reading some recs on eGullet, and whether I would enjoy the experience as well. Anyway, we proceeded from our hotel towards OMK with our MAPQuest directions in hand. Somehow, in the 4 miles between the holiday inn on N Druid Hills and OMK, we passed by every strip club in Atlanta. Our first time in Atlanta, we were on a Journey into forbidden territory, an adventure...........the tension was mounting. We arrived outside and I was pleased to see the complimentary valets, since the streets were packed with cars. We stepped out, relinquished the keys, and upon looking at the buildings exterior with the restaurant''s name glowing with the neon backlights and the big door, my fiancee, sensing my excitement, turned to me and said with a smile, "you love this place." "so far so good". Stepping inside we were greeted with the wonderful smells of the (wood burning?) oven and the very open restaurant, alive and loud with activity before us. Skipping ahead, we gave our name, waited ten minutes and were then seated at a nice table near the back of the restaurant and were greeted by our waitress, Beth. Now, stepping back a moment, I had received a private message on eGullet from Chef Blais, who after reading my posts about where I should go and about my fiancee's "particularities", said he would be able to accomodate her and even do a tasting for us. Beth had placed two copies of the menu and wine list before us and left quickly, without mention of the availability of the tasting menu. I was a bit confused and worried, but not for long. She popped by a minute or two later and exclaimed, "we were thinking of starting you both off with some champagne." my fiancee and I looked questioningly at each other, then at Beth......"okay, why not". A few minutes later she came back with the champagne and I was about to enquire about the possible tasting menu right after my first sip of the wonderful champagne she had brought us, but was beaten to it. Before I opened my mouth, Beth began "Okay, so if its all right with you, we'll just start bringing out courses." She also quickly clarified my fiancee's requirements. My fiancee and I were both stunned. Apparently, Chef Blais had taken my name from our previous communication and readied the restaurant to alert him upon our arrival! Awesome! In this incredibly packed and busy restaurant, we felt like the supreme guests, with special attention of the kitchen. Even with such consideration, that indescribable feeling of excitement and nerves still remained as we were in the chef's hands, at the ktichen's mercy, to eat, nay, to devour and enjoy whatever we were given. I have already written far more than I had previously intended and have not even begun discussing the food. I apologize if this is long winded, but, without spoiling anything, this was one of the most vivid and well remembered meals and times my fiancee and I have had in a while. And that is saying something.
  16. I would really like to visit and have the tasting menu, but am wondering if you may be able to accomodate my fiancee's non-fish vegetarian needs for a tasting menu so she could accompany me? thanks.
  17. I will most likely be visiting Atlanta just before christmas and would like to get some recs for a great, fancy, restaurant that has a tasting menu. Price is not really an option. Also, my fiancee is a vegetarian, so it would be nice if the place was also friendly and accomodating to her needs. I look forward to your suggestions.
  18. I was just wondering as I am not very familiar with california other than 2 days in LA and a couple visits to San Fran when I was a little kid, but what is the most efficient way to plan a trip to TFL? I'm in missouri, so would I fly out of STL or KC into San Fran or where? Then do I rent a car, etc. how long is the drive to TFL and where do you recommend I stay that's close by? Thanks. I gotta start planning my destination dining.
  19. so what is the report on lunch? no one ever replied. Also, from the general discussion of the menu it does not sound like a vegetarian would do very well here.
  20. I can only hope that the white truffle explosion is still on the menu at the end of december, as I have read so much about the original version at Trio, but have never had the dish. I believe my family is only going to do the 12 course menu however and I am wondering if we could add the truffle explosion on as an extra course? I think I've read about people adding an extra course or two. Does anyone know what type of charge this incurs? Thanks.
  21. from the previously mentioned article" "kobe beef lozenges encrusted with toasted pumpkin seeds mired in sweet taffy, arranged along a ribbon of dehydrated orange squash". I don't recall this being mentioned on the site before. Could this be a forthcoming item on the new menu? It sounds awesome! I can't wait till my first visit at the end of December.
  22. Thanks for the reply. I'll actually be arriving wednesday afternoon, so I could go grab the burger for dinner. I would like to do their full tasting menu, but I'll be at Alinea the next night and I think that might be way to much good dining. (not necessarily for me, but my parents and fiancee). I've only seen comments on the various sweets and savories threads about either the burger or the tasting menu. Do they have a good selection of ala carte items as well? Thanks and is there a dress code?
  23. I'm gonna be in chicago in a couple weeks and I am dying to try the kobe burger. Are they open for lunch everyday or just fridays? citysearch.com says they are only open for lunch fri-sun, but then they also say they have $10 kobe burgers on wednesdays. Can someone please sort this out for me? Thanks.
  24. do you know if they cater to vegetarians there?
  25. On a recent trip to New York, i found restaurants websites crucial to deciding where we would dine. Of course I also referred to eGullet, Zagat's, etc. but they do not provide you with menus. Since my fiancee is a vegetarian, I really appreciate a restaurant with a website that offers menu selections so I can see if she would be happy eating there. I really liked Daniel Bouluud's website, but was frustrated by the lack of info on Vongerichten's site. I don't necessarily care how fancy the websites are, I'm just expecting some info on what type of food is offered, possible prices, and a few pictures to entice me and give me some understanding of what type of restaurant to expect upon visiting.
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