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The reopening of Schwa?


ulterior epicure
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You've probably seen this blurb at Metromix.com:

Schwa rebirth?

Michael Carlson, the chef behind BYOB foodie favorite Schwa tells us he’s re-opening in early 2008.  Rumors were swirling when he abruptly shut the doors in early October, but Carlson says he had planned a much-needed break after months of 100-hours weeks. He says rather than burning out and “risk doing shitty food," he took time off to hang out with his baby daughter – and yes, she likes his cooking – and play handyman around the restaurant (he’s giving the place a detailed cleaning, upgrading the floors and he’s also considering new lighting). Although the exact opening date is still in flux, Carlson in no rush to get back: He hopes to reopen late January at the earliest.

There's some additional discussion about it here, at LTHForum.com.

=R=

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

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

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Hey ronnie. Actually, I heard (as opposed to read) the news. Print's always more reliable. Thanks.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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actually, I find print to be way less reliable, personally.

For me, that generally depends on what kind of information you're looking for. For factual information - restaurant location, hours, what's coming or going - I've found that the print media (including their internet versions) tend to be pretty accurate, usually more so than word of mouth. For subjective information - reviews and opinions - I tend to put more trust in some individuals (including personal and virtual acquaintances as well as media sources) than others, based on prior experience. There are some people whose opinions I've grown to respect and trust, and others with zero (and sometimes even negative) correlation to my own taste.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ronnie posted an update on another thread here on the Heartland forum, but I thought I help move the discussion back over here.

Any word on Chef Carlson's plans?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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ronnie posted an update on another thread here on the Heartland forum, but I thought I help move the discussion back over here.

Any word on Chef Carlson's plans?

from Time Out - Chicago:

A little more than three months have gone by since, time that Carlson has called a “physical, emotional and spiritual break.” But in the last month, that nagging bug, the creative drive that started this whole thing, bubbled toward the surface, leading to the decision to reopen Schwa in the next few weeks. He’s been keeping a notebook, jotting down flavor combinations that, to casual observers, seemingly make no sense, but under Carlson’s hand, likely will come together to yield unparalleled results.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting article in the Tribune today. Wonderful news to have Chef Carlson back at Schwa. We welcome his return and await our next meal. The 14 dish tasting menu for Trotters' great cooks in Oct. 2007 was AMAZING. Thank you Michael for finally sharing your magnificent effort. I wondered what was served at that great dinner; now I know. Brilliant job. Judith Gebhart

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I have to say I am impressed to see he knew when to pull back to recollect himself. So many chefs today think..Oh I can put together a descent menu and open a place. That is so not the case. There are so many different levels you have to be on top of. It does not matter if its 250 seats, 24 like his or 10 like mine...it is all the same. I just respect the fact he knew when to pull back, recollect and come back fresh and new. Your loyal customers and chefs the people that really matter, will always understand. This whole article is also in my opinion. So hats of to him.....

and Michael welcome back !

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Read the article and it IS a delight to see him re-open, having totally missed out.

But I'm not sure I can agree that family comes first . . . unless I am legally adopted by all talented chefs.

Respectfully,

Person who wasn't sired by a talented chef. :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I was able to get in on Wednesday!  Unfortunately, I do not have a menu with me, but everything was outta this world.  Micheal seemed to be in great spirits and is back with a bang!  Yummy!  Congratulations!

Sorry, Schwa re-opened Wednesday; we went on Friday...

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was able to get in on Wednesday!  Unfortunately, I do not have a menu with me, but everything was outta this world.  Micheal seemed to be in great spirits and is back with a bang!  Yummy!  Congratulations!

Sorry, Schwa re-opened Wednesday; we went on Friday...

And?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I was able to get in on Wednesday!  Unfortunately, I do not have a menu with me, but everything was outta this world.  Micheal seemed to be in great spirits and is back with a bang!  Yummy!  Congratulations!

Sorry, Schwa re-opened Wednesday; we went on Friday...

And?

Right--Once again, I wish I had the menu to share with you. We had 12 courses, with the addition of the quail egg ravioli that I'd had back in August. Quite seriously, everything was amazing!. The room was rockin, the wine and champagne were flowing, and everyone seemed really happy. Followed up by incredible cocktails at The Violet Hour. Perfection.

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I was able to get in on Wednesday!  Unfortunately, I do not have a menu with me, but everything was outta this world.  Micheal seemed to be in great spirits and is back with a bang!  Yummy!  Congratulations!

Sorry, Schwa re-opened Wednesday; we went on Friday...

And?

Right--Once again, I wish I had the menu to share with you. We had 12 courses, with the addition of the quail egg ravioli that I'd had back in August. Quite seriously, everything was amazing!. The room was rockin, the wine and champagne were flowing, and everyone seemed really happy. Followed up by incredible cocktails at The Violet Hour. Perfection.

jonah crab

bananas, celery, coriander

beer cheese soup

chimay, pretzel

pad thai

arctic char roe

pumpernickle. lemon, rutabaga

kona kampachi

galanga, lime, maple

liver & onions

antelope

butternut, white chocolate

cheese

dessert

That is what the menu looked like.

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Thanks for the hand, Toby!

The jellyfish Pad Thai, the Beer Cheese Soup and the Antelope were highlights for me, in addition to the aforementioned Quail Egg Ravioli. Yummmm!!!! There were some candied sweetbreads in one of the desserts, which was a first for me. Just a bite was enough, but it was interesting!

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Has anyone else heard rumblings of a possible encore by Chef Carlson?

The question now, is how do I get a reservation??? I have been calling every night this week and have not had a message returned.

Sincerely,

Stalking Schwa

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Has anyone else heard rumblings of a possible encore by Chef Carlson?

The question now, is how do I get a reservation??? I have been calling every night this week and have not had a message returned.

Sincerely,

Stalking Schwa

lucid. I called in earlier this week and got a *real person.* The rest of the week, however, I noticed their voice-mail was full - was that you cramming up the inbox?! :wink:

I'm assuming you've at least been able to leave a message? IIRC, the message said that they would return the call in 2-3 days. Maybe, give it some time?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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lucid. I called in earlier this week and got a *real person.* The rest of the week, however, I noticed their voice-mail was full - was that you cramming up the inbox?! :wink:

I'm assuming you've at least been able to leave a message? IIRC, the message said that they would return the call in 2-3 days. Maybe, give it some time?

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I've hesitated posting so as not to fuel the fire, but after the NYT article yesterday, everyone knows they're back! Plus, I have a possibly unhealthy obsession with the place....being told by chef that I cannot come back as often as I do, since I see the dish and he would prefer I have different dishes...

Anyway, the above menu is the same that we had...it's fantastic. Ask about how they get the antelope when you get the dish...from a thousand acre free range reserve in Texas for example. They take great care with not just there cooking, but their food products as well. The beer & cheese in the beer/cheese soup are both from Shimay (sp?) monks in Belgium...

I love the combination of passion, lack of pretension, the quality of product, with the totally pushing the envelope creations. There may not be 100% hits, but even the misses are a tremendous effort.

It's the best...keep trying, it's worth it.

If they are not too busy, make a new reservation for a couple months out as you are leaving the restaurant...that has worked!

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