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mikeczyz

TRU - Chicago

110 posts in this topic

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 (log)

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

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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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.


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

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

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 (log)

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

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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.

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

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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

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


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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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:

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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

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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?

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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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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.

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:


“Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own." - Sydney J. Harris

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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 (log)

Nathan

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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.

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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:

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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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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.....?

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

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

u.e.


“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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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 (log)

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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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.

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


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“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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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

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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