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mk - Michael Kornick - Chicago


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Good meal at MK. Started with the three house martinis. I recommend the mk splash which tasted EXACTLY like gummy worms, and the passion martini. then had a half bottle of billecart salmon rose. Also had a bottle of gruener veltliner.

Amuse was....i don't remember. duck with pommerol, pommery mustard? frisee salad.

We started with oysters and caviar. 6 oysters on the half shell with creme fraiche and osetra caviar. While i love oysters and caviar, i don't think they complemented eachother very well. I find that I love to feel the caviar exploding in my mouth and the salinity spreading, but on oyster shooters, it's all lost. Still, how can you argue with raw oysters?

Ahi tuna tartare, preserved lemon and russian osetra.

Yes, it's as good as it sounds. potato gaufrettes for some texture.

Frog's legs pan fried, sweet garlic, parsley coulis, and black truffle vinaigrette

Frog's legs were underseasoned. Needed plenty more salt. I guess this is kornick's take on frog's legs with parsley and garlic. Nice and tender. Pan frying gave a little bit of a crisp crust on each leg.

Maine lobster bisque with poached maine lobster, cognac and fresh black truffle.

Didn't taste much of this...

Sauteed maine sea scallop, wild mushroom puree, crisp leeks and black truffles.

Nicely done rare scallops. Large, plump specimans. Truffles were nicely flavored

Thinly sliced calves liver with stone ground mustard, burnt onions, hickory smoked bacon and aged balsamic vinegar.

Yummy! onions and bacon were a bit burnt. Liver was delicious! How often do you get to eat at a restaurant of this caliber and get liver and onions? Highly recommended

Cheese plate. Petit savarin, st. marcellin, and brin d'amour.

Cake and shake

Malted vanilla milkshake with chocolate cake! Wonderfully satisfying

Pumpkin cheesecake for the girlfriend.

Should mention that we also had the pomem frites with truffle cream. Essentially a mayonaisse with truffle oil, it's addictive. They were flying out of the kitchen.

Great room. I will definitely return.

mike

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Good meal at MK.  Started with the three house martinis.  I recommend the mk splash which tasted EXACTLY like gummy worms, and the passion martini.  then had a half bottle of billecart salmon rose.  Also had a bottle of gruener veltliner.

Amuse was....i don't remember.  duck with pommerol, pommery mustard?  frisee salad. 

We started with oysters and caviar.  6 oysters on the half shell with creme fraiche and osetra caviar.  While i love oysters and caviar, i don't think they complemented eachother very well.  I find that I love to feel the caviar exploding in my mouth and the salinity spreading, but on oyster shooters, it's all lost.  Still, how can you argue with raw oysters? 

Ahi tuna tartare, preserved lemon and russian osetra. 

Yes, it's as good as it sounds.  potato gaufrettes for some texture. 

Frog's legs pan fried, sweet garlic, parsley coulis, and black truffle vinaigrette

Frog's legs were underseasoned.  Needed plenty more salt.  I guess this is kornick's take on frog's legs with parsley and garlic.  Nice and tender.  Pan frying gave a little bit of a crisp crust on each leg. 

Maine lobster bisque with poached maine lobster, cognac and fresh black truffle. 

Didn't taste much of this...

Sauteed maine sea scallop, wild mushroom puree, crisp leeks and black truffles. 

Nicely done rare scallops.  Large, plump specimans.  Truffles were nicely flavored

Thinly sliced calves liver with stone ground mustard, burnt onions, hickory smoked bacon and aged balsamic vinegar. 

Yummy!  onions and bacon were a bit burnt.  Liver was delicious!  How often do you get to eat at a restaurant of this caliber and get liver and onions?  Highly recommended

Cheese plate.  Petit savarin, st. marcellin, and brin d'amour.

Cake and shake

Malted vanilla milkshake with chocolate cake!  Wonderfully satisfying

Pumpkin cheesecake for the girlfriend. 

Should mention that we also had the pomem frites with truffle cream.  Essentially a mayonaisse with truffle oil, it's addictive.  They were flying out of the kitchen. 

Great room.  I will definitely return.

mike

Thanks for the post. It works to help restore my faith.

I couldn't help but notice, but it seems that you may have begun the meal "fully krausened.". After several not-so-great experiences at MK, I remain a bit skeptical about there being any other way to enjoy a good meal there without the aid of three martinis with a gummy worm splash. :laugh:

Thanks again. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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Mike: Thanks for the great post. I think I dine out vicariously with you and the girlfriend! When I mention the liver and onions to my mother she will be on the next Air Canada flight to Chicago.

I am a martini purist. My friend, gummi worms? Really?

Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Aurora- before you think i'm a complete lush, the gruener veltliner was drank with the meal, as was the champagne. i might have worded it a bit awkwardly. service was very friendly, not formal. server seemed fairly well versed in his knowledge of the food, pacing of courses was even, water was poured...blah blah blah. i liked it.

mike

btw, i will admit the gummy worm martini isn't for anybody. it certainly is interesting tho....

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service is exactly that friendly, not formal...but if you catch mk at the right time it can be great! Its a subdued elegant yet still hip blackbird atmosphere with the food definately down a few notches kind of place-if that makes sense...

Edited by awbrig (log)
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Aurora- before you think i'm a complete lush, the gruener veltliner was drank with the meal, as was the champagne.  i might have worded it a bit awkwardly.  service was very friendly, not formal.  server seemed fairly well versed in his knowledge of the food, pacing of courses was even, water was poured...blah blah blah.  i liked it.

mike

btw, i will admit the gummy worm martini isn't for anybody.  it certainly is interesting tho....

Thank you for elaborating on the service.

No, I do not think you are a complete lush. It did occurr to me that perhaps the alcohol intake may have altered your impression of the meal, but that's not the case either.

Do you have a recipe for the gummi worm martini, and is it garnished with a gummi worm for maximum effect?

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  • 3 weeks later...

What kind of oysters were served, and how much were the half dozen?

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Good meal at MK.  Started with the three house martinis.  ...

Amuse was....i don't remember.

Go figure. :wink:

hmmm, i'm not sure what you're trying to say.... :raz:

She must be talking about the gummi worms. :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

In Chicago this weekend, and only had Sunday night to go out for dinner. Most of the restaurants on our must-eat list are closed on Sunday, so we decided on MK among what was left. With some trepedation, because I'd seen some fairly mixed reviews.

And sad to say, now I have to give one. The food was quite tasty, but the service was very, very sloppy.

We had an early reservation - 6:30, so the restaurant was mostly empty and we had no problem getting seated on time. Took a leisurly time figuring out what we wanted to order, then perusing the wine list. The amuse bouche (salami on frisee with a vinagrette) came out while we were still engrossed in the wine list, and we hadn't even touched our amuse and they were already bringing our first course. We had planned to order a half-bottle of Sancerre to go with our first course, but oh well - lost sale for them. Service strike number one.

We quickly noshed the amuse, and ordered a half bottle of 1997 Chave Hermitage to go with our main course (their website wine list had listed a 1994, which was either a typo or just all gone).

Both of our first courses were from the specials list - a classic lobster bisque with black truffle (very rich - that Sancerre would have been a perfect companion...) and seared scallops with a foie gras coulis and an accompaniment of finely diced vegetables with some sort of bacon (pancetta, maybe?). Both very good - but the scallops were the more interesting dish of the two.

We'd had the wine opened immediately to give it some time in the glass to open up, and by now it was smelling wonderful. As a 1997, we were worried that it might be closed, but not at all - the nose on this was big and intense. It was a great companion to our main courses, both from the regular menu:

venison - roasted venison loin with spiced sweet potatoes, bitter greens and ginger scented red wine sauce

duck - asian roast duck, glazed with honey and citrus, wild rice, bok choy and scallion

And of course, the pomme frites. Which were every bit as good as everyone promised they'd be. Yum - this is what all french fries should taste like.

Unfortunately, the venison dish was cold. And then it took us several minutes to attract anyone's attention to ask if it was intended to be served that way. Since the answer was no, we sent it back. My duck was better, but since I was being polite and not eating while my date wasn't, it cooled down a little bit too. Since we were swapping entrees half way through anyway, we asked that they just bring us an extra plate so we could split the duck, and bring out the venison when it was ready.

The duck itself was very flavorful, but the glaze was understated, and the accompaniments not very interesting. While we were eating, my date was watching the interplay of the maitre'd and servers as they tried to figure out what to do with us. And we were making bets on how they'd plate our replacement venison - on one dish, or two. Well, they made what we considered the correct choice (two plates), but there was further delay as the person bringing out the dishes lingered at the door of the kitchen, waiting for someone to bring us cutlery (this was a problem throughout the entire meal, not just due to the problems with our order). He came out of the kitchen, then went back in, then finally came out again.

We suspect, but can't be completely certain, that they brought us back the same cuts of venison - the center was nice and rare, but the underside of each piece was well done - not looking like it was freshly cut. Even so, it was very good - the ginger in the red wine sauce worked really well. The bitter greens weren't - instead, there was some sort of white vegetable - we're thinking a cabbage of some sort, but certainly not what we were expecting from the description.

The maitre d' came over to check in on us, and - not being the type to complain and raise a fuss - my date assured him that we were fine, and that since we were splitting the entrees anyway, it wasn't a big deal.

On to dessert. As promised, Mindy Segal's offerings were all quite tempting. But it had been a rich, heavy meal, so we only had room for one dessert. Wanting something light, we went with the "meyer lemon - warm lemon meringue bombe, a lemon curd tartlet tropical fruits and mango passion fruit sorbet." They brought us complimentary dessert wines to make up for the earlier problems - an Austrian wine - probably the 2000 cuvee beerenauslese they list on the website. It was nice, and good match with the lemon - and we were glad that they did something for us to make up for the earlier difficulties. Foodwise, dessert was the highlight of the meal for me - this was really, really good - the mango passionfruit sorbet was incredible, and the whole dish had just the right balance of sweet and sour from the lemon. Overall, the big winner for me was the Hermitage - I'm new to the world of fine wine, and this was the first really good wine I'd had. And it was really good (cost more than the rest of the meal, but was worth every penny!)

So - not a bad meal, but the service was definitely below what you'd expect from a restaurant at this level. Just sloppy, and not well thought out, with not enough attention paid to the details (like the timing of our first course).

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I also had a very good meal foodwise, at MK back in August, but the service was horrible. The server *really* tried to upsell us, and seemed disapointed that we weren't both interested in having appitizers, soup, salad, etc. each, but were sharing one appitizer.

When I was deciding on the half bottle of wine for the first course, I asked for his preference between the two bottles that I was thinking about. Both were in the $30 range. He said that neigher were that great, but the one at $158 (for a half bottle!) would be a much better selection. I said no to his choice, and just picked one of the two that I was thinking about.

A couple of minutes later, 2 glasses of wine were put down on the table in front of us. I remarked to the person putting the wine down, that that was the first time I had ever ordered a bottle and it wasn't opened in front of me. The woman was surprised, and said that she was told that I had ordered two glasses of the house white. I told her which bottle I had ordered, and immediately it was brought out and served.

The half bottle that I order to go with our main course was a 1999. When the waiter brought it to the table, I noticed that it was a 2000. I said that I ordered the 1999, and he said that they were out of it, but would give me the younger wine for the same price. I just let that go. Then as he was pouring the wine for me to try, he took away the half a glass that I still had from the earlier wine! I told him to let it stay, as I would be finishing that as well.

At this point my guest said that we should say something to the manager. I told him that I'd say something on the way out, but I wasn't going to make a big fuss while we were still eating.

Lastly, we were deciding on dessert. We were only going to split one, but couldn't decide between two different choices. This time instead of the male waiter (who had been making the mistakes) taking our order, it was the female waiter who had fixed the first wine gaffe. We told her we couldn't decide between the two, and what was her perference. She named one, and we went with her preference.

When she brought the desserts out, it was *both* of the two that we couldn't decide from. When I explained to her that we had decided on just the one, she said that the staff had been aware of the service problems we had recieved that evening - even though I hadn't said anything to anyone yet - and that the second dessert was on the house.

No. 1) We shouldn't have had that many problems with service at such a nice restaurant.

No. 2) The fact that they realized it before we said anything, and tried to fix it, spoke volumes to me.

Cat in Chicago

cat lancaster

catchi@ix.netcom.com

Portland, OR

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heading over to MK this evening. Scanning the online menu, looking forward to enjoying the foie gras and the venison -- which I've enjoyed in the past. Or, for starters, may order the caviar parfait, even if it's not on the evening's menu.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know. I'll be sure to report back. Thanks.

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The frites are really wonderful. What all french fries should taste like.

They were out of the foie gras when I was there, sadly, but that was on a Sunday so you should have better luck. I'd avoid the duck - it was fine, but not great. The venison was lovely. We had two appetizers off the daily specials, but if the lobster bisque or scallops are on tonight, I'd recommend both of those.

And be sure to save room for dessert. I loved the Meyer Lemon and wished I could have tried at least one more dessert - they all looked great. I'd love to go back to mk just for frites and dessert.

Service was kinda iffy when I was there (see my post on the board), so hopefully you'll have better luck.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Had a great dinner at MK this evening. Service was strong, food superb and the room was very comfortable and definitely lively. As a disclaimer, my dining companion is one of those "frequent MK diners" who receives the "great seeing you again" and other pleasantries from the servers and manager. Anyway...

Here's what we ended up ordering off Mk's current menu:

Starters...

Both of us ordered the foie gras, "sautéed hudson valley foie gras, roasted pineapple, duck confit and chiles." The dish was superb, and worked well with the roasted pineapple. The duck confit was an interesting accompaniment that wasn't needed and didn't add to our overall enjoyment. We both decided that this was the highlight of the meal. Awbrig, you know where to go now to get your foie gras fix.

Entrees...

I was very pleased with the venison, described as "roasted venison loin with spiced sweet potatoes, bitter greens and ginger scented red wine sauce." I ordered it medium rare and it arrived perfectly.

My dining companion went with the dish titled tuna again, described as "ahi tuna seared rare, sautéed spinach and mushrooms." Nicely prepared and sizeable piece.

Of course, the pomme frites are simply to die for.

Desserts... Mindy Segal is a goddess.

I inhaled the meyer lemon, "a warm lemon meringue bombe, a lemon curd tartlet tropical fruits and mango passion fruit sorbet." Mmm... tartlet.

For the other dessest, we queried our server on his preference of the cake and shake or the milk and cookies (volume II). Without a stutter, it was the milk and cookies, described as "a valrhona milk chocolate and peanut butter pan cookie peanut butter ice cream and port wine caramel."

Beyond just food, we started with Belvedere martinis and a nice bottle of Pinot Noir from Sonoma. Of course, the vineyard escapes me and it's not on the wine list. There was also the coffee service, which explains why I'm still up typing away and not catching some zzzz's.

I look forward to my return visit.

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