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inventolux

Moto Restaurant - Chicago

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Can anyone say what they think Moto ranks up with other restaurants such as Alinea, Trotter's, Tru, Avenues, etc etc. ?

Of course Moto is one of Chicago's finest, innovative chefs. If you haven't figured this out, you are not tasting nor noticing. Homaro is a unique talent that has comparisons with the best talents in Spain today. We are both enduring supporters. Moto excites the palate and offers an unusual dining experience. Judith Gebhart

i second judith's opinion.

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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he asks, how might one dress for a dinner at Moto? would "smart casual" be appropriate?

i suppose the recommended approach includes wine pairings?

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he asks, how might one dress for a dinner at Moto?  would "smart casual" be appropriate?

"smart casual" is definitely an appropriate description/recommendation. i even saw some trendy (hipster) jeans-wearers...

i suppose the recommended approach includes wine pairings?

sorry, don't drink :shock:
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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Of course Moto is one of Chicago's finest, innovative chefs. If you haven't figured this out, you are not tasting nor noticing. . .

Or maybe you just have a difference of opinion about the matter.

Speaking as host of this forum I'm requesting that we not present our opinions as facts or imply that those who don't agree with us are somehow wrong.

Thank you and carry on :smile:

=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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trendy (hipster) jeans-wearers...   

thanks! that'd be me. i'm just "jersey-hip" though.

not so hip now that i think about it. not so much at all really. :sad:

edit:

looking at UE's below post i'm compelled to clarify that i was thinking "hipster" as in this hipster, rather than this hipster. :unsure:


Edited by tommy (log)

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tommy!

was that you at moto? :raz: (i don't even know who you are! :laugh: ) well, i'm sure you looked stunning strutting around in those hipsters! while you fashion-forward diners keep restaurants looking as cutting-edge as the food they serve, i, unfortunately, will have to take a backseat and enjoy the ride!

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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Hello all, I will have the pleasure of dining at Moto on Wednesday night, and just wanted to see if i could get any advice for what to expect, or is it better not to expect anything? Is there anything I should know before I eat there? I have read this post from eginning to end, so I think I have a prety good idea of whats coming, but I just wanted to check. Just to make you all jealous, I will be eating at TRU tomorrow night, but thats more straight forward. Thanks in advace for any help. Cheers

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.


Edited by Elrushbo (log)

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Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to trying unconventional and conventional thinks to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I just made a reservation for Moto in June.

congrats! can't wait to hear your report!

As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

and so it is!

enjoy!

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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Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to trying unconventional and conventional thinks to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I just made a reservation for Moto in June.

congrats! can't wait to hear your report!

As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

and so it is!

enjoy!

u.e.

Will do...hopefully I can get a few nice pics, maybe one of the laser?

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I like it. I would have liked more food pictures, however.

If you click on the either three of the "five course" "ten course" or "GTM" buttons under the cuisine heading over and over again, it rotates the pictures. Impressive photography, btw.

And noambenami, speaking as a user, I had no problem navigating the site and I found it pretty much representitive of what I exerienced at Moto. Almost futuristic in presentation. Then again, I am no expert. I don't think many people who go to restaurant websites are though.

I noticed that about clicking on the buttons. There are also four short tv clips on the site, I enjoyed them all. I'm wondering if we might be able to see highlights on the site of Chef Cantu on Iron Chef America once it airs.

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.


Edited by Elrushbo (log)

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.

We dont charge extra for that stuff, its part of the package. Any player in particular that he likes? Perhaps an old baseball card?


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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We will not offer a wine list per say, just wine progressions. Every tasting menu will have a new world and old world pairing offered with it. We feel the best way (and the only way) to experience moto is to allow us to set the parameters for wine and food pairing. A wine list would be futile when exploring this type of gastronomy, so we have decided to minimalize it altogether. It just makes sense from a financial and creative standpoint.

As far as the future of moto..................

as long as every new team member is totally commited to forgetting their past experiences and retaining only a high level of attention to detail, moto will carry forth in an acceptable fashion. Idiscourage all of the cooks from reading cook books and only focusing on knowledge of ingredients. Techniques are things we can invent and reinvent.

Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot.

"Omar"

You can order cocktails with tasting menus at Moto, right?

I may be alone in this, but I would love to see a mixed drink/cocktail tasting as an option at a place like Moto. Not everyone is into wine, I'll drink Riesling but I don't really enjoy it like I enjoy a good Mojito. If I could taste several cocktails without getting sloppy drunk, I'll be more inclined to come back to the lounge when I just want a couple drinks, and I'll be more inclined to do a tasting menu again.

We have created some very different "mixed drinks" that we can pair with foodstuffs. Are they cocktails...perhaps to some extent. However they are far from the norm. The wine progression list is also being expanded with 2 new categories. "Synthetic Pairings" or "reformulated vintages" and "Laserization Creations". The whole wine/synthetic/laserization/mixed drink option I feel is still the best way to experience Moto, so we are beginning to apply ourselves to the category in the same way we approach the food. Matt Gundlach and I believe that a glass of wine or a "mixed drink" should not be limited to the historical standards of the experience. So you are not alone in your quest for a nice mixed beverage experience. There is no reson that we cant customize something that can be intellectually stimulating as well as something that goes against the grain. This option will definitely evolve in the coming weeks. Just as it has evolved since the last post above.

HC

Thanks for the reply to my question! You seem very open to blending unconventional and conventional things to make the dining experience enjoyable for all tastes. A

big reason why I changed my mind about where to go as I just made a reservation for Moto in June. I think I'm going to enjoy it and better yet want to come back frequently, and I think my dad will enjoy it as well. I like what you've done with the lounge-sometimes I might just want drinks and dessert, sometimes the five course menu, sometimes the longer ones for a special occasion, like the dinner I'm treating my dad to. You definitely present more options than other places of your caliber, imho. As I stated in another thread, I look at pics of your food and think "That really looks good!"

Is it possible to have a New York Yankees logo imprinted on one of your edible menus? I'll contact the restaurant as the date gets closer, I'm just curious if that's something you would do.

Its possible to print anything. The only issue with the NYY (they are my favorite team of all time) is copyright infringement. All of the images I use I generate myself with photo shop or by hand to avoid this. Is this for your dad?

Yeah, it's for him...we'd eat it on the spot, no evidence! But I understand if you can't do it... would you be willing to do a picture and a birthday greeting? I'd pay extra for it, you'd certainly get my repeat business(which from what I'm hearing about Moto you'll get anyway). He grew up in NY, so I was raised on the Yankees, with the great teams in the late 70's, the looooong 15 year absence, to the great team the last ten years. We see them play the Tigers in Detroit every year, and this year I just thought it would be perfect to take him to Wrigley for his birthday, since neither of us have ever been there, and they happen to be hosting the Tigers. And of course, I want to take him to the best dinner he's ever had in his life.

We dont charge extra for that stuff, its part of the package. Any player in particular that he likes? Perhaps an old baseball card?

A Reggie Jackson pic would be awesome! Should I email it to the restaurant as the day draws closer? I very much appreciate this, it will make for a special day!

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A question for Inventolux...can you tell us when the menus on the Moto website will be updated? Or maybe could you post them here occasionally if it wouldn't be too much trouble? I'm curious as to how often you change your menus.

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I am finding myself in Chicago next week (not for the kitchen and bath trade show unfortunately) having to deal with the effects of every single hotel worth a salt being sold out. My one beacon of hope if the fact I was able to secure a 8pm table at Moto for Thursday. Totally looking forward to that.

I have been watching this thread for a while and my mouth has been watering. I will be sure to report back after the dinner with my findings.

John


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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ok, I just got back from moto, and to sum it up, amazing. I am way to full and have consumed too much wine to do his food and the experience we had justice at this time, but I will post a full report tomorow along with pictures of him and his new fancy laser as well.

really and stunning meal.

jpd


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Recent article in today's NYT, Two Parts Vodka, a Twist of Science (by Peter Meehan).

One chef who has gotten in on the act is Homaru Cantu at Moto in Chicago.

Mr. Cantu uses a grade-school science trick — baking soda plus acid equals fizz — for his Fizzing & Foaming Hurricane and a very not-grade-school trick involving a Class 4 laser, typically used for military experiments and eye surgery, according to Mr. Cantu, and a vanilla bean to "caramelaserize" a wineglass — that is, to coat it with the flavor of vanilla — before filling it with red wine and pairing the altered wine with a beef course on his restaurant's tasting menu.

..."caramelaserize"...

:laugh: Perhaps you should apply for a trade or a service mark.

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Ever since Moto opened up the front cafe/bar area, they have been serving some amazing cocktails, which gets updated regularly. The earlier concoctions were very tasty, using the finest simple and traditional ingredients, and presented in a martini glass. Now they are pushing their philosophy from the kitchen to beverages made at the front-of-house and allowing diners to have them as starters (you can also just have cocktails and stay in the front). A few of the cooking implements and serviceware have made it to the bar area, where the drinks are prepared table (bar) side. A few items are really great and some others require, an acquired taste - Mustard Martini (part of martini made four ways). This direction follows the aesthetic of Moto and I admire chef pushing the boundaries.

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    • By newchef
      So I've now found myself at the water's edge of Modernist Cuisine.  Specifically, using sodium citrate for emulsifying all kinds of cheeses.  What I'm after is making an emulsified Parmesan sauce as well as another emulsified cheese sauce (most likely using Cheddar or Colby) that I can freeze and use later.  I'm a single guy and am no stranger of tweaking recipes for freezing but I haven't done it for modernist stuff yet.  I'd love to make a big batch of cheese sauce, freeze it into ice cubes for up to 3 months or so, and then take a few cubes out to thaw on a weeknight and toss with pasta, drizzle over veggies, etc.
       
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    • By mjbarnard
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    • By chefg
      I have to say designing the Alinea kitchen has been one of the most exciting experiences thus far in the opening of this restaurant. I have been fortunate to have been “raised” in some of the best kitchens in the country. When I arrived at the French Laundry in August 1996 the “new kitchen” had just been completed. Often times you would hear the man talk about the good old days of cooking on a residential range with only one refrigerator and warped out sauté pans with wiggly handles. When I started about 50% of the custom stainless steel was in place. The walls smooth with tile and carpet on the floors. I recall the feeling of anxiety when working for fear that I would dirty up the kitchen, not a common concern for most cooks in commercial kitchens.
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      3. a. The complexity of the presentations and a la minute plate-ups of the food require a great deal of surface area devoted to plating. This was one of the most critical factors in determining the basic shape of the kitchen. The size of some of today's popular plates, the amount detail in each composition, coupled with the fact that producing tasting menus vs. ala carte means sometimes large waves of same dish pick ups made it necessary for us to have over 44' of linear plating surface.
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    • By ronnie_suburban
      It’s the first day of cooking in Alinea's Food Lab and the mood is relaxed. We’re in a residential kitchen but there’s nothing ordinary about it. Chef Grant, along with sous chefs John Peters and Curtis Duffy are setting up. The sight of the 3 steady pros, each in their chef’s whites, working away, does not match this domestic space. Nor does the intimidating display of industrial tools lined up on the counters. While the traditional elements are here in this suburban kitchen: oven, cooktop, sink, so too are the tools of modern restaurant cookery: pacojet, cryovac machine, paint stripping heat gun…wait, a paint stripping heat gun?
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      Today, several projects are planned and the Chefs dig into their preparations as soon as their equipment setup is complete…
      Poached Broccoli Stem with wild Coho roe, crispy bread, grapefruit
      Stem cooked sous vide (butter, salt, granulated cane juice)
      Machine-sliced thin bread
      Dairyless grapefruit “pudding”
      Dried Crème Brulee
      Caramel orb shell made with bubble maker and heat gun
      Powdered interior made with dried butterfat, egg yolks, powdered sugar & vanilla
      PB&J
      Peeled grapes on the stem
      Peanut butter coating
      Wrap in brioche
      Broil
      Micro-grated, roasted peanuts
      Instant Tropical Pudding
      Freeze Dried Powders of coconut, pineapple, banana
      Young coconut water spiked with rum
      Muscovado Sugar
      Cilantro
      Candied Chili
      Jamaican Peppercorn
      Vanilla Bean
      The steps required to comprise each dish are, as one might imagine, intricate and numerous. For the Poached Broccoli Stem, Chef Grant begins by separating the broccoli stems from the florets. The stems are stripped of their fibrous exteriors and pared down until they are uniform in size. Grant comments on the use of the second hand part of the vegetable: “This dish started with the roe. Every year we receive the most amazing Brook Trout Roe from Steve Stallard, my friend and owner of Blis. Typically, we serve the eggs with an element of sweetness. I find it goes very well with the ultra fresh salinity of the week-old roe. This time around we wanted to take a savory approach so I began looking into complimenting flavors in the vegetal category. About the same time, our group had a discussion about secondary parts of vegetables and the stem of broccoli came up. I had a past experience with the stem and found it to be very reminiscent of cabbage. Knowing that cabbage and caviar are essentially a classic pairing, I felt confident that we could work the dish out. Now I'm struggling to decide if this is a broccoli dish or in fact a roe dish, I think they really battle for the top position and that helps makes the dish very complex."

      Chef Grant processing the broccoli

      The stems are placed in a polyethylene bag, along with butter, salt and granulated cane juice. The bag is sealed with a cryovac machine

      The sealed stems are placed in a 170 degree F water to cook, sous vide, until extremely tender; about three hours

      Broccoli stems after cooking
      The crisp bread element is fabricated via the use of an industrial deli slicer. Chef Grant then brushes the sectioned pieces of poached broccoli stem with eggwash, affixes them to the thin planks of brioche and places them in a fry pan with butter.

      Grant's mise...not your ordinary cutting board

      Poached Broccoli Stem and Crisp Bread cooking

      Ready for plating

      A bright green broccoli puree is made with a vita-prep blender. Here, Chef Grant "mohawks" it onto china given to him by Thomas Keller

      Smoked Coho roe has arrived via Fed-Ex, courtesy of Steve Stallard

      Chef Grant devises a plating scheme for the Poached Broccoli Stem while Curtis looks on

      Chef Grant ponders one potential plating of the dish. He called this incarnation 'predictable' and started over.

      Another plating idea. This version is garnished with broccoli petals and ultra-thin slices of connected grapefruit pulp cells. The yellow petals are stand-ins for what will ultimately be broccoli blossoms
      Grant is still displeased at the dish's appearance. "The dish tastes as I envisioned it....texturally complex, with the crispness of the bread, the soft elements of the floret puree and stem, and the pop of the eggs. The buttery richness from the bread gives the stem the flavor of the melted cabbage I loved at the [French] Laundry. And the hot and cold contrasts from the roe and broccoli …I like it…..I just don’t like the way it looks.” Another attempt and the group agrees, it is better but not “the one.” The use of the thinly sliced cross sections of peeled grapefruit energizes the group. In the next rendition, they make small packets with the ultra thinly-sliced grapefruit containing the roe...

      A third plating configuration for Poached Broccoli Stems; this one featuring the packets of roe wrapped in ultra thin sheets of grapefruit pulp cells
      At this point the team decides to move on and come back to it next week. After some conversation they decide that in the final dish, broccoli will appear in at least 5 forms: poached stems, floret puree, some raw form of the stem, the tiny individual sprouts of broccoli florets, and the blooms. Grant feels that Poached Broccoli Stem could be ready for service, although he still envisions some changes for the dish that will make it even more emblematic of his personal style. “Our dishes continue to evolve after they hit the menu. It is important for us to get to know them better before we can clearly see their weaknesses.”
      The thought for the dried crème brulee originated over a year ago when a regular customer jokingly asked for a crème brulee for dessert. “He said it as joke, I took it as a challenge,” says Grant. "Of course, we never intended to give him a regular crème brulee.” The team tried various techniques to create the powder-filled caramel bubble while at Trio to no avail. An acceptable filling for the Dried Crème Brulee has been developed by the Chef and his team but several different methods, attempted today, to create the orb from caramelized sugar have been less than 100% successful.

      Caramel blob awaiting formation. Chef Curtis kept this pliable by leaving it in a low oven throughout the day

      Chef Grant’s initial idea to use a metal bubble ring and heat gun (normally used for stripping paint) to form the bubbles does not work as hoped. Attempts to fashion them by hand also come up short.
      Says Grant, “At Trio we tried a hair-dryer. When Martin told me about these heat guns which get up to 900 degrees F, I thought we had it for sure. If it was easy everyone would do it I guess.” Eventually, Alinea partner Nick Kokonas garners the task’s best result by positioning a small, warm blob of sugar onto the end of a drinking straw and blowing into the other end. The results are promising. Curtis suggests using a sugar pump to inflate the orbs. That adjustment will be attempted on another day.
      “We intentionally position whimsical bite in the amuse slot, it tends to break the ice and make people laugh. It is a deliberate attempt to craft the experience by positioning the courses in a very pre-meditated order. A great deal of thought goes into the order of the courses, a misalignment may really take away from the meal as a whole.” For PB&J, the grapes are peeled while still on the vine and then dipped into unsweetened peanut butter. They are allowed to set–up, and then they are wrapped with a thin sheet of bread and lightly toasted. When the peeled grapes warm, they become so soft they mimic jelly. The composition is strangely unfamiliar in appearance but instantly reminiscent on the palate. PB&J is, according to Grant, virtually ready for service. There are a couple of aesthetic elements, which need minor tweaks but the Chef feels very good about today’s prototype.

      Chef John peels grapes while still on their stems

      Peeled grapes on their stems with peanut butter coating

      Chef Grant studies the completed PB&J in the Crucial Detail designed piece

      PB&J
      Often, creative impulses come by way of Alinea’s special purveyors. “Terra Spice’s support over the past couple of years has been unprecedented, and it has accelerated with the start of the food lab,” says Grant. “It is great to have relationships with people that think like we do, it can make the creative process so much easier. Often Phil, our contact at Terra, would come into the kitchen at Trio and encourage us to try and stump him on obscure ingredients. We always lost, but not from lack of trying. He even brought in two live chufa plants into the kitchen one day.” The relationship has developed and Terra team has really made an effort to not only search out products that the chefs ask for but also keep an eye out for new ingredients and innovations. In August, Phil brought by some samples of products that he thought the Alinea team might be interested in trying.

      Phil of Terra Spice showing the team some samples

      Coconut powder and other samples
      Grant recalls “the most surprising item to me was the dried coconut powder. When I put a spoonful in my mouth I could not believe the intense flavor and instant creamy texture, it was awesome.” That was the inspiration for what is now Instant Tropical Pudding. The guest is presented with a glass filled with dried ingredients. A member of the service team pours a measured amount of coconut water into the glass and instructs the guest to stir the pudding until a creamy consistency is formed.

      The rum-spiked coconut water being added to the powders
      At the end of the day, the Chefs assess their overall effort as having gone “fairly well.” It’s a mixed bag of results. Clearly, the fact that things have not gone perfectly on Day 1 has not dampened anyone’s spirits. The team has purposely attempted dishes of varying degrees of difficultly in order to maximize their productivity. Says Grant, “Making a bubble of caramel filled with powder…I have devoted the better part of fifteen years to this craft, I have trained with the best chefs alive. I have a good grasp of known technique. The lab's purpose is to create technique based on our vision. Sometimes we will succeed, and sometimes we will fail, but trying is what make us who we are." The team's measured evaluations of their day’s work reflect that philosophy.
      According to Chef Grant, “The purpose of the lab is to create the un-creatable. I know the level at which we can cook. I know the level of technique we already possess. What I am interested in is what we don't know...making a daydream reality.” With little more than 100 days on the calendar between now and Alinea’s opening, the Chef and his team will have their work cut out for them.
      =R=
      A special thanks to eGullet member yellow truffle, who contributed greatly to this piece
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