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yellow truffle

Sweets and Savories - Chicago

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One word description: gratuitous.

This new restaurant, located on Fullerton (by Ashland) across the street from Facets and right next door to Oberweiss, is my new favorite bistro. Let me tell you why.

I was reading Morsels, Chicago Magazine's weekly dining news page, and came across this bit of information.

Heart Attack of the Week - Sweets & Savories (1534 W. Fullerton Ave; 773-281-6778) is offering a Kobe beef hamburger with Normandy goose foie gras and truffle mayonnaise, on a toasted brioche roll ($17), and french frites fried in duck fat and served with Mission fig ketchup ($6).

Now that just sounds like its too over-the-top to pass up. So my friends and I went to check this place out that evening (yesterday). Did not know what to expect, we entered a small, 30 seater, single room, bistro-esque eatery. We were greeted by the waiter/host and saw only two other diners at the place (I think they are friends of the chef or something like that). It had that Big Night opening scene feel to it, but with Edith Piaf playing in the background. The menu was short and double sided. The front, savories side, had a selection of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees. The back, sweets side, had 11 desserts, and a selection of three dessert tastings.

Generally, everything was great. The technique was excellent, presentation was traditionally good looking and the tables were laid with linen, something that goes against the recent NY Times article about restaurant trends. We, of course were psyched up for the Kobe beef burger, but having looked at the menu decided to give other items a try. We shared the spring asparagus for the appetizer. Damn tasty, especially with the truffled egg and it looked really pretty, too. It was prepared just right, crispy and explosive with flavor. Then a couple of salads, a lyonaise salad and a shaved fennel, asparagus, arugula salad. Someone else had the french onion soup, which was tasty (better than Kiki's or Le Bouchon, IMHO).

Now lets get down to business and discuss the burger. The Kobe beef was at least a 3/4 a pound and about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick (just a guess as I forgot to bring my tape measure), cooked to your liking, medium rare for me. It was topped with the foie gras pate, same size in diameter and an 3/16th of an inch thick. The buns were huge and tasty, especially with the pungent truffle mayonnaise. This was hands down, the best kobe beef burger (or burger in general) that I, or my friends, ever had. Better than the Kobe beef burger at Yoshi's on Halsted, and just as good, if not better than the infamous DB Burger (ground prime rib, leavened with braised short ribs, truffles, foie gras, and a hint of vegetable root) to be found in New York at DB Bistro Moderne. The amazing thing about this place is the price. Its really affordable. The burger at Sweets and Savories costs $17, whereas the burger at Yoshi's runs for $21 and the DB Burger is $27. This leaves you more cash for dessert, if you have room in your belly. And ohh the desserts.

The desserts were amazing. The sizes are generous and did I mention that they had a chef's dessert tasting in a five or three course dessert and a five course sorbet. Of course, I ordered the five course. Most would think that tasting sizes would be reduced, but no it is not. It is the same size. We know this because my friends ordered single dessert items. The price for such a treat, $22. Another reason why I like this place.

BTW, they are still a BYOB, which kept the cost down. We did not know this going into the place, but fortunately for the wino that I am, I had a case of wine in the trunk of my car. We had a Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2001 that went really well with burger. The wine was only $16, but it tastes much more expensive, I must recommend. Its makeup is 85% cab and 15% syrah. For dessert we had a nice gewurztraminer. These were purchased from the House of Glunz, on Wells and Division.

Thanx for reading and I hope you can make it there before it gets Check Please'ed and while it is BYOB.

Also, this place was written up on the Chicago Tribune today.

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Thanks for the great write-up (and the link) yellow truffle. It sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

(just a guess as I forgot to bring my tape measure)
:biggrin::laugh::biggrin:
BTW, they are still a BYOB, which kept the cost down. We did not know this going into the place, but fortunately for the wino that I am, I had a case of wine in the trunk of my car.

...now, this is just old-fashioned, solid planning in my estimation :biggrin:

Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. BTW, is Check, Please still in production? I haven't seen a fresh episode of it in what seems like months.

=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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Chicago Mag really does like this place - in the August issue ( the "Best of Chicago" issue) it's there as a "Brand New" selection on pg 220, with a great looking picture of their dessert sampler. It's not listed as BYO in the write-up, so you may want to call and ask.


Edited by adoxograph (log)

--adoxograph

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My husband and I were in Chicago last weekend and ended up here for lunch. I had the burger...oh my! It was so wonderful! It did not come with the fries, which disappointed me, but I doubt I could have eaten many of them anyway. But I do wish I could have had a taste!

We ordered the 3 course dessert tasting and expected three mini desserts. Unfortunately, we ended up with full sized desserts. Don't get me wrong - they were all delicious, especially the chocolate mocha fondant cake...and the pear tart...ok, and the incredibly soft bread pudding. But I was so sick by the time we left (and we took over half of the desserts with us) that I did not feel well again until the next day!

Regardless, I would highly recommend the place. The waitress was so nice and attentive, and the chef heard that we had gone to Trio the night before and added his place to our culinary adventures in Chicago because of a recommendation here, and he was so excited and came out to thank us and offered us some wonderful scones for the road. He was very enthusiastic!

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It did not come with the fries, which disappointed me, but I doubt I could have eaten many of them anyway.  But I do wish I could have had a taste!

Yeah, the fires. It's on and off. Sometimes they have it and sometimes they don't. In the (many) times I have been there, I had the fires only once. :sad:

We ordered the 3 course dessert tasting and expected three mini desserts. Unfortunately, we ended up with full sized desserts.

Welcome to Heartland, baby! :laugh: When it comes to serving size, we don't mess around. :raz:

Regardless, I would highly recommend the place. The waitress was so nice and attentive, and the chef heard that we had gone to Trio the night before and added his place to our culinary adventures in Chicago because of a recommendation here, and he was so excited and came out to thank us and offered us some wonderful scones for the road. He was very enthusiastic!

Chef David Richards is his name.

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WOW.

I was totally unaware of this place and unaware of this burger.

That thing looks awesome!

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Oh My God!! Must go!! ( btw- really nice pictures)


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Well, this isn't about the burger but I didn't want to start a new thread. Ron - feel free to move me if necessary.

I got back from a 5 day business trip to Orlando yesterday and was dying for a good, but not fancy meal. I've been wanting to go to Sweets and Savories for a long time and last night presented itself as a perfect opportunity.

First of all, they are no longer BYOB (although there is still no corkage fee for now, but I'm not sure how long that will last). There is a full bar with a small but respectable wine list. We went with a pretty nice bottle of white burgundy (can't remember the vineyard) for $40 and it was very good.

For food, we didn't even get a menu. We went with the 7 course tasting menu, but requested no meat (the girlfriend was not in a meat eating mood last night). To the best of my recollection we had:

Foie gras, 2 ways. One was a mouse with a bit of honey, the other was seared with a banana chutney. This was the exception to the no meat request.

Curried potato vichyssoise.

Mussels in a tomato/lobster broth

Poached salmon in a lobster/lemon butter sauce with lentils and vegetables.

Pan roasted halibut with mashed potatoes and spicy tomato chutney

Mixed green salary with strawberries and outstanding Indiana goat cheese

Medley of desserts which included chocolate ganache, key lime tart and sticky toffee bread pudding

At $50 per person this is the biggest steal in the city. This was an outstanding dinner and the restaurant is wonderfully decorated.

We had one pretty funny service blip. After the salmon was cleared, one of the waitresses came by with a plate of 2 chocolate truffles and the check. She thanked us for coming and told us to come back soon. At this point my girlfriend and I looked at each other and started counting on our fingers how many courses we thought we had. Luckily one of the other waiters came by and sorted out the situation. Since we were about half a bottle of wine in to the meal, this was funnier than it was aggravating.

Overall a great experience and one that I would highly recommend.


-Josh

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

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Here's another thread about Sweets & Savories.

I think the no-corkage-fee deal is on only until the end of July. If I remember correctly, though, the corkage fee is going to be very reasonable.

I agree that the tasting menu is one of the best, if not the very best, deal in the city. On my next visit I MUST get there for the burger and fries, though.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Does Sweets and Savories offer an à la carte menu in addition to the seven-course tasting?

I seem to remember a few reports which indicate that they do -- but that the pricing can be a bit out of line if you go that direction. I'm sorry. I wish I could remember more details about that.

=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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Does Sweets and Savories offer an à la carte menu in addition to the seven-course tasting?

I seem to remember a few reports which indicate that they do -- but that the pricing can be a bit out of line if you go that direction. I'm sorry. I wish I could remember more details about that.

=R=

Yes, I believe they do, but from what I remember I agree with Ronnie -- the tasting is a much better deal. I think the dinner entrees were about $18-28, but I only looked at the a la carte menu once. I'd give them a call.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Does Sweets and Savories offer an à la carte menu in addition to the seven-course tasting?

I seem to remember a few reports which indicate that they do -- but that the pricing can be a bit out of line if you go that direction. I'm sorry. I wish I could remember more details about that.

=R=

Yes, I believe they do, but from what I remember I agree with Ronnie -- the tasting is a much better deal. I think the dinner entrees were about $18-28, but I only looked at the a la carte menu once. I'd give them a call.

Well, we're going tonight so I'll report back in the morning!

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Morning-after mood: happy.

We had a wonderful dinner at Sweets and Savories last night. We did cave in and had the seven-course tasting. Service was spot-on (we had three servers!) and the atmosphere pleasant. We started at 6:15 and ended at about 9. Nice pacing between courses, and the three desserts (there were three of us) were brought out separately so we could share each one.

Highlights included (in no particular order) roast pork tenderloin with pomegranate BBQ sauce and traditional potato salad; buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomato salad with a touch of honey and a splash of "vintage" olive oil; roasted trout on oh-so-buttery mashed potatoes; heirloom red pepper risotto; white chocolate-Key lime tart.

There was no reservation for out table when we were finished, so we lingered over coffee and chocolate-orange truffles.

I hadn't been back since they got their liquor license, and was pleased to find a medium-sized but very attractively-priced wine list.

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George,

That's great news about the service and the wine list. My one qualm last time I was there was that the service was a bit spotty. Although, we were a fairly big group of around 12, IIRC.

I must get back to Sweets and Savories.

=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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George,

That's great news about the service and the wine list.  My one qualm last time I was there was that the service was a bit spotty.  Although, we were a fairly big group of around 12, IIRC.

I must get back to Sweets and Savories.

=R=

Yes, the servers remembered our group fondly! They recalled they were a bit short-staffed that night, and apologized for it. Nice group of folks.

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FYI, they serve Sunday brunch. Since they stopped serving lunch on the weekdays (damn you S+S), I should probably have a go at their weekend lunch. Has anyone been?

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FYI, they serve Sunday brunch. Since they stopped serving lunch on the weekdays (damn you S+S), I should probably have a go at their weekend lunch. Has anyone been?

Yes, once, a couple of months ago. I ordered the more lunch-y as opposed to the brunch-y menu items. It was three courses, either prix fixe or table d'hote, if I remember correctly. The entree and dessert were good, of course, but eminently forgettable. The starter, though -- a cold tomato-watermelon soup -- remains a vivid memory. I couldn't pry any seasoning information out of David, though.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Went back again, with camera in tow. And this burger is is what I had for lunch.

gallery_15603_221_1097617106.jpg Plan.

gallery_15603_221_1097617130.jpg Elevation.

That looks amazing! We should all rush there before the City Council takes away our foie gras!

PS If you are a Chicagoan and wish to express your opinion on the proposed foie gras ban, PM me and I will send the aldermen's e-mails.


S. Cue

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I'm gonna be in chicago in a couple weeks and I am dying to try the kobe burger. Are they open for lunch everyday or just fridays? citysearch.com says they are only open for lunch fri-sun, but then they also say they have $10 kobe burgers on wednesdays. Can someone please sort this out for me? Thanks.

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Citysearch is correct: lunch Friday and Saturday, brunch Sunday. The burger is available on the dinner menu, hence the Wednesday discount.

I'm gonna be in chicago in a couple weeks and I am dying to try the kobe burger.  Are they open for lunch everyday or just fridays?  citysearch.com says they are only open for lunch fri-sun, but then they also say they have $10 kobe burgers on wednesdays.  Can someone please sort this out for me?  Thanks.


"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Thanks for the reply. I'll actually be arriving wednesday afternoon, so I could go grab the burger for dinner. I would like to do their full tasting menu, but I'll be at Alinea the next night and I think that might be way to much good dining. (not necessarily for me, but my parents and fiancee).

I've only seen comments on the various sweets and savories threads about either the burger or the tasting menu. Do they have a good selection of ala carte items as well? Thanks

and is there a dress code?


Edited by babern38 (log)

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