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rhinopias

White Truffles in Chicago

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YT,

Very nice shots, did you use a flash for those and tone it down or vice a versa?

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Wow!  Anthony, those dishes look absolutely delicious.  Thank you for taking the time to share your great pics with us . . . again. :wink::smile:

you're welcome . . . again. :wink::smile:

YT,

Very nice shots, did you use a flash for those and tone it down or vice a versa?

thanx. no flash, just pushed the darks in processing. one way to tell that no flash was used, was the multiple shadows in the background.

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YT,

Your photos, as always, are a revelation. Thank you very much for taking so much time to share with us.

Since changing jobs I unfortunately don't travel to Chicago anymore, but after reading about this truffle menu, I might have to convince the wife that it's time to plan a Windy City vacation (for next Fall, of course).

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Last night jesteinf, yellow truffle, and I all had the truffle menu at Swets & Savories. It wound up being very similar to their regular tasting menu but with a truffle shaved over the top. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely, but felt that we had expected more original compositions, and with the truffle being integrated into more of the dishes. Still, at $150 including wine, it was worth it.

My goodness - I seem to be missing out on all the fun at S&S, one of the restaurants that I wasn't able to make it to this summer. :sad: While I'm enjoying white truffle season in Europe, I'm sure I'd be paying a lot less in Chicago...

Alex, do you mind if I ask how much your menu was sans wine?

Ulterior Epicure.


“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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Last night jesteinf, yellow truffle, and I all had the truffle menu at Swets & Savories. It wound up being very similar to their regular tasting menu but with a truffle shaved over the top. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely, but felt that we had expected more original compositions, and with the truffle being integrated into more of the dishes. Still, at $150 including wine, it was worth it.

My goodness - I seem to be missing out on all the fun at S&S, one of the restaurants that I wasn't able to make it to this summer. :sad: While I'm enjoying white truffle season in Europe, I'm sure I'd be paying a lot less in Chicago...

Alex, do you mind if I ask how much your menu was sans wine?

Ulterior Epicure.

The prix fixe menu was advertised as including wine. You'd have to ask them what they would charge without wine.


"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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We have had them for about 2 weeks. They are in a new dessert course. Its fettucini with alba truffles, cream sauce and pesto crostini. I love old school.

inventolux.

1. personal "hi" from a loyal fan - had a fab meal at your restaurant this summer.

2. just to clarify your statement (above) - this dessert is fettucini, cream and pesto with white truffles? please do explain (i understand if you'd rather not)... as i will unfortunately not be able to partake in this creation this season (see below).

3. i, fortunately, have been/am in europe for the past few months and white truffle season here is like no other. restaurants left and right (well, higher end, admittedly) shaving out truffles the size of softballs tableside... if one doesn't want to splurge, one can definitely benefit from the free smells that waft from neighboring tables :laugh: !! thankfully, i've had a few encounters of my own with the white glory here and was able to be the envy of others :raz:.

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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I have taken my sweet (& savory) time getting around to this review, but here goes.

My parents and fiancee dined at S&S on December 27th around 7PM. I had read all of the great comments about this place here and decided we should check it out.

I had e-mailed the chef to let him know that my fiancee was a vegetarian and if we would still be able to do a tasting menu. I was told that that would not be a problem. I had also asked about the possibility of doing a white truffle menu.

Upon walking in the door, we didn't have to give our name, the host/waiter was expecting us. We were seated at the 4 top next to the bar and presented with the menus for our perusal.

We were all given a glass of water w/ cucumber, which I had never had before, but I eventually grew to like the new garnish to water.

Anyway, I mentioned to the waiter that we were thinking about doing a tasting (as I had read that this was the best way to go, especially the best value). To my surprise, the waiter said he'd have to go check with the kitchen. I was surprised, because it seemed that the chef had relayed the rest of my e-mail, but not the part about doing a tasting menu.

When the waiter returned, we were told that the chef would have a difficult time meeting my fiancee's vegetarian requirements. It was also stated that the chef, knowing we had flown in from Missouri, thought it would be in our best interest to order off the menu so we could get to sample a variety of things on the menu. I was confused as I thought that was the idea of a tasting menu, especially in which we would get to taste more, small courses as opposed to 3-4 larger ones. Also, I was aware that ordering off the menu would have been far more expensive than the tasting menu prices listed on eGullet.

O.K. so I was a bit disappointed and frustrated at this point as my efforts at prior planning had gone out the window. Rolling with the punches, we settled on an appetizers, a soup course, and an entree. The waiter also mentioned a few times, that because there were only a few vegetarian items on the menu, the kitchen was going to send out something special.

Appetizers

Lobster Risotto w/ white truffle shaved on top - I had mentioned that I had never had white truffles before and was excited at this prospect. We were fortunate, that for the $10 supplement, about $50 of white truffles were shaved ono the plate. I could definitely taste the difference between black truffles and found the taste far more pleasing to my palatte. Anyway, this was a very solid dish of creamy risotto with giant chunks of lobster throughout.

We also had the foie gras appeitzer. I remember it was a grilled piece of foie, nice size, but don't recall the other garnishes. I remember thinking that the foie was not cooked as much as I would have liked and that the blackened grill marks yielded a little too much carbon throwing off the other flavors.

Soup

My mother and I had the mushroom soup, which was very good, but had some problems. For instance, it was brought out in a HUGE bowl. This would have been enough for a meal in itself. Also , the soup was so salty that half way through, my tongue was getting raw. I kept thinking to myself that this would have been much better in a tasting menu sized portion. At least it was good.

My father and fiancee were not so fortunate in their selection. They ordered the tomato bread soup. This was basically a light, tomato soup, with soggy croutons floating in it. It actually tasted good and was enjoyable, except for one thing..........they finish off the bowl by pouring in a huge amount of olive oil. I mean it was like the olive oil Exxon Valdez capsized in the bowl. It was making my fiancee sick. Granted, it was good, but I couldn't bare going back for a second tasting.

NOTE: Here is where the evening took another wrong turn. When the waiter picked up our plates, possibly noticing the large amount of soup left in my fiancee's bowl, asked how everything was. She replied that it was good, but had a lot of oil on/in it for her tastes. Nothing snobby, just a casual comment.

The waiter simply said, "well thats what you get when you order this dish" and then proceeded to go on about how that is the classic way that soup is made and how they drizzle olive oil around the rim of the bowl to finish it.

OK, that would be one thing, to finish the dish, but the olive oil was poured all over the place, we are talking like a whole cup of oil. We were a bit surprised at the waiters reaction.

Entrees

I had the short ribs which were awesome. They melted off the bone and the sauce was rich/meaty enough with a nice sweet component. I'm sorry the details are lost, but the plate went back to the kitchen bare.

My fiancee had the gorgonzola, pear, walnut, salad or something similar. She said it was good, but she was still feeling a bit ill from the olive oil soup and a bit put off by the waiter's comments.

My mom had the kobe beef burger which was awesome. Truly a sight to behold and to taste.

I don't remember my dad's entree, I think it was a fish dish, but don't recall.

Anyway, we also split an order of the duck fat fries, which were cool to see the giant, super-thick cut fries. They tasted good, but again, they were about as salty as a salt lick. I ate about half of one and had to stop in order to keep some of the skin on the roof of my mouth.

my dad had the lobster stuffed baked potato as a side. It was really cool so see the potato placed on its end, have the filling removed, mashed up and mixed with lobster and placed back into the potato. It was also very good.

Desserts

Here is a whole other story in its own right. So the meal had some highlights and some pretty big pitfalls, but dessert was yet to come. We were already so stuffed from the huge portions, but felt like we had to sample the desserts.

Having heard about the wonderful dessert creations and how large the portions were on the dessert tasting menu were, we enquired about what desserts were on the 5-course dessert tasting, thinking we might split it with the whole table. We were told that it was the chef's choice. Well there were two items on the menu inparticular that my mom and fiancee wanted so we decided that they would each pick their own dessert and my dad and I would do a 3-course dessert tasting.

A few minutes later, we were presented with four plates, none of which my mom or fiancee had ordered. Before having a chance to say anything, the waitress informed us that the chef couldn't make up his mind and decided that he was going to give us one of everything on the dessert menu.

OK, cool, but also scary considering I wouldn't be able to eat an entire dessert, let alone help 3 other people tackle/taste 8-9 different desserts. I wish I could recall everything, but I was in a hyperglycemic coma by this time and couldn't function for my life.

I remember enjoying nearly every single dish except for 1-2. I'll admit it was fun passing around tons of plates, w/ full size portions of desserts on them, but it got kind of old after the second serving. And unfortunatley, the 2 desserts my mom and fiancee had ordered specifically didn't come out until the last round and they were way too full to try more than a fork full.

Summary

Alright, so that was a huge long review with great mixtures of emotions and feelings. I will try to summarize the bulk of them.

Sweets & Savories is a nice little "neighborhood" restaurant. A place I can see going to with a couple friends once every couple of months if I lived in that particular area of Chicago. Most of the food was very good and definitely edible, but portion and salt control could be straightened out a bit.

I was disappointed that my expectations and plans for the tasting menu were not met, but I'm sure the chef had his reasons for the night. I, along with my fiancee, was also put-off my the one server in particular who had made the various comments to her about the soup course (see above). He seemed to have something against vegetarians as we overheard him make some similar statements and use a similar vocal tone when another table mentioned they were in the presence of a vegetarian.

All in all it was definitely an experience. One with some very good food, some problematic, and either an apparent lack of communication or some sort of confusion going on in the kithcen or with the waitstaff. At least I'm fatter for the experience. :biggrin:


Edited by babern38 (log)

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i'm giving this thread a little "nudge."  anyone care to move?  :wink:

u.e.

No need to nudge unless you have something to ask or add. Do you?


"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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i'm giving this thread a little "nudge."  anyone care to move?   :wink:

u.e.

No need to nudge unless you have something to ask or add. Do you?

sorry to be so vague.. :unsure: "nudge" meaning - any recent visits to report?

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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i'm giving this thread a little "nudge."  anyone care to move?  :wink:

u.e.

No need to nudge unless you have something to ask or add. Do you?

sorry to be so vague.. :unsure: "nudge" meaning - any recent visits to report?

u.e.

Not personally. I just received a emailed rave report from a friend about her first visit there. She said the menu was "risotto with strawberry slices; salmon with beets; cherry sake sorbet; beef tenderloin with homemade potato chips and foie gras creamed potatoes; raspberry 'something or other' with fresh raspberries in a chocolate cup; chocolate truffles."


"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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...I just received a emailed rave report from a friend about her first visit there. She said the menu was "risotto with strawberry slices; salmon with beets; cherry sake sorbet; beef tenderloin with homemade potato chips and foie gras creamed potatoes; raspberry 'something or other' with fresh raspberries in a chocolate cup; chocolate truffles."

Two of us had this exact menu on Valentine's Day. While the food was delicious, the portions were so tiny that we left hungry and were in and out in a little over an hour. Everyone else in the place finished at the same time too. I know VD is not a good day to judge a restaurant (tables were jammed so close to one another that waiters couldn't even reach our table without having everyone in our "row" squeeze their chairs in), and I know that Sweets & Savories is capable of great things on a "regular" evening, so we'll go back. I just can't help but wonder what first-timers thought based on that evening's experience.


Edited by gmi3804 (log)

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