From the culinary adventures of Bob & Sue
By Bob & Sue
We enjoyed three spectacular dinners and several memorable lunches from the best of Chicago:
Both the Fauna and Flora tasting menus included a number of dazzling presentations from a highly-trained kitchen staff. Among the highlights were Alaskan king crab in cucumber juice with trout roe, lamb loin medallions with white anchovy cream, miyazaki beef with Vietnamese herbs, turnip ice cream with lemon vinaigrette, and a frozen jack fruit compote with lemongrass and blackberries. Attentive service in a well-appointed room.
652 West Randolph Street. 312.234.9494. grace-restaurant.com.
Sixteen in the Trump International
This well-apprenticed chef featured a fall tasting menu, which offered langoustine three ways (crudo with langoustine gelee, with lemon verbena and uni cream, and broiled with ginger and sesame), comte cheese soufflé with Italian white truffles, and poussin breast roasted in hay with hazelnuts and the dark meat with a turnip and black truffle sauce. Spectacular views of several iconic buildings lit up at night.
401 N. Wabash Avenue. 312.588.8030. sixteenchicago.com.
Long our favorite restaurant in the United States, we were treated to 18 courses of delicious whimsical tastes, including a sous vide salsify jerky hidden in a wooden dome, pheasant with shallots in burning leaves, “Achatz corn on the cob” (corn pudding with grits, manchego cheese and iberico ham), matsutake mushrooms and abalone cooked table side on charcoal logs, a special order white truffle risotto with acorello aged rice, cream, parmesan cheese and a rim of brown butter. Dessert was a major production of frozen fruits and vanilla, chocolate and lime flavors served on a rubber tablecloth installed for the course. Always a memorable meal full of surprises.
1723 N Halsted Street. 312.867.0110. alinearestaurant.com.
Our four lunches were Bistro Zinc (great French onion and mushroom soups, croque monsieur with fries, duck confit salad); Frontera Grill (world’s best guacamole, tortilla soup with chicken, Mexican scrambled eggs with serranos, grilled green onions, and shrimp); Takashi (Sunday brunch of Japanese soba noodles, tempura shrimp, shisho peppers, duck fat fried chicken) and Naha (Armenian lamb pizza, tagine of chicken thigh with wheat pilaf, Southern fried chicken salad with pecans, red onions and ranch dressing).
Bistro Zinc. 1131 North State Street. 312.337.1131. bistrotzinc.com.
Frontera Grill. 445 North Clark Street. 312.661.1434. rickbayless.com.
Takashi. 1952 North Damen Avenue. 773.772.6170. takashichicago.com.
Naha. 500 North Clark Street. 312.321.6242. naha-chicago.com.