avec (!), blackbird and charlie trotter’s

August 25th, 2008 · 25 Comments

to begin, let’s jump right in with the above photo: chorizo stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce.  now, for the record let me just say that these were awesome.  but totally freakin’ awesome.  and by the way, these awesome stuffed dates?  they are absolutely nothing like those bacon wrapped almond stuffed date things you once made for that party…  because i know you did. 

yes you did.

this post is long overdo.  but i’d been gone so long over the summer that i wanted to show you that i could still cook, or that i would cook or that yes, cooking was still a huge part of my life.  so first i wanted to present you with some of what goes on around here, in my kitchen – and well, now that i have a few posts under my too-tight belt, i’d like to talk a bit more about chicago.  i mean avec.  because avec is a great restaurant.  so great that across the street from avec there are newly constructed condo’s for sale, and i was looking at them and seriously thinking, "if i bought one of those and moved to chicago then i could eat here every single day".  oh and by the way, avec is not necessarily in an emboldened font – but in my mind it always will be…

whipped brandade

do you see what i see?  that right there is a bowl of the best brandade ever.  EVER.  seriously freakin’ awesome.  and right alongside the bowl on the wooden plank, stacked up in 2 perfect rows are the toasted baguette slices.  the perfect presentation. 

english pea crostini with lemon zest, radish, watercress and ricotta salata

questions?  i didn’t think so.

sockeye salmon tartare with marinated baby carrots, zucchini, red onion and grapefruit juice

this was freakin’ wonderful. (excuse the iphone pic)

housemade country terrine pork, sweetbreads, cherries and pistachios with cherry mustard and pickled quail eggs

excellent excellent excellent in every way.

focaccia with taleggio cheese, truffle oil and fresh herbs

this stuffed focaccia was a phenom (another iphone pic – sorry)

avec pic from my second (4pm) visit before my flight…

avec pic swiped from their site – i mean, just look at this place…

avec serves my kind of food, all rooted in mediteranean cuisine.  it’s owned by donnie madia, an impressive restaurateur who also owns blackbird right next door.  donnie’s undeniable attention to dramatic yet minimalist detail is exquisite to me.  his design sensibility creates a vibe that works well with my psyche, and somehow becomes a clean, neutral, even peaceful altar for the knockout food.  when i’m back to chicago, avec will be my first stop.  for sure.

blackbird was there first, sits right next door and is the french upscale version of it’s younger more bohemian counterpart.  we dined there too, and i must tell you that it was also a standout dinner but in a more refined manner.  i didn’t shoot any photos of the food – and perhaps should have, but quite frankly we got to drinking cocktails and that right there is supremely dangerous territory.  i begin to care much less about documenting the food and exponentially began to care way more about just enjoying the evening like a regular (non food-blogger) person.  and then the cocktails were followed by the wine pairing to go along with our tasting menu – well it is the sure fire way to remembering things vaguely.  case in point – the following morning when i looked over our menu – i had zero recollection of the last course.  but none. nada. zippo.  and honestly, i wasn’t even that smashed… honestly…

chef paul kahan was nominated just last year for the james beard award for outstanding chef, and in ’04 received the honor of being named the best chef in the midwest.   his devotion to both his craft and his kitchen staff is well documented – and although i know none of that first hand, i would attest to all of it if only by the level of food he puts out.  and i’m quite sure that donnie madia wouldn’t have it any other way…

the menu was as follows, and i honestly do recall being knocked out by this dinner.  the white gazpacho was out of this world, the foie was perfectly prepared and with unique accompanying flavors that were as harmonious as a bach double violin concerto – and the sweetbreads were the best i’ve ever eaten anywhere – by far.

blackbird tasting menu

chilled parmesan gazpacho with peeky toe crab, local black raspberries and pumpkin seeds

chilled cuttlefish with jicama, snow peas, cardamom and crispy chocolate

roasted hudson valley foie gras with preserved grapefruit, sherry-braised radishes, sea beans and lychee-espresso

seared tasmanian sea trout with cherry molasses, kohlrabi, baby turnips, forbidden black rice and salad burnet

crispy veal sweetbreads with cashew butter, rye waffle, black mission figs and black olive honey

braised rack of lamb with fresh soybeans, spring radishes, pickled feta and lovage

local strawberry sorbet and olive oil

kalamata olive cake with rhubarb, toffee and buttermilk ice cream

milk chocolate fritters with apricots, soy and rice milk sorbet

which brings me to my final evening in chicago, a dinner at charlie trotter’s.  so let me please officially state that the food itself was really wonderful – totally top notch – and i did take a bunch of pics but they all look like kinda this due to the lighting and my old point and shoot…

and really, this representation is hardly fair to do to a forty eight hour braised short rib with chanterelles and black fermented garlic.  just think of what the perfect bite of beef could taste like, and this would be not only in the running, but on the short list.  though there was one thing… you would think that in the forty eight hours it took to cook the rib, that they might have found the time to clean the chanterelles properly.  because our chanterelles were gritty and this was charlie f’ing trotter’s and we were both biting down on mushroom dirt.  big misstep for a kitchen such as ct’s. 

and… the service was a bit stiff and well, odd… and that rooooom was beyond tired, as in – think early 80’s fancy but stuffy hotel dining room, such as, say, the ‘pierre’ or the ‘st. regis’ – but back in the day when carpets were burgandy with leaf patterns and wall sconces were high french and gilded.  that was charlie trotter’s.  and that vibe squicks me out.    but hey, for me to complain at all about this dinner would be pretty foolish because what was really the very best part was that it was a surprise gift.  i had a feeling that something was up when they began pouring from the premium wine pairings without asking us… so thank you mr. youknowwhoyouare.  the dinner was delicious and i was so happy to be able to experience chef trotter’s food.

this is joe.  we met in economics 101 in 19muffleshhhsecond semester we took philosophy together and then greek mythology and well, afterwards we never spoke of any of that again, but we’ve remained like family all these years.  one of the many reasons i love joe is that he was by far the hottest guy in the trotter dining room that night and the only one without a tie.  that and the fact that he is all irish and insists on cocktails before dinner and drinks a lot of very good wine.  joe is also a restaurateur in chicago, his place is the beloved le colonial.

and so that was chicago.  all of that and alinea, of course.  so to recap, my 5 days looked a little something like this: alinea/avec/blackbird/charlie trotter’s/avec with lunches at le colonial thrown in for very good measure…

as a true nyc girl, born and raised – it’s hard for me to admit love for another city.  but chicago, i love. 

i do… 

Tags: restaurants · travel

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Weiterlesen // Sep 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    bin ich oftmals einfach zu müde, auch für Sex…

  • 2 Killer-Deal // Sep 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Das Aussehen und Form ihrer Brüste sind Frauen sehr wichtig.

  • 3 lesen Sie diesen Beitrag hier // Sep 10, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Aber wenigstens lebt noch… – Wo ist unser kulturelles Kapital?

  • 4 super schnelle Antwort // Sep 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Ich hatte den folgenden Samstag für mein Vorhaben ausgewählt und bereitete richtig darauf vor.Doch, knurrte sie, ich es endlich auch.

  • 5 Folgeseite // Sep 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Geflügel und Tauben Ringe 2012 Gebe Ringe ab .: für Gänse Enten Hühner Tauben größen !!!

  • 6 über auf dieser Website // Sep 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Natürlich dauert es nicht lange, bis das Damenquartett einen Plan ausheckt, der das Kaff bis die Grundmauern erbeben lässt.

  • 7 Schau dir das an // Sep 14, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Manche Escort-Damen bieten auch samt ihren Kunden weg zu fahren sowie da eine schöne Zeit zu haben.

  • 8 einverstanden mit // Sep 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Mir war sextoys men himmlisch.

  • 9 aktuelle Nachrichten // Sep 15, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Im Sommer werden Ballonkleider besonders gerne getragen.

  • 10 fortsetzen // Sep 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Tabuloser Telefonsex zart bis hart.

  • 11 Gehe hier hin // Sep 17, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Ermüdungsbrüche treten vorwiegend im kranialen und kaudalen Teil Tibia und Fibula auf.

  • 12 hier drüben // Sep 19, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Zum Inhalt springen Dieses super ONS Experiment beeindruckt manche Bürger, die praktisch pudern, weil ein Sex Experiment inspiriert jedermann.

  • 13 Entdecke mehr // Sep 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Schweden ist evangelisch und die Hochzeiten sind wie die evangelischen Hochzeiten Deutschland.

  • 14 auf der Titelseite // Sep 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Schaut euch diese einzigartigen Bilder und Videos der Extraklasse und Spitzenqualität an.

  • 15 er hat einen guten Punkt // Sep 22, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Frag’ nicht, sonst macht sich Gero rar.

  • 16 adidas yeezy boost 350 2017 // Nov 4, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Yeezy Boost 350

  • 17 adidas yeezy boost 350 black // Nov 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    adidas yeezy boost 350 v2

  • 18 jordan 11 space jam online order // Nov 29, 2016 at 5:08 am

    air jordan 11 space jam size 14

  • 19 air jordan 11 space jam // Nov 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    space jam 11s for sale

  • 20 dig this // Jan 4, 2017 at 8:06 am

    dartmouth atlas of health care 2006
    dig this [url=http://www.plajda-film.com/tag/sony-printers]dig this[/url]

  • 21 lesen Sie diesen Beitrag hier // Jan 8, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Am Horizont sind die Berge der Bayerischen Rhön zu erkennen.

  • 22 https://carbon-sense.com/yeezy-v2.php // Jan 15, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    yeezy boost 350 v2 black

  • 23 read review // Feb 9, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    arkansas drug rehabilitation services
    read review

  • 24 nuetzlicher link // Feb 10, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Du suchst aufregende und frivole Fickkontakte, bist Du auf unserem Fickportal genau richtig.

  • 25 ansicht publisher-website // Feb 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Einfach richtig geile und scharfe, wie auch sehr versaute Frauen und geile Luder.

  • 26 erotik // Jun 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Anke und die Unbekannte knieten sich vor Torsten und leckten beide seinen Nachmittag saß Susan im Büro des Hausherrn.

  • 27 der vorteil // Jun 4, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Lee kapituliert und damit den amerikanischen Sezessionskrieg beendet.

  • 28 他媽的 // Jun 4, 2017 at 6:22 am


    […]I am now not sure where you are getting your info, however good topic.[…]

  • 29 ihre erklaerung // Jun 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Frauen also, die sich gerne vor der Kamera präsentieren.

  • 30 lesen // Jun 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Ich stehe auf Männer mit Köpfchen, die auch mal Bock haben geiler Telefonerotik.

  • 31 hoeren sie podcasts // Jun 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Ich wollte mich im Wald auf einer Wiese ein wenig sonnen.

  • 32 klicken sie hier um zu untersuchen // Jun 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Sie stellte die Sie sucht Ihn Tasse wortlos scheppernd neben die Sie sucht Ihn beiden anderen Tassen, die Sie sucht Ihn sie vor wenigen Minuten gebracht hatte und die Sie sucht Ihn nun unangetastet vor sich hin erkalteten.

  • 33 this contact form // Jun 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    A moon calendar will show you any moon phase from the years 1900 to 2100, and there are notifications for major phases, so there is no chance of missing the next eclipse.

  • 34 siehe seite // Jun 7, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Sie steigern ihre Bemühungen.

  • 35 aussicht // Jun 7, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Da kann einfach kein Mann anders, wenn sich diese naturgeilen Schlampen der Muschi herumspielen.

  • 36 baustelle // Jun 9, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Wenn es nach ihm ginge, sollte die ganze Welt ein Binnenmarkt sein.

  • 37 untersuchen diese site // Jun 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    den USA folgen die meisten stationären Programme einem kognitiv-behavioralen Ansatz.

  • 38 versuche dies // Jun 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Ich bin immer noch wehement gegen die weitere Aufnahme Angeblich weiblicher Wesen der HBLA Sbg.

  • 39 I loved this // Jun 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    small dumpster rental near me
    I loved this

  • 40 junk bin // Jun 15, 2017 at 9:29 am

    debris dumpster
    junk bin

  • 41 vip mobile toilets for hire // Jun 15, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    waste pickup
    vip mobile toilets for hire

  • 42 klicken sie auf referenz // Jun 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Das bisschen Hausarbeit ist schnell erledigt, Ehemann und Kinder sind viele Stunden aus dem Haus – und sind die geilen Luder oft allein und langweilen sich.

  • 43 lies mehr // Jun 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

    einen Nährneid, weil sie auch die Nährfunktionen übernehmen wollen wie eine Frau .

  • 44 NQHIlazavoqt // Jun 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I see your blog needs some fresh & unique content. Writing manually is time consuming,
    but there is solution for this hard task.

    Just search for; Miftolo’s tools rewriter

  • 45 redirected here // Jun 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    trash bin rental near me
    redirected here

  • 46 had me going // Jun 18, 2017 at 5:20 am

    10 yard roll off dumpster
    had me going

  • 47 navigieren sie hier // Jun 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Natürlich wussten wir, was ‚Homosexualität‘ war, kannten Wörter wie ‚Lesben‘ und ‚Schwule‘.

  • 48 sexkontakte hessen // Jun 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Ein typischer Callboys ist ab Mitte Zwanzig, verfügt über eine eigenen Wohnung und Grundformen der Absicherung.

Leave a Comment