Jul 292012
 
  • Charlie Trotter\'s

    Charlie Trotter\'s

  • Thyme-Glazed Brioche with Georgia Blueberry Compote & Lavender-Blueberry Sherbet

    Thyme-Glazed Brioche with Georgia Blueberry Compote & Lavender-Blueberry Sherbet

  • 25 Years

    25 Years

  • Poached French White Asparagus with Broccolini, Manchego Cheese & Fire-Roasted Red Peppers

    Poached French White Asparagus with Broccolini, Manchego Cheese & Fire-Roasted Red Peppers

  • Crispy, Silken Tofu with Georgia Peaches, Red Curry & Pea Blossoms

    Crispy, Silken Tofu with Georgia Peaches, Red Curry & Pea Blossoms

  • Muscovy Duck with Smoked Coconut, Spring Onion & Venezuelan Chocolate

    Muscovy Duck with Smoked Coconut, Spring Onion & Venezuelan Chocolate

  • One-Hour Poached Hen’s Egg with Morel Mushrooms, Swiss Chard & Liquorice

    One-Hour Poached Hen’s Egg with Morel Mushrooms, Swiss Chard & Liquorice

  • Elysian Fields Farm Roasted Saddle of Lamb with Toasted Espresso, Trumpet Royale Mushrooms & Boudin Noir

    Elysian Fields Farm Roasted Saddle of Lamb with Toasted Espresso, Trumpet Royale Mushrooms & Boudin Noir

  • Miso Tortellini with Red Cabbage, Turnip Confit & Ponzu

    Miso Tortellini with Red Cabbage, Turnip Confit & Ponzu

  • Zucchini Cake & Blossom with Whipped Basil & Saffron Reduction

    Zucchini Cake & Blossom with Whipped Basil & Saffron Reduction

  • Mocha Ice Cream with Almond Dacquoise & Steamed Cardamom Cake

    Mocha Ice Cream with Almond Dacquoise & Steamed Cardamom Cake

In less than 20 days, Charlie Trotter’s eponymous restaurant will close its doors after 25 years. Though I’ve been fine dining in Chicago for years, I confess I had never gotten around to Trotter’s. It was always on the list, but it was the imminent threat of closing prompted me to finally make reservations. I’m glad I went.

The service was exceptional, the quality and presentation of the food ranged from solid to transcendent, and in both the vegetable and grand menus I could see the inspiration that drives so many tasting menus in Chicago.

There are no bad choices at Charlie Trotter’s, there’s only a missed opportunity if you don’t make it before the doors close for good. Hurry, hurry.

Charlie Trotter’s
816 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Apr 022012
 

Closed! Enjoy the memories…

Shrimp Carbonara | Frog n Snail

Shrimp Carbonara

Dale Levitski’s bistro, Frog N Snail, opened for lunch in Lakeview on Friday, and I popped in over the weekend to sample the menu and take in the atmosphere. It’s a lovely space, all clean lines and textured surfaces. The space feels a little cold, though the food warms things right up.

I didn’t try too much, but what I had was flavorful and fresh. Lunch started with a homemade ricotta dip, which came rolled in bacon bits atop a broccoli puree. There were just enough toast points to eat every last, tasty bit.

ginger Ale | Frog N Snail

Ginger Ale

Frog N Snail doesn’t have a liquor license yet, so I sipped on ginger ale, one of the specialty drinks. The tangy combination of fresh ginger and black currants was unfortunately diluted halfway through by too much ice. I wanted to enjoy that intense zing all the way to the bottom.

By the way, the mason jar has become my most hated drink cliche. You can’t drink out of the silly things, and every restaurant that wants to appear “rustic” goes straight for them. I grew up canning vegetables and making jam on the farm — we never drank from mason jars. Puh-lease.

Ratatouille Sandwich | Frog N Snail

Ratatouille Sandwich

I ordered the Ratatouille, which came in sandwich form. I wish I’d read that more closely because the combination of breading and brioche was too many carbs for one plate. Once I deconstructed it, the ratatouille went down really well. An entree of Shrimp Carbonara was infused with plenty of salty bacon and tender vegetables, and perfectly cooked shrimp. I would order it again.

I look forward to a return visit for the salads, brook trout sandwich, and steak frites. Dinner service will start soon to be followed by pastries and, of course, liquor. From this first look, I look forward to a return visit.

Frog N Snail
3124 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL