Sunday, April 5, 2015

Chicago: Sixteen

Amuse Bouche

Pretzel and Ciabetta

Lobster salad

Roast Halibut, Celeriac, Chestnuts and Sauce Vin Jaune

Mango, quark, and chocolate gataeu

I was in town attending a conference so I had a short amount of time to take lunch. Initially, I wanted to try the 6-course lunch tasting but my server told me it was a two-hour experience. I decided that if I wanted to do Sixteen justice, I really needed to come back for their dinner menu. While their lunch menu was very reasonably priced and had a decent menu, Sixteen is best experienced by its dinner menu. The atmosphere, menu and overall service is definitely different and well deserving of its Michelin stars.

Here's a spoiler: The bread and butter pairing was top notch. The last time I had a bread pairing was at Guy Savoy in 2010.

Below is a preview of the Winter 2015 dinner menu I experienced on the same day.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
401 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chicago: Girl & the Goat

Crispy Beef Short Ribs
Avocado, Ruby red grapefruit, chermoula
Chickpea Fritter
Garam masala. Romanesco, Rosemary-tamarind, Yogurt, Sev. Green mango
Seared Diver Scallops
Ginger-chili aioli, Shiitake, Sea beans, Braised peanuts
Goat Empanadas
Huacatay, Grilled mushroom giardiniera, Queso fresco

Confit Goat Belly
Bourbon butter, Lobster n' crab, Fennel

Escargot Ravioli
Bacon, Tamarind-miso sauce
Miso-Butterscotch Budino
Bacon toffee, Glazed pineapple, Candied cashews
Girl & the Goat opened in 2010 and whenever I'm in town, I've always failed to secure a reservation here (it's that popular!). This was my second time dining here and it never disappoints. I like the unpretentious vibe and its location in the West Loop is near other fine restaurants like Grace and Avec. I look forward to Chef Izard's future projects and I hope one day she receives the coveted Michelin star.
Girl & the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Paris: Louvre Museum

1. Mona Lisa - Leonardo de Vinci

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana - Veronese

3. Death of the Virgin - Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio

4. Psyche Revived by the Kiss of Love - Antonio Canova

5. Venus de Milo. Found in Melos in 1820.

6. Cy Twombly's Ceiling

7. Liberty Leading the People - Eugene Delacroix. 1830.

8. The Raft of the Medusa - Theodore Gericault. ca. 1818-1819.

9. Captive (The Dying Slave) - Michelangelo

10. Death of Sardanapalus - Eugene Dalacroix. 1827.

11. Borghese Vase

12. Pyramide du Louvre - I.M. Pei. 1985-1993.

The Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums. The facility spans over 60,600 square meters. I was able to see all of the famous masterpieces that was on my bucket list. However, there were some exhibits that were closed due to renovations such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace. This gives me all the reasons to come back. It's hard to take everything in on one trip. 

Recommendation: Have a strategy to visit the artworks and exhibits that you want to see especially if you don't have the whole day to spend at the museum. To avoid the long lines at the Pyramid, enter the museum from the Carrousel de Louvre, an underground shopping/restaurant area that connects to the pyramid. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Paris: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon Saint-Germain

Bread basket

Aubergine, seasonal vegetables, mozzarella and basil

Le Jambon Iberico de Bellota
Escorted toasted bread with tomato

La Sole
Dover sole Meunière

Potato Puree
Mash potatoes, butter, heavy cream

Le Chocolat Tendance
Creamy Manjari chocolate mousse, dark chocolate sorbet and Oreo cookie crumb

Madeleines cookies and caramel candies

Paris has two Michelin starred L'Ateliers. The one in Saint-Germain has a 40 seat kitchen counter as well as a salon. The location is led by Executive Chef Axel Manes, known as being one of the youngest chefs to be awarded a Michelin star. What made this visit special was the staff was very welcoming. As we ate, the staff took photos of themselves with my camera and kept feeding us until we were stuffed. I think I had two bowls of the mash potatoes and each us was given our own mignardise plates. While every location seems to have the same execution in technique and menus, it's this precision that makes the Robuchon properties a culinary destination. 

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Saint-Germain
5 Rue Montalembert
75007 Paris, France
+33 1 42 22 56 56