So I know I said I would post more, but I haven’t. There were a few things keeping me from doing it. Most of my pictures are on my iphone and I lost my cable. Now that I have it back, I suppose I should actually upload them and document.
There were a few meals from last fall that were quite memorable that I never posted, and while the memory of their experience is no longer as fresh, I still think they’re worth writing about.
It’s really quite sad that Alinea is the only 3 star left in Chicago, and then the two stars are also quite sparse. Ria is one of them. It’s really quite good and a great example of normal and creative food done really well. I went with Ray the day after Thanksgiving. I think this was our first really nice dinner.
It was the seasonal tasting menu, and the amuse bouche was clam with caviar and a wonton soup. It was a pretty good soup. I’m not sure if I was just hungry at the beginning, but I do remember really enjoying both of them. Plus the shell is so pretty.
The first course was “New Zealand Snapper, Pomegranate, Sweet Onion, Mustard Greens”
I guess you can call this a salad of sorts. Don’t remember it being that great. The fish was good, cut quite thin, but it was a little difficult to actually eat.
Third course was “Dover Sole, Apple, Chanterelle, Calvados”
I suppose the sole was supposed to be the start of the show, but really I wasn’t that taken with the sole. It was actually the soup and the stuffing that was delicious. Also, the chanterelle mushrooms were a nice addition. It was a nice earthy touch to the sweetness of the apples. Very tasty dish. The fish definitely felt like an after thought.
The main course was “Wild Scottish Pheasant, Parsnip, MAdeira, Potato Gnocchi”
Again, what I remember most is not the pheasant itself, although I think it was very tender. Instead, I remember the parsnip and the gnocchi. The gnocchi was really good. It is so much better than your every day gnocchi that you get at the grocery store, but then again, I eat really cheap gnocchi at home.
I also want to mention that Ria has the tastiest mini baguettes I have ever eaten! Their butter is also quite cute.
I think the only other time I’ve had bread this good was the bread I got from a cooking demonstration at the French Pastry School.