Charlie Trotter's

Trip Start Nov 06, 2008
Trip End Nov 09, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, November 7, 2008

So for those of you who don't know, Charlie Trotter's is a very well known, very well respected restaurant with innovative New American cuisine. I've been there once before when in town for my oral board exam and ate upstairs, by myself and had a wonderful prix fixe tasting menu including a barrage of mini-desserts. That was 10 years ago. I was enraptured by the nuanced flavors, the presentations, and unique, complex, technical dishes. It was all I talked about for a while. It was the standard by which all other restaurants were judged by me for some time. But not now. Don't get me wrong, it was great. But it wasn't like it was ten years past. Plus my palate has expanded a bit as well. There are two menus to choose from when you are seated. One is a vegetarian menu and the other the meat lover's menu. Plus you can add the wine pairings. Here was the Grand Menu (with meat of course):
Slow Poached Tasmanian Sea Trout with Radish & Sunchoke Maine Day Boat Lobster with Yellow Beets, Chestnuts & Sorrel Hama Hama Oysters with Pickled Celery, Pork Belly & Clover Grilled Cape Cod Scallop with Boudin, Crosnes & Fennel Roasted Veal Loin with Spiced Pumkin, Juniper & Thyme Shiso Sorbet with Sweet & Sour Plums Honey Crisp Apples with Cider Granite & Ginger Jelly Black Mission Figs with Shaved Fruit Cake, Marcona Almonds & Pedro Ximenez
The wine pairings (of course):
Champagne Pierre Peters "Cuvee de Reserve - Blanc de Blancs" Brut NV
Lucashof "Forster Bischofsgarten" Riesling Kabinett, Pfalz 2006
Puligny-Montrachet Joseph Drouhin
Eyrie "Reserve" Pinot Noir, Willamette 2003
John Duval "Plexus" Barossa 2006
Tokaji-Aszu "5 Puttonyos" Chateau Pazjos 1999
Bodegas Alvear "Solera 1927" Pedro Ximenez, Montilla Moriles

While it was tasty, it didn't blow me away as hoped. We interrupted the nice people sitting next to us by striking up a conversation and got a recommendation for Chicago hot dogs on Friday night after the show. Wiener Circle is the place apparently. We were warned to expect abuse.
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