Hours: Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
Closed Sunday, Monday
CLOSED. The self-taught and famously persnickety chef's renowned restaurant, closed as of August 31, 2012.
When I last dined at this Lincoln Park landmark, the eight-course grand tasting menu started with salty-sweet Tasmanian ocean trout with spiky, even saltier hijiki; then came halibut served with tender, glowing baby asparagus on a bed of turnip puree. The vegetable tasting was even more attention grabbing, with an amuse gueule of morels and fiddlehead ferns and a caramelized Maui onion soup with a sweet-onion flan at the bottom that made our eyes roll back in our heads. The wine degustation is what puts the average per-diner cost over $240, and it's well worth it. Our meal began with a pale Bellini, then moved on to a crisp Larmandier-Bernier blanc de blancs brut, a delicate Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Kabinett, a Movia pinot nero full of leather and smoke, and a Bodegas Catena Zapata "Alta" cabernet sauvignon. We ended with an Olivares "Dulce" Monastrell and a petal yellow honeysuckle-flavored Tokaji-Aszu "5 Puttonyos" Chateau Pajzos, and after five happy hours I walked into the evening with the scents of lavender, peas, and fennel still playing in my nose.
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