Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant Week 2017: Dinner at Gene & Georgetti

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week 2017, held January 27–February 9. View all of this year’s meal recaps, or browse all Restaurant Week coverage from 2013-17.

Broiled filet mignon, Gene & Georgetti

Broiled filet mignon with sautéed spinach

Best Bite: Gene & Georgetti proudly boasts the title of Chicago’s oldest steakhouse. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t seem to have changed very much from when it opened in 1941. Not surprisingly, the steak was the star of the meal. The filet had the right amount of well-seasoned crust, and the garlicky spinach on the side kept with the no-frills theme.

Crab cake, Gene & Georgetti

Housemade crab cake with remoulade

Other notes: The crab cake was classically prepared, with zesty remoulade and old-school garnishes. And as our group wrapped up the meal with tiramisu and coffee, you could almost hear the decades of Chicago business conversations echoing off the dark wood paneling.

Tiramisu and coffee, Gene & Georgetti

Tiramisu and coffee

The details: Gene & Georgetti, 500 N. Franklin St., Chicago.

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Dublin Dining

Dublin Dining: Irish Hereford Prime beef fillet with potatoes and red wine jus, The Chop House

Dublin Dining chronicles my food & drink experiences during six months living in Dublin, Ireland.

8 oz. fillet of Irish prime hereford beef , The Chop House

Grilled 8 oz. fillet of Irish Hereford Prime beef with braised pork, herb crust, pommes dauphinoise, and red wine jus

I ate at The Chop House on what was both my very first night in Dublin and my birthday. In this case, a doubly celebratory occasion could mean only one thing: I would order a steak. Little did I know that it would be such an outstanding one. The Irish are serious about high-quality beef, and The Chop House sources theirs from Irish Hereford Prime. At The Chop House, all of the day’s cuts of meat are proudly presented by the server on a wooden cutting board. While it was a little startling at first to see a board covered in hulking pieces of raw meat, it did solidify my decision to order a beautiful 8-ounce filet mignon.

The beef itself was excellent, tender and full of flavor. The steak was then crusted with herbs and topped with a little braised pork – just enough to add sweetness and even more meatiness. The silky red wine jus coating the plate was exceptional, and the pommes dauphinoise (layered potatoes similar to au gratin) were a nice nod to classical French technique. I’ll just say between that steak and my first Irish pint of Guinness, I wasn’t so focused on jet lag anymore.

Meat board, The Chop House

The day’s cuts of meat as presented by the server on the “meat board”

The details: The Chop House, 2 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 2, Ireland.

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Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant Week 2015: Dinner at Michael Jordan’s Steak House

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week 2015, held January 30–February 12. Check out recaps from 2014 and 2013, or browse all Restaurant Week coverage.

Michael Jordan’s Steak House Dinner

Garlic bread, Michael Jordan's

Garlic bread with Wisconsin blue cheese fondue

Best Bite: Ever since my first visit a few years ago, Michael Jordan’s has been synonymous with garlic bread for me. Specifically, theirs is the best I’ve ever tasted, and was the subject of one of my very first blog posts (thankfully, I finally have a better photo). The blue cheese fondue poured over the top was just as luscious this time around, and made a wonderful start to our meal. Fittingly, dinner ended with cheese as well: the mascarpone cheesecake had an enchantingly airy texture, with two kinds of sunny orange to cut the sweetness and a little extra punch from the fresh mint.

Mascarpone cheesecake, Michael Jordan's

Mascarpone cheesecake with blood orange curd, graham crumb, and cara-cara oranges

Other notes: Michael Jordan’s is a steak house, after all, so my sky-high, mid-rare filet was another knockout – though that smoked garlic jus on the plate would even have made a basketball taste good. The salad course was a nice surprise, a healthy wedge of gem lettuce surrounded by heirloom cherry tomatoes, onion straws, and a not-too-thick buttermilk-scallion dressing. The portions were so generous that I took home leftovers, especially because we added sides of parmesan-crusted creamed spinach and fries that were dusted with an addictive sweet BBQ seasoning.

Petite filet mignon, Michael Jordan's

Petite filet mignon with gruyere potato gratin and smoked garlic jus

The details: Michael Jordan’s Steak House, 505 N Michigan Ave., Chicago.

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Restaurant Week, Travel Eats

Travel Eats: NYC Restaurant Week recap

Travel Eats documents my food adventures outside of Chicago.

I dined on four Restaurant Week menus in as many days during a recent trip to New York. From the Financial District up to Harlem, and from Bowery over to Meatpacking, each three-course meal was distinctly delicious – here’s a round-up.

Dinner at Delmonico’s

Classic baked Alaska with walnut cake, apricot jam, banana gelato, meringue, and crème anglaise

Classic baked Alaska with walnut cake, apricot jam, banana gelato, meringue, and crème anglaise

Best Bite and other notes: Counting its earlier iterations, Delmonico’s is hailed as the oldest fine dining restaurant in the U.S., and this meal certainly had the most old-school feel, complete with mahogany-paneled walls and monogrammed china. Delmonico’s also lays claim to conceiving the classic baked Alaska dessert, which came in the form of a spiky, marshmallowy mound that encased banana gelato and almond cake. The equally delicious entree, a petit filet mignon with red wine sauce, creamy potatoes, and charred cauliflower, had the simplicity and execution you’d expect from such a storied steakhouse. See full menu.

Petit filet mignon with Delmonico potato, charred cauliflower, and cabernet wine sauce

Petit filet mignon with Delmonico potato, charred cauliflower, and cabernet wine sauce

Delmonico's classic interior

Delmonico’s classic interior, including the mural that was inspired by a 1940’s photo

The details: Delmonico’s Restaurant, 56 Beaver St., New York.

Dinner at DBGB Kitchen & Bar

Chef's selection of East Coast oysters

Chef’s selection of East Coast oysters

Best Bite and other notes: I’d never been to one of Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, and was impressed not only by the food, but also the decor – especially the mirrored walls emblazoned with culinary quotations. For dinner, I happily slurped down four briny East Coast oysters with a garlicky champagne mignonette and devoured the plump duck and pork belly sausage with grainy mustard. My favorite course, though, was the playful dessert. The bourbon chocolate sundae was vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and bourbon, and then scattered with cubes of all textures – dense chocolate brownie, bourbon gelee, crispy chocolate-chip cookie – all underneath one big whipped cream cloud. It was my favorite ice cream dessert since the Choco Taco at Little Goat here in Chicago. See full menu.

Bourbon chocolate sundae

Bourbon chocolate sundae

Duck and pork belly sausage with housemade sauerkraut, glazed turnips, and fingerling potatoes

Duck and pork belly sausage with housemade sauerkraut, glazed turnips, and fingerling potatoes

The details: DBGB Kitchen & Bar, 299 Bowery, New York.

Lunch at Red Rooster

Mac & greens with smoked gouda, NY cheddar, and caramelized onions

Mac & greens with smoked gouda, NY cheddar, and caramelized onions

Best Bite and other notes: Red Rooster seemed to truly capture the spirit of Harlem, with vibrant colors and all kinds of cultural relics. I was also thrilled that Chef Marcus Samuelsson himself was at the restaurant that day, and stopped by our table to say hello! I really enjoyed all three courses: the coconut-cauliflower soup fragrant with lemongrass, the oh-so-cheesy mac ‘n’ collard greens, and the cinnamon-sugared doughnut holes with light sweet potato filling. See full menu.

Red Rooster doughnuts with sweet potato filling and cinnamon sugar

Red Rooster doughnuts with sweet potato filling and cinnamon sugar

Interior of Red Rooster

Colorful interior of Red Rooster

The details: Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Ave., Harlem.

Dinner at Spice Market

Mapo tofu with black bean sauce, Chinese long beans, and thai basil

Mapo tofu with black bean sauce, Chinese long beans, and thai basil

Best Bite and other notes: Spice Market is the Southeast Asian-influenced restaurant in Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s dining empire, so it seemed like a fun, shareable pick for Restaurant Week. Ornate and dimly lit (please excuse the lighting in the photos!), the palatial space fit right into the buzzy Meatpacking District. Food-wise, the mapo tofu was the winner, with chunks of tofu, chewy rice-cake slices, and Chinese long beans lacquered in black bean sauce. There was also irresistible crunch in the grain salad – we later learned it was millet and amaranth – amidst lots of veggies and a tangy tamarind vinaigrette. See full menu.

Crispy grain salad with tamarind vinaigrette

Crispy grain salad with tamarind vinaigrette

The details: Spice Market, 403 W. 13th St., New York.

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