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DutchOenophile's Profile

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Who's been to Eataly?

I always get my cues from New York Magazine lol

Dec 18, 2013
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Who's been to Eataly?

He would have been shopping (he lives in the area) as he has no association with Eataly.

Dec 15, 2013
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Who's been to Eataly?

If locals (and a lot of them) buy ingredients there, how is it a tourist trap? I went Saturday and bought an aged prime rib eye to cook, mushrooms to cook, prosciutto, etc. Tourist trap?

Funny your Italian friends couldn't get out of there (in NYC) fast enough calling that one a tourist trip. The original Eataly is in Italy and Eataly stores are in several cities in Italy. The owner (Batali and Bastanich are just partner investors but not the main owners of Eataly itself) is in Italy.

Dec 15, 2013
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

peking duck with thin pancakes anywhere in NYC?

I LOVE Peking Duck House, especially the one on 53rd between 2nd and 3rd. I think its the best around--don't listen to those negative reviews on Yelp...they're wrong.

I go to Hakkasan all the time as well, and I prefer the duck at Peking Duck House (ok, the black truffle peking duck at Hakkasan is damned good, but overall, I'd take PDH over the others any day).

Nov 28, 2013
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

Rijsttafel in Chicago

Rijsttafel is not dutch food, it is Indonesian. Maybe one could call it "Indonesian found in the Netherlands" at best.

Nov 28, 2013
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Where to buy Duck Fat

Whole Foods in Lincoln Park (Kingsbury) has duck fat, no frozen, and plenty of it.

Nov 28, 2013
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Pearl & Ash

Kathryn, your experience is different from mine in NYC. I eat out probably 6 nights a week and I bet I can count on three fingers the number of times I've had a voice mail confirmation that stated that. Ditto with seating of whole parties. (I'm not talking about a diner or place where the check average is in the $25 range).

We were five, and were offered no other option. By that point I felt too defeated, I guess, to even ask.

Nov 28, 2013
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

Pearl & Ash

I found the food ok (two items were a bit too salty) but what turned me off were three hospitality elements. When they left me a voice mail to confirm the reservation, they went on to say that if the entire party of 5 wasn't there within 15 minutes of the reservation, the table would be given away. (OK, I get it, but still...) Then when we arrived, I was the first and they refused to seat me until the whole party was there (is this IHOP?). Third, I'm not fond of sitting on a backless bench. Thanks, but too many other places. And I'm a wine geek.

Nov 27, 2013
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

Lunch at The NoMad: Where to Sit?

If you have a choice, sit in The Parlour. It's much quieter and more relaxed with fewer tables spaced much farther apart. I find The Atrium loud, noisy and too crowded.

Oct 03, 2012
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

New Bonsoiree? Alternatives?

Bonsoiree is closing, per Eater.

Oct 03, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Where to find fresh sea beans in NYC...

This will disappoint because its not what you want to hear, but I have bought them at Eataly and they are very available there. I'm also certain if you made a trip to Chinatown you'd find them at many Chinese markets but I can't give you any specifics. Eataly is the only specific I can give you as I've bought them there recently.

Sep 22, 2012
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

I know, I know but 1st time in Chicago and could use some help

From what I hear, the Penninsula has a pretty great Sunday buffet complete with Peking Duck!

Jul 15, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Fast help! Lunch, downtown Chicago tomorrow!

Purple Pig on Michigan Avenue.

Jul 14, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Fine Dining - What's Left?

I'd strongly recommend L20. Chef Matt Kirkley is doing a fantastic job. They can de-emphasize the seafood if you tell them one diner would prefer a nice combination of non-seafood (meat, vege, whatever) to seafood. I'm a regular at EMP (I have an apartment in NYC as well as a home in Chicago) and to me, L20 is the closest thing Chicago has to EMP.

Jul 14, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Seeking comments/input - Bar Toma vs La Madia and also considering the Pump Room

You will love the Pump Room. I was there recently and found it as good as ever.

As for steak places, the best IMHO is Chicago Cut. I had a terrific Tamahawk steak recently at Michael Jordan's.

Jun 23, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Chicago Food Trip Suggestions Please - Nxstasy you're my only hope, lol

Just a technical point...an Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine are two entirely different positions. They are not interchangeable as implied in a previous post.

Jun 22, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Chicago Trip Report Part 1 - L2O, Tru, Alinea, Sprout, Schwa, Topolobampo, Purple Pig and more

Great write up. I totally agree; L20 is certainly deserving to get its *** Michelin back. Its most definitely on that level.

Jun 22, 2012
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Hakkasan - new luxury Chinese restaurant in Midtown

Went to Hakkasan the other night with my Chinese friend. He found ordering off the menu slightly odd, for--as others have noted--the Chinese writing doesn't always equal with the English description. I said "How about having the Shanghai dumplings" and he said "Where are you seeing that?" I pointed out the English description and he said "Oh, I didn't see that. The Chinese description doesn't mention Shanghai."

I loved it that the bar had my favorite gin--Old Raj.

He loved the sea bass soup--said it was amazing and very reminiscent of what he has had in China.

The rest of the food was very very solid. Not earth shattering but very solid indeed.

Eager to return. I do like the vibe as well.

Apr 20, 2012
DutchOenophile in Manhattan

Raw Milk?

Can we get raw milk anywhere in Chicago itself (not suburbs)?

Nov 20, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

2012 Michelin Stars

I went to L20 three times under Gras and have been 3 (or perhaps 4) since Matt Kirkley arrived. Though I respect his artisanship, I was not a fan of Gras' cuisine. I am, however, a major fan of Kirkley. This guy is young but has exceptional talent. He has only been there 5 months; give him a bit of time and you will see L20 continue to explode. It is, IMHO, excellent and right up there at the top of Chicago restaurants.

Nov 20, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Dinner at Mercat a la Planxa - 9/24/2011

Another vote in support of the restaurant. I find the tapas terrific. The only time I've had service or noise issues was on a Saturday night at prime time. Otherwise, outstanding service (over like 15 visits) and food.

Oct 22, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Alinea or Next?

You really can't directly compare Alinea and Next, IMHO; they're apples and oranges. Alinea is haute (molecular-inspired) cuisine; Next is not. Depends if you want a gastronomic, haute experience.

Personally, I do not agree with the statement that Alinea is the "best meal you'll get in the USA" (not by a long shot) but its certainly the best in Chicago.

What's this stuff about morality and why does it belong in this thread? The writer of a post says they're "not saying it is"--then why ask the question? Please.

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Oct 22, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Girl & the Goat Reservations Policy - 6 Months in Advance (If You Call), 3 On OpenTable, OT is 100% accurate

There are very few restaurants in the world worthy of making a reservation 4, 5, or 6 months in advance. Girl and the Goat, though good enough, certainly isn't one of them.

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Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

Sep 22, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

the right places to go in chicago?

Hi Al

I would not bank on Schwa. I had heard recently they had closed temporarily and a rumor (on Eater) that the chef/owner was possibly moving to California. I'm not sure if this is true but at the least, as others have said, they do have a history of canceling.

Do not be deterred by going to L20. I have been twice in the past month and think it is fantastic! Right up there with Alinea as the 2 top restaurants in Chicago. Their new chef de cuisine--Matt Kirkley is from Ria, his sous chef Nick is from Eleven Madison Park, and their pastry chef they recruited from Ria. It will blow your mind.

I've never been fond of the wait in line for Hot Dougs. Enjoyable but IMHO not worth the wait.

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Hot Doug's
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Sep 18, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Which steakhouse should we go to instead of Gibson's?

Here's a strong vote for Chicago Cut. David Burke's is fine but I'm now a dedicated fan of Chicago Cut. To me, it has taken over the lead as the best steakhouse in Chicago.

Sep 10, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Please help finish my Chicago eating itinerary!

nsxtasy, I'm really surprised at your take on this, as I find Bennison's outstanding and I consider myself a fairly discerning customer.

You certainly express yourself with profound confidence in your opinion, which isn't necessarily bad (I do that too, I think) but readers should understand there is another, equally strong, confident and knowledgeable view that disagrees with your expressed certainty.

Sep 04, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Please help finish my Chicago eating itinerary!

Interesting, thanks for the report. I did look up the name of the Belgian place and the reviews on other sites are pretty strong, but I trust what you say. The one loaf of bread I had from there was better than the outstanding offerings at Fox & Obel--yes, I agree, otherwise the best source of bread (but IMHO not other pastries) in Chicago. (This does not include Bennison's bakery in Evanston for bread which IMHO is the best in the area). Anyway, a tangent.

Also agree that Vanille is good.

However, for ManhattanLawyer--none of these will beat the stuff you can find in NYC. The macaroon in Chicago can't compare to those in NYC and same for pastries (give me a croissant from Petrossian cafe anyday!). I'd forget the pastry part of your quest and focus on the other things.

Sep 03, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Marathon Weekend 2011

All good points. Depends what one is looking for.

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Nuevo Leon Restaurant
1515 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Mexique
1529 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Sep 03, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Chicago Dinner Fete a la NYC

Completely agree re Perennial Virant! Yes. We had a terrific dinner there a few weeks ago. Fun place. Beats Boka, which IMHO, is fine but nothing beyond fine.

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Boka
1729 North Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614

Perennial Virant
1800 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60614

Sep 03, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area

Please help finish my Chicago eating itinerary!

Fellow NY'er here too (I live in Chicago and work in NY so in both places every week). Personally, I'd recommend places in Pilsen for Mexican food over Frontera brunch, but lots of disagreement and depends which you'd prefer, which of course we don't know. I haven't found any decent Mexican food in NY so Chicago will win hands down over NY in that department, wherever you go, Frontera included.

I love Girl & The Goat. Fantastic. You'll love it.
Publican is good (I really don't see the comparison with Momofuku Ssam??) but not profound. Purple Pig is also good and worth a stop--maybe lunch?

I second what someone said above--Aviary is unique and not like anything in NY. Sable is great but is similar to other places in NY such as PDQ etc. (though it's not pretending to be a speakeasy--just top quality mixology).

There's a Belgian bread company that also, I hear, produces some pastry. A little research will identify it. I've had their bread--outstanding. I bet their other offerings are outstanding.

If you want another gastronomic experience, I had a blow out dinner at L20 this past week. They have two new(ish, 5 months) great chefs who are doing great things. Think Eleven Madison Park. You'd love it.

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Purple Pig
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Sep 03, 2011
DutchOenophile in Chicago Area