Monday, November 24, 2008

November Pics

We decided to remove the Walleye dish from our menu and replace it with everybodies favorite...grouper! I thought this composition might be a nice cold weather, yet light dish...Seared grouper on grilled romain dressed with an anchovie-lemon aioli topped with polenta croutons, pickled red onions, and marinated tomatoes.
The carmalized cipolline from two posts ago are in the background along with a fingerling potato and Coulrouge goat cheese tart, alongside a grilled strip steak topped with roasted garlic demi-glace.

What ever happened to lobster prices? I don't know but I like it because we where able to offer this one and a quarter pound lobster split and stuffed with lobster fried rice, with roasted claws all in a spicy saffron lobster cream.

These are just some ravioli waiting to be boiled, but I always find it interesting to see what kind of things are hanging around other restaurants, and this picture gives a glimpse of what we have hanging around.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Tuesday in November

News of note is that Bistro on Lincoln Park is open for business this coming Monday, November 24. I personally can't wait to get my feet in the door. I stopped by 2 weeks ago and haven't seen a cleaner kitchen in my life. The idea of the decor seems to bring the park and the dining room into synergy. The long narrow room full of windows that used to be an office is sure to be a hit. Plenty of glass for people watching.

A quick note of praise is also do to Momocho, where Kari and I spent our evening. Happy hour is an obvious attraction as the bar area was full by 5:30. Something that should make every customer, and owner happy! The margaritas where great, and we stuck with the traditional. Guac. was good as usual, especially while the chips are still hot. I liked the tuna taquito, but a few more, thinner slices of tuna would have made me more fullfilled, mentally at least. Kari had the carnitas taquito which was great, the honey-chipotle sauce with was good enough to keep and dip chips into. The chili relleno was good, we split on this though. I liked the cornbread like outer shell, while Kari was wanting something more crisp? The sauce on that dish was the spiciest we had, but eaten as a whole dish it was plesant.

We commited a minor faux pas in asking for the black truffle honey from one dessert be added to our aged manchego dessert. We offered to pay any upcharge, and where presented with enough truffle honey, and liked the combo enough that we ordered more cheese to go with the extra honey. The service was great. I took advice on a smokey tequila and was very happy with the choice. Also the cinnamon and orange with the tequila made us both very happy. If you ever thought about Momocho, don't think twice, just get in the car and go!

Cipolline Onions

The common onion has one or more leafless stalks that reach a height of 2.5-6 feet and terminate in a cluster of small greenish white flowers. The leaf bases of the developing plant swell to form the underground bulb that is the mature, edible onion. Most commercially cultivated onions are grown from the plant's small black seed, which is sown directly in the field. Onions are among the hardiest of all garden-vegetable plants.

Onions are among the world's oldest cultivated plants. They were probably known in India, China, and the Middle East before recorded history. Ancient Egyptians regarded the spherical bulb as a symbol of the universe, and its name is probably derived from the Latin unus, meaning "one." The Romans introduced the onion to Britain and, in the New World, American Indians added a highly pungent wild onion to their stews, ragouts. Curative powers have been attributed to onions throughout the centuries; they have been recommended for such varied ailments as colds, earaches, laryngitis, animal bites, powder burns, and warts.
Pictured are Cipolline onions, an Italian varitey of onion that was brought to North America with immigrants at the begining of the 19th century. Almost all Cipolline seed still comes from Italy.

Cipolline onions are reveared for their flat or saucer shape witch allows for considerable browning. They are considered to be more complex in flavor, usually rich and sweet equally, while staying firm once cooked.
Cipolline onions are one of my favorite ingrediants. While cleaning them is often a daunting task, they are sometimes agressivly priced pre-cleaned. I prefer to cook them in a sautee pan, starting out hot, with a little oil, then finishing with butter at a lower temperature. As you can see these onions tend to get very tender, but hold their shape rather well.
The onions pictured where first used as an side dish to a grilled strip steak. Then they went into a creamy goat cheese and fingerling potato salad. I've pickled them in the past with great resaults as their inherient sweetness plays well with vinager, cinnamon, and clove.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


There has been a lot of blog chatter about cookbooks recently, and I'm regretting not leaving my poll available for a longer period. This is the first poll that is completely indecisive. Personally, I'm a picture guy, and good content trumps functional recipes as far as I'm concerned. Unless I'm following a baking recipe, I treat a recipe more like guidelines opposed to directions. As a professional of course, don't try that at home!

On a professional level I've found Culinary Artistry by Dornenburg and Page the single most useful book in my library. There is an assertion of basic cooking understand, but a back to basics approach to building dishes, and menus. This book is a great explination of flavor pairings and seasonality. A more entertaining cookbook and something more for an adventurous home cook is Bouchon, by Thomas Keller. The photos are great, the food is all very approachable, and the few recipes I've followed worked perfectly. Luckily my friend Forest gifted me a copy of Bouchon two years ago, and it's my favorite cookbook to flip through.

What have other bloggers been talking about cookbooks recently?

Ideas in Food looks to go straight digital.

Ruhlman picks out a few of this years highlights.

The young cook gets a few modern classics.

Chadzilla goes deep with an interesting discussion in tow.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Weekly Specials for November 7th

Brazilian tiger fish

Seared Brazilian tiger fish, banana-sweet potato puree, tomatillo salsa,
crushed peanuts and lime.

This is Sean's creation for the most part, with only the slightest nudges this way or that. Cinnamon poached apple salad of spinach, radichio, shaved onions in a sweet champagne vinagrette, dried cherries, goat chevre and Sean's apple chips.

Braised lamb shank, maple glazed beets, herb-parmasean polenta, lamb jus
I kinda rushed the picture of this one as the polenta and jus won't be done till today, but a big hunk of braised shank still has some photogenic qualities.

From last week

Fried oyster over marinated cucumber and topped with
a celery root remoulade and caviar

Lobster ravioli in a fresh oyster sauce of fennel, leeks, onions, tomatoes, fresh shucked oysters and cream surounded by a saffron-cauliflower puree
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

New menus

I'm a big menu fan. I can sit all day reading menus. I guess this alows for me to use my imagination and build a dish in my mind, then see how someone else puts it together eventually. Here are two menus that might be hard to find since neither restaurant has a functioning webpage yet. I'm sure Cory would enjoy some feedback as the BLP menu is a work in progress, you can find him here. And the Roast menu, well that's just plain anticipation relinquished.

Bistro on Lincoln Park
Onion Soup Gratinee
A classic rendition
Venison broth, Raclette Cheese
Spanish Black Bean Cake
House-Made Bacon, Pequin Pepper, Cilantro Cream, Creme Fraiche
Warm Goat Cheese Tart
Caramalized Onion, Local Chevre, Greek Olive Tapanade
Chorizo Blini
Spanish Manchego Cheese, Marinated Cabbage, Chipotle Sauce
Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Sesame Tuile, Pommagranite Glazed Pears, Brioche
Seared Sea Scallops
Corn Souffle, Butter Poached Baby Leeks, Crispy Potatoes

Bistro Salad
Butter Letuce, Indian Black Onion Seed Vinaigrette, Sunflower Seeds, 24 Hour Tomatoes, Watermelon Radish, Candy Onions
Verts Aux Lardons
Baby Dandelion Greens, House Cured Bacon, Lavender Honey-Dijoin Viniagrette,Poached Egg
Duck Salad
Mache, Cape Gooseberry Vinaigrette, Roquefort, Duck Proscuitto

Peppered Lamb Sliders
Lamb Demi, Mint Pomme Frits
Croque Monsieur
Duck Proscuitto & Raclette Grilled Cheese
Beef Ragu
Polenta & Parmesan Reggiano
Bistro Bar Steak
Flat Iron Steak & Frits

Vitello Tunato
Seared Tuna, Crispy Sweetbreads and Caper Aioli
Chicken Grand Mere
House-Made Bacon Lardons, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Fresh Peppardell Pasta,
Venison Boloenese
Braised Venison, Venison Ragu & Fresh Fettucini
Pork Tenderloin
Mustard Crusted, Celery Root Puree and Roquefort-Celery Emulsion
Steak & Frits
Hanger Steak and House-made Fries
Duck ConfitCripsy
Truffled Potatoes, Bacon Lardons, Frisee Wild Mushrooms
Sous Vide Salmon
Salmon Stuffed cabbage,Preserved Lemons, Sorrel Cream
Ratatoullie Ravioli
Fresh Herb Pasta Filled with Ratatoullie Components with Hierloom Tomato and Caper Butter

MondayBeef Short Ribs
TuesdayFresh Dover Sole
WendsdayCoq Au Vin
ThursdayDuck Shepards Pie

Roasted Shrimp white beans, pork sausage, tomato broth $11.
Mussels garlic, dill & lemon $8.
Smoked Seafood for two or more $10 pp.
Crispy Chicken Livers soft polenta and mushrooms $9.
Charcutterie for two or more $12 pp.
Stuffed Peppers today’s selection $9.
Beef Cheek Pierogie horseradish & mushrooms $12.
Crispy Fresh Bacon haloumi, pickled tomato, almond $10.
Roasted Marrow sea salt, oregano, capers & chilies $9.

Roast Chop Salad
chick peas, pickled peppers, salami,
taleggio, creamy dessing $9.
Warm Spinach Salad fried egg, mushrooms, bacon &
crispy pig ear $8.
Mixed Green Salad shaved onion, grape tomatoes &
red wine vinaigrette $6.
Roasted Beet Salad goat cheese, walnuts, watercress &
orange-dill vinaigrette $8.

Roasted Beast of the Day MP.
Braised Beef Short Ribs pickled chilies, salsa verde $24.
Smoked Prime Rib pickled tomatoes, horseradish creme fraiche $26.
Lemon Roasted Chicken arugula, chick peas, yogurt $17.
Braised lamb Shank gremolata, fennel & tomato $22.
Roast Burger bacon, cheddar, & a fried0egg $14.
Roasted Trout almonds, brown butter $24.
Roasted Salmon capers, tomato, saffron & olives $23.
Roasted Whitesh crab, dill, lemon $19.

Crab BĂ©arnaise $10.
Blue Cheese Onions $5.
Pickled Chilies $4.
Roasted Wild Mushrooms $7.

steaks & chops
* Filet 6 oz. $19.
* Bone in Filet 14 oz. $38.
* Strip Steak 14 oz. $25.
* Ribeye 16 oz. $32.
* Hanger Steak 12 oz. $23.
* Porterhouse for 2 48 oz. $59.
* Veal Chop 14 oz. $36.
* Smoked Pork Chop 14 oz. $24.
* Venison Chop 12 oz. $34.
* Lamb Porterhouse 12 oz. $35.

$2 ea.
Balsamic Steak
Horseradish Cream
Salsa Verde
Sha Sha Sauce

Rosemary Fries $5. Spinach & Feta Au Gratin $7.
Whipped Potatoes $5. Roasted Asparagus $7.
Soft Polenta $5. Shaved Zucchini & Almonds $6.
Bacon Creamed Corn $7. Mac & Cheese w/ Goat Cheese $8.
Fried Brussels Sprouts $7. Green Beans & Brown Butter $6.

All our meat is hand chosen and naturally raised.
It has been dry aged for a minimum of 21 days and finished with garlic-shallot confit, sea salt and oregano.