boy was I so wrong- seriously wrong- and we had just a fabulous meal at Mecenat in Western Springs (we didn't know where it was until we went there - cute little old "on the commuter rail line" kind of town.)
so here is my report- this chef totally knows his stuff- had made the rounds of several high end places in the area and now has found his patron and opened his work of food art in downtown center - right across from the train station in Western Springs. His name is Jonathan Harootunian. And the wine pairings were presented by the Jean-Jacques Fertal president of Eagle Eye brands and owners of various vineyards in France (from Alsace in the north to the Mediterranean in the south.)
We started with a crab and citrus salad served with wontons. This was paired with an Alsatian Pinot Blanc.
above three photos courtesy of Don Newcomb
the next course was a really delicious summer salad with mesclun, strawberries, manchego and almonds in a light vinaigrette with these incredibly yummy strawberry caramel squares (could have eaten about a dozen more of those things!) here Jean- Jacques paired with a sparkling wine the Cremant d'Alsace
courtesy Don Newcomb
the next course - a knock your socks off foie gras in a mushroom bacon ragout- this was to die for and I barely managed to keep from licking the plate! it was served with a GSM that I found really tasty (Phil liked the next course wine pairing better) Karantes Bergerie
the following course was duck breast served with a summer berry gastrique and smoked chocolate sauce - and was served with another higher end GSM blend but with different proportions Chateau de Karantes
then we had another course- the dessert, that I could have had at least two servings and probably even then would have had to stop myself from ordering another. it was a honey pound cake with roasted peaches and a spiced caramel sauce. It was paired with a dessert wine from the Bordeaux area Chateau Les Roques Cuvee Frantz.
I don't know who told the chef that I am a sucker for caramel but I am certainly glad they passed the info along- LOL
Chastised by the meal - I admitted to Phil it was worth the 90 minute drive but still put in my two cents that had it been set for dinner at 8 PM we wouldn't have had issues with the traffic and could have been there in half the time (just as it only took us 45 minutes to get home - zipped over the Ike and up LSD)
so kudos to Don Newcomb for hosting the lovely event and also for several of the photos (his were better than my cell in some cases - and he is credited for them)
Next on our CG schedule is an event at Calihan early next week... watch for a review....