so we had learned about EL ideas from Beth on the night we joined Mon & Beth at A10 (prior post of June 19th) - she said we had to try it... so I reserved pretty much right after that for a night that worked for our schedule which turned out to be last night! The title of the post is a tribute to the birthday celebration at the table next to ours- where Drew was celebrating his 27th birthday (and we had a wine that was 31 years old LOL)
Since we had just been to 42 grams it was natural to "compare and contrast" - first off the layout is different than 42 grams (see prior posts of June 5th and July 3rd) they invite you into the kitchen to see the prep (whereas you can see it from the other side of the counter at 42 grams) here- they seem to mostly have individual tables rather than communal/counter. On weeknights they do one seating of up to (by my count) 20-22 people. The atmosphere is more funky and casual rather than the polished approach at 42 grams. Chef Philip Foss and his crew could not be any more welcoming of his guests. The place is located on a dead end block under the expressway south of Roosevelt Road - the kind of place you expect to find cars on blocks LOL- but it seemed pretty calm last night.
so let's dive right in- because the place is just plain fun and all are encouraged to enjoy the evening in the warehouse-like kitchen by mingling with the chef(s) and their sole "gal Friday" at the front of the house, Katelynn and with the other guests... which is how we met Drew and his girlfriend/date/dining companion/birthday celebrant...
so first- the menu!
then the space-
a pot of fruit bubbling in wine reduction- smelled wonderful!
the menu was posted on the wooden support on a clip board- which I spied early on so I took this picture to follow along with the various courses-
so the Snuggle Bunny hat is apparently a hazing for misdeeds in the kitchen (although we never learned exactly what constitutes a misdeed LOL)
more of the preparation space- watched over by a cooking angel (?) in an apron only - LOL- she looks pretty happy with their work...
some of the food in various stages of prepping-
more back of the house stuff- supplies-
things keep getting little tidbits added -
Chef Philip Foss' bacon socks - really rockin- sent a quick FB photo to Jeremy (our bacon boy LOL)
our first served dish- the cauliflower and roe
we have paired the early courses with a 2002 white burgundy - one which has always shown well and actually was somewhat reduced when opened so it could have gone a bit longer in the bottle but the 02s in general are getting long in the tooth and some have just been downright over the hill -
the watermelon and feta with some fab little eggplant crisps adorning the dish-
halibut course- with what I would call tostones (LOL)
work work work-
the Epic Fail sunglasses also had some meta message but we weren't in on it- mostly because we had an epic fail in asking about them (just forgot- LOL)
this one is getting closer - keep an eye out for it a bit below-
here the served Caesar- all the elements redone in a new way- but 100% Caesar salad-
we opened this early (and brought a back up in case) because you never know with wines this age- and also with this vintage - which was not known for greatness but has, in our experience, had some fabulous wines from specific producers... this was a good one...
next the french fries and ice cream course - came as a hot soup and into it was ladled the "ice cream" which was frozen so cold it crackled the soup and sent the fog up from the bowl- LOVED the texture on this one!
the pig face- with yummy flash fried mustard green (I'll have another dozen pieces of the greens please!)
could be my favorite course of the evening - the fonduta with truffle- an absolutely yummy dish! cheese! and truffles! what's not to like??? although I think the bellota was somewhat overwhelmed by some of the other flavors - or at least the amazing nuance of acorn stuffed pigs becoming a seriously tasty ham was (IMHO)
oh another fab course the duck! the consomme was the essence of duck!
my least favorite course - the venison - Phil ate my sausage after I tasted it - just too gamy for my palate
well prepared bison which was enhanced by the blue cheese- one of my favorite combos which is why my favorite burger is the blue cheese burger!
by now I had to make a pit stop and here is the WC decor- as long as the drugs are titrated appropriately apparently all goes well here in the kitchen LOL
some more prep as I headed back to the front of the house-
the foie gras course with red berry essences - a big time WINNER in my book!
the zucchini course with a spice cake flavor that really worked for me-
and a dessert made just for Phil cherry and chocolate-
and Drew gave us a taste of his fun fetti cake for his birthday celebration and everyone was happy and well sated- which has to be the perfect ending to any story - but especially to the ones involving chefs! Thanks Philip and Katelynn and the whole crew for a fun filled adventure in eating!!!