Thursday, June 19, 2014

the actual A10 meal

OK - so we wouldn't necessarily go to Hyde Park for a meal but our dinner there was incredibly fun AND the food was really good too... maybe it had to do with the lovely and excellent service from Jenna as well as the warm welcome we got from Chef John and his sous chef (whose name I did not hear) but the evening was one of those "more than the sum of the parts" kind of events- good company a very convivial group...really fun time.

so here were the wines-

the menu was just the bones- we had an added course and an added dessert - and of course brought our own wines (however we did order the Auxerrois from the "house")

started on an excellent note with the Grand Annee from Bollinger- (thanks Mark & Mirella!!!)

Lainie and Dieter brought another yummy champagne that was new to me-

the oyster- crunchy and briny with a lovely dollop of creme fraiche

the excellent kohlrabi salad (ingredients loving grown by prisoners - no joke- they no longer make license plates they are farmers...)

lovely pea soup with crunchy bits of dehydrated peas-

the pasta (had a kick to it and again, crunch - this time garlic bread crumbs really crispy!)

our surprise - added course- of a perfectly prepared scallop-

the main - a really tasty steak frites with real frites!

a double dessert with soft serve and the promised donut!

fun evening- like I said really more than the sum of the parts- thanks to Mon & Beth for putting it together and to our other dining companions for the company, as well as to the A10 staff and chefs for the exemplary service and food!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


A10 was a huge success from day one.  I am sure this is not due to the fact that it is pretty much the only decent upscale restaurant in Hyde Park in Chicago but that certainly didn't hurt.  When it was in the pre-opening phase we met our friend Brian who is an investor in the place and he told us where they were opening and like everyone else we said "Hyde Park?"

we agreed that given where we live and the abundance of places in our vicinity it was unlikely we would trek to the south side to go eat a meal.... however we were wrong... because tonight we are headed there for a dinner at the chef's table with Mon & Beth (the Bocuse d'Or dinner and Schwa dinner) who we met through Chris & Nina at goosefoot.

It is located on 53rd street-
in an old bank building (these photos are from their website so I am not sure if this is the actual location or the neighborhood being represented- LOL)
maybe the lobby ceiling? or maybe a building at the U of C- in the Hyde Park neighborhood...
their logo

There will be eight of us and here is the menu Chef John will be preparing for our group:
  • Fried Oyster, Ramp Mignonette, Creme Fraiche, Chive
  • Kohlrabi, Honeydew, Manchego, Macademia Nut
  • English Pea Soup, Pistachio Gremolata, Creme Fraiche, Shoots
  • Saffrom Gemelli, Cod Roe, Sun Dried Tomato
  • Wood Fired Strip Steak Au Poivre, Double Fried Frites
  • Ricotta Donut, Fennel, Blueberry, Honey
A10 is named for the autoroute along the Mediterranean in the south of France so the cooking is influenced by provencal dishes and some italian as well... the reviews have been slobbery about the place (so desperately needed in an area seriously underserved by higher end cuisine) so tonight we will get to sample the food and service of A10 and will add to this post once we return from our experience-

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

afternoon and evening

we decided to visit the Field Museum to see the special exhibit on the Columbian Exposition of 1893 (the White City)


having a bit of spare time we went into the regular exhibits - which I always find bothersome- the animals that were destroyed especially the young cubs etc... really make me angry- the whole thing seem archaic to me- not unlike the zoos of the era where all they had were rectangular cages with bars and not even the attempt at reproducing the environment the animal might actually live in- truth be told I am not a fan of zoos despite knowing they do some good work- I would rather see the animals in sanctuaries instead of zoos and would prefer reserves rather than sanctuaries/preserves... let them live in their space and have people come to visit...

after the museum we had dinner with the Chicago Gourmets group at Cyrano's Farm Kitchen. We have been here before and had two outstanding meals - both very memorable in their own ways-

here are the posts from the prior meals-

where we have a great time drinking several bottles of our own wine while the host gets blotto and his wife leaves- LOL

and the next - posting on the meal which was superb!

tonight we enjoyed a fabulous menu - of traditional foods in the style of the Chef's youth- here are some things from the restaurant website- and the menu-

more details and photos below-

so - a wonderful evening and interesting day... coming tomorrow - A10 the new hot spot in Hyde Park (yes, you read that correctly- LOL) see you there!