Friday, June 1, 2018

"old friends"

Just like friends you haven't seen in a while and get a chance to catch up with are favorite places to eat.  When we found an unexpected night for dining out due to a change in plans we headed north to the next city and had dinner at Oceanique in Evanston.  This place has been a winner and a go to for fine seafood dining for us for the better part of a decade.... Chef Mark Grosz has a delicate hand with fish and the seafood always shines here....

from their website -

Chef de cuisine and owner Mark Grosz worked under the tutelage of renowned chef Jean Banchet of the world famous Le Francais in Wheeling, Illinois. He further refined his skills in France and Hong Kong, and has served as head chef and culinary impresario at a variety of restaurants and private clubs in Illinois and Michigan until 1989 when he opened the doors at Oceanique. Mark continues to offer discriminating diners some of the most creative and exquisite dishes prepared in the French tradition, with an American twist.

we started with oysters and foie and then went to salads of shrimp & calamari (my choice) and Lobster (Phil's)

at different points in the meal we had gifts from the chef- two fish bites and one sorbet as a palate cleanser-

then for mains I had the halibut and Phil had the bouillabaisse -

and for dessert our all time favorite night and day cake-

this Chablis showed extremely well and was full of round flavors (most unusual for a Chablis)

earlier in the week we had dropped into The Bristol after a stop at a wedding celebration at a nearby bar for a friend's son (I've known him for more than 25 years!) We had a very good meal there with the outstanding cacio e pepe pasta as a winning dish and some excellent steak tartare to start (served with chicharrones with cheddar powder!)

and we actually had a couple of meals at home this week - WOW!!! coming up - wedding week!

Monday, May 28, 2018

new fun find

So one of our Chaine friends keeps tabs on the food scene pretty much world wide, but she doesn't skip her own backyard here in Chicago and we were the beneficiaries of her vigilance last night.  A couple of weeks ago our friend Jenny (see S.K.Y. and Claudia pop up posts) said that she and our world-wide food expert, Beth, were going to a dinner at an underground restaurant here in town.  Beth had been and was interested in returning and putting a small group together.

here is some info from their website
Is it a dinner supper club, a pop up, or underground dining? Whatever you want to call it, 2c Chicago is a way to dine with privacy and comfort at the Chef’s home. 2c was started by Jeff Dysart, former CDP of 42 grams and more recently the Executive Chef at DryHop, as a way to express his style of cooking. Serving an evolving tasting menu that is tangible yet refined. The dining room table only seats 6 guests per night, so service is intimate but not intrusive, creating a truly personal and memorable experience.  It's a dinner party so dress smart, comfortable, but more importantly be yourself.

run by Jeff Dysart, former Executive Chef at DryHop and Chef de partie at the late great 42 Grams the meal was worthy of acclaim--- but even more was a really relaxed and fun evening with Jeff's warm welcome getting us off to an excellent start.  We had lots of conversation around the table because the group were familiar acquaintances who hadn't really had time to get to know each other more personally and so it was an especially nice evening to spend in a comfortable dining room with no other tables coming and going beside you and plenty of time talk to eat other while Jeff kept whisking out these fabulous dishes from the kitchen.

here is the logo and menu and then photos of the beautiful food which was as tasty as it was good looking!

a lovely evening and we definitely plan to return - the dinner parties are "on" Friday and Sunday most weekends, so if you want to go - get your own "golden ticket" and enjoy a lovely evening with Jeff.

here is the 2C website

here's  a review in case you want another person's perspective-

so a big thumb's up in our book! Thanks to Chef Jeff Dysart and his terrific cooking! Next up a wedding reception for my friend Mick's son and then some neighbors over for drinks and snacks on the deck (did finish planting there last Friday) then a trip to Evanston to dine at Oceanique (we haven't been since returning to town) and a concert on Saturday at WFMT.... so a less busy week in the week before the wedding of the year (sorry Meghan and Harry - we have Angela & Lee!) and all the attendant festivities in NYC!  so stay tuned!