After hearing lots and lots of buzz about it, we made it out to Telegraph a couple weeks ago. M wrote up a review
and put it on our restaurant blog
. I figured I'd include it and add my thoughts.
Telegraph is a new wine bar/restaurant in Logan Square with a great wine list and an interesting menu. We were excited to try this place based on the menu selections & a previous visit for a bottle of wine. Our Sous Chef joined us for this meal, so we enjoyed ourselves while keeping an open eye for criticism, so we could discuss and improve our own preparations in the kitchen.
sliced edwards and sons ham, ricotta cheese, pistachio geleé, black lime, arugula
half dozen oysters on the half shell, cucumber, domestic caviar
slow cooked red onion tartine (on olive & rosemary boule) with spanish anchovy and chervil
confit of beef tongue, brioche, salsa verde, fried egg
ricotta stuffed manicotti, red wine braised pork cheek, cherry tomato, pickled pasilla pepper
braised chicken leg & thigh, madeira-porcini cream, royal trumpet mushrooms, bacon gnocchi, mustard greens
All of the dishes were brought out one at a time, which was nice, since we could share and discuss, while eating slowly and drinking vino. BTW, I'm not mentioning wine specifics here, but the wine list is outstanding, and there are some really reasonable bottles on there for the quality!
The oysters were served on the shell, each on a pile of sea salt which was a great presentation. They were served with pieces of cucumber and some caviar. The oysters were fresh, although they lacked the acid that I usually enjoy with my oysters. The caviar was nice, but oddly I still found I had to add a bit of the sea salt. The prep was a little inconsistent, a couple of the oyster shells were a little gritty and some were still connected to the shell. Not necessarily things I mind that much, but definitely something we noticed.
The ham plate was delicious- served with warm grilled bread, fantastic ham, spicy arugula, sweet ricotta and grapefruit gelee. This was a great start to the meal- we practically licked the plate clean, although the gelee did not add anything to the overall flavors. The ricotta is really worth mentioning, though. It was fresh tasting, sweet, creamy, deeeelightful!
The tartine was great! When I searched for the Telegraph thread on LTH, the first thing to come up is another tartine that ronnie_suburban posted in the "Best thing I've eaten lately" thread
. And I would agree with that sentiment for this tartine as well. The bread was delicious and flavorful, with caramelized red onions and salty anchovies. It was simple and elegant.
The manicotti was tasty, but had some serious issues. First of all, it was 2 small "manicotti", actually more like thin pasta sheets dropped on top of the ricotta stuffing. There was a red sauce with a hint of a nice spice, from red pepper flakes I believe. Tasty, but nothing really special. The big issue was that there was no pork cheek in the sauce! And strangely, there were pieces of stewed beef of an indeterminate cut. When we told the waiter about this he shrugged it off, and didn't really respond to the complaint. It was strange. And worst of all this tiny dish was $21 dollars, which was way way to much for the portion size.
The chicken was delicious, albeit another small portion. The chicken leg/thigh was well cooked with a wonderful mushroom pan sauce. The texture of the pan sauce was excellent, definitely something I would like to recreate. There were a few gnocchi on the plate that were dense and had no discernable bacon flavor. The mustard greens were wonderful and perfect with the dish.
The tongue was tender, but had some problems. The tongue itself was served in too large of a block for such a dense meat- it would have been better in thin slices rather than a large piece. But at least the portion was appropriately sized! The brioche it was served on was very dry, the "salsa verde" was more akin to a chimichurri, and the fried egg had an overcooked yolk with an undercooked, slimy white. The tongue was delicious, but the accoutrements seemed all wrong.
And this plate was cheap, the biggest and cheapest main. Strange pricing structure...
Telegraph had better first courses than second courses, which is a big pet peeve of ours. The menu is creative, but the dishes weren't necessarily executed as well as they were described on the written menu. The pricing was way off, we felt it was way more expensive than it should have been, especially the manicotti which was ridiculously overpriced. We would return for interesting wines and probably snack on some first courses, but probably would not return for a full meal.
We left Telegraph and went to The Bristol for dessert- we ended up ordering the crispy pork tail & 2 desserts as we were still hungry from the small portions at Telegraph. Mmm Pork Tail & Basque Cake!