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Nellcôte - - Jared Van Camp's new West Loop spot

Nellcôte - - Jared Van Camp's new West Loop spot
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  • Nellcôte - - Jared Van Camp's new West Loop spot

    Post #1 - March 8th, 2012, 10:28 am
    Post #1 - March 8th, 2012, 10:28 am Post #1 - March 8th, 2012, 10:28 am
    I dined at Nellcôte on Tuesday night and have been debating since about whether to post or not.

    While the room is lovely (but what's with the deafening music?) and the service was pretty good, the food didn't deliver. Each dish I tried had at least one major flaw. The restaurant has been open for a less than a week, though, so I'm hoping they'll get their act together soon. The menu is filled with tempting options and they're doing much from scratch, such as milling their own flour.

    The point of my post isn't to bash on Nellcôte. It's instead to suggest that folks not hurry in, giving them a chance to find their footing.

    Ronna

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    833 W. Randolph St.
    Chicago, IL 60607
    312-432-0500
    http://www.nellcoterestaurant.com/
  • Post #2 - March 8th, 2012, 2:26 pm
    Post #2 - March 8th, 2012, 2:26 pm Post #2 - March 8th, 2012, 2:26 pm
    Thanks for sharring. Was debating this for my trip next week but I guess I'll give them time to grow into their big shoes.
  • Post #3 - March 9th, 2012, 12:32 pm
    Post #3 - March 9th, 2012, 12:32 pm Post #3 - March 9th, 2012, 12:32 pm
    I dined at Nellcote this week. For their "in house flour" items, I thought the pizza was brilliant, but found the pasta and bread courses a dud. Milling you're own flour, does not a baker make, which was evident in the boring bread course and the dry lifeless Rum Baba dessert. The pastas themselves seemed excellently crafted, but the preparations were boring. We had one that claimed anchovies in the sauce. i was concerned it might be too strong, but it ended up almost flavorless.

    the pizza as stated, was delicious - one of the finer pizzas I've had in Chicago actually. the crusts, was light, airy, pleasantly chewy, and tasty. definitely a knife and forker - not gonna pick a slice up easily. the one we ordered had broccoli and sausage, both wonderfully flavorful toppings. the asparagus soup and robuchon potatoes were both great starters. our mains of sweetbreads and salmon were both nice as well.

    i was disappointed that the duds came from the area the restaurant really wants to promote. i'll give nellcote some time to find their footing, but wouldnt hesitate to stop in in the near future for a pizza and glass of wine. unfortunately i don't think that's what they're going for.
  • Post #4 - March 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm
    Post #4 - March 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm Post #4 - March 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm
    Just to add another data point: the pizza is pretty darn good, not Great Lake-level but certainly at a Coalfire level; I thought the bread was quite excellent, with a really complex baguette, a silky foccacia, and a brioche that kinda sorta echoed corn bread; the pasta was uniformly weak, not so much of the pasta itself--though the papparadelle was cooked to death--but for the composition of each, which went entirely for richness without really having any flavor profile (as a dish of wide noodles, oysters, and creme fraiche would suggest). I tasted three pasta dishes and all needed both textural contrast and something bright to make them pop; they're not there yet.

    The surprise is that the small plates menu is quite good. The pumpkin salad was the highlight of the night: sort of the West Loop equivalent of Spoon's one-bite salad, this was the most realized dish we ate, with a really sharp flavor profile centered on the nuttiness of the pumpkin, almonds, and gouda, but rounded herbally by a little mint and sweetly by the pomegranate molasses. An artichoke and romaine salad nicely captured the briny brightness of Southern French cooking, and the blue prawns were nicely paired with an uni vinagrette; I really liked the rabbit loin dish, as well, which seemed of a piece with Van Camp's meat genius.

    And this: they are making fantastic, fantastic ice cream from the butter they are churning, the straciatella and coffee (from La Colombe) especially.

    Overall, a promising start, even if the pasta failed; we'll see if Balena can step up in that department.
  • Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 3:10 pm Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Just to add another data point: the pizza is pretty darn good, not Great Lake-level but certainly at a Coalfire level; I thought the bread was quite excellent, with a really complex baguette, a silky foccacia, and a brioche that kinda sorta echoed corn bread; the pasta was uniformly weak, not so much of the pasta itself--though the papparadelle was cooked to death--but for the composition of each, which went entirely for richness without really having any flavor profile (as a dish of wide noodles, oysters, and creme fraiche would suggest). I tasted three pasta dishes and all needed both textural contrast and something bright to make them pop; they're not there yet.

    The surprise is that the small plates menu is quite good. The pumpkin salad was the highlight of the night: sort of the West Loop equivalent of Spoon's one-bite salad, this was the most realized dish we ate, with a really sharp flavor profile centered on the nuttiness of the pumpkin, almonds, and gouda, but rounded herbally by a little mint and sweetly by the pomegranate molasses. An artichoke and romaine salad nicely captured the briny brightness of Southern French cooking, and the blue prawns were nicely paired with an uni vinagrette; I really liked the rabbit loin dish, as well, which seemed of a piece with Van Camp's meat genius.

    And this: they are making fantastic, fantastic ice cream from the butter they are churning, the straciatella and coffee (from La Colombe) especially.

    Overall, a promising start, even if the pasta failed; we'll see if Balena can step up in that department.


    Went and had a very different experience - thought the duck pasta was outstanding and the risotto with bone marrow was also quite impressive.

    The pizza crust was good, though in my opinion not even close to Great Lake or Bar Toma, and the lack of enough cheese made the overly acidic tomato sauce far less than ideal.

    I agree the baguette was good while the other breads did nothing for me, and all the small plates were well composed - particularly the previously mentioned risotto.

    The baba was impressive, though more sweet than boozy, while the La Colombe Corsica Ice Cream was a showstopper.

    Service is a damned trainwreck, however, and needs a lot of work to iron out at this point. The back-staff of runners, expiditers, etc need substantial training on how to present a dish and the kitchn needs to work on pacing.
  • Post #6 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:29 pm
    Post #6 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:29 pm Post #6 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:29 pm
    My experience at Nellcote was an echo of the above responses. The restaurant itself is gorgeous, with tall wrought-iron gates, chandeliers, a raised bar and a soft orange-ish glow from the bar lighting.

    We started with the burrata pizza which was pleasant: the crust was charred in areas, with a nice chew. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with burrata and tomatoes. The only redeeming thing about the grilled blue prawns was the prawn head. There was only one head plated, despite there being two separate prawns tails. There was also a piece of sea urchin, which I was initially very excited to see, as the description mentioned it being only a uni vinagrette. Unfortunately, it was virtually tasteless, without the usual bright briny characteristics that I would have expected.

    The texture of the taglioni was on par, but the stand out was the 4 oysters perched atop the dish. The crème fraiche/champagne sauce was okay, but lacked a punch of freshness to give it some added dimension. The frog leg raviolini was not something I would want to experience again: dense, mild frog leg and filler of some sort with a beef bouillon tasting stock.

    The food was adequate; I would really only recommend it for the atmosphere… so a night out if drinks were the main focus with decent snacking food, but not for an actual dinner.
  • Post #7 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:46 pm
    Post #7 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:46 pm Post #7 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:46 pm
    I ate at Nellcote last friday after reading a review which indicated they made their own Radiatori pasta, a childhood favorite of mine.

    We started off with a complementary asparagus cream, fish soup foam thing which wasn't good, however, the budha-hand infused vodka cocktail was excellent. The texture was weird with the fish, it wasn't hot or cold and it was very creamy. We had the bread course after that, the baguette was nice, not amazing, but I particularly like the olive oil bread (can't remember exactly what it was, but it reminded me a savory doughnut). We followed up with nice carrot dish with some carrot puree. Then we had the Radiatori pasta dish I was waiting for, the pasta was nice, not amazing, the dish had some confit-esque duck legs and mushrooms, it was a nice earthy meaty combination. I think the best dish of the night, however, was definitely the burrata & squash blossom pizza.

    I liked the "bachelor jam" with the dessert but can't really remember what the dessert was.
  • Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:32 am
    Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:32 am Post #8 - July 22nd, 2012, 9:32 am
    After really enjoying Nellcote's terrific grilled flatbread at the Green City Market BBQ, I had such high hopes for my first visit to Nellcote. But after my first dinner at Nellcote, I'd say that there is a ton of unfulfilled promise coming out of the kitchen. My dining companion and I shared four dishes, two pizzas (one with sausage, mushrooms and tomato sauce base, the other with claims, green onions, chiles and creme fraiche), halibut with soft scrambled eggs, piperade and sturgeon caviar and radiatore pasta with duck and mushrooms.

    One problem everyone should be aware of is spacing of courses, or lack thereof. We weren't asked, and did not specify, how we wanted the food to come out. Well, they all essentially came out together (or within two minutes). This seemed idiotic and careless, but if I return hopefully I'll remember to guide the kitchen.

    The next problem was just sloppy preparation. Both pizzas had tasty, chewy crusts with some nice crust flavor, but both showed very little in the way of char and could have withstood more time in the oven (although, even with these issues corrected, we're still not talking Great Lake, but of course that is the pinnacle). Also, the toppings were very hastily thrown on top of the pizzas - there should not be a 2+ inch gap from the edge of the crust in to find any toppings, and in some places toppings were overtopped while scarce elsewhere. Otherwise, I'd say the flavors of the toppings were terrific but terrible sloppiness prevented these pizzas from standing out. Hell, I've seen more careful preparation at Pizza Hut.

    Continuing upon this theme of sloppiness, the raditatore pasta (which was delicious on its own) was overcooked a fair way past al dente, gummy and had not been properly drained. Thus, what might have been a fantastic duck and mushroom combination was a bit watered down (I could tell that if not watered down, it would have been outstanding - it was still flavorful). And although the menu promised cracklings with this dish, they were either missing or totally hydrated by the improperly drained pasta. Too bad, because I could tell that this dish would have been outstanding if someone in the kitchen had paid attention.

    The only real hit of the evening (other than the dining room, which I found striking - aside from the seating) was the halibut, which was perfectly cooked, delicious, and the soft scrambled eggs so luscious. I loved the flavor of the halibut with salty, buttery flavor combination.

    Service was very friendly, if somewhat incompetent. It seemed like there were a lot of people overseeing a lot of other people, but tasks/tables did not seem to be distributed in a way the staff could comprehend. This lead to delays and communication errors, but always friendly and attentive interactions.

    It's a shame that there is so much promise and such a lack of execution here. So many menu items sounded delicious, and everything we tasted showed at least some great promise in terms of flavor, so obviously someone here spent a lot of time getting this menu together and tasting dishes. Yet there is something so very wrong in the kitchen (and in terms of operating the dining room) to allow this level of sloppiness to exist. I really hope they get things in order, because I love the dining room and with just a few minutes of care and attention, we could have had an excellent meal.
  • Post #9 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:45 pm
    Post #9 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:45 pm Post #9 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:45 pm
    We ate at Nellcote awhile ago, in June, but I had forgotten to post about it. I agree with previous posters, that pretty much everything - food and service - were not up to what we expected. The most glaring issue was regarding a pizza with squash blossoms which we had ordered. I was really looking forward to trying it, and then we were served a pizza with only sliced zucchini on top. Not a blossom in sight, and no mention of anything from our server. Also, considering the flour mill, I thought the crust was rather bland and definitely could have used more time in the oven.
  • Post #10 - July 25th, 2012, 11:55 am
    Post #10 - July 25th, 2012, 11:55 am Post #10 - July 25th, 2012, 11:55 am
    Friends went this week, and said the food was good, not great, price OK, and service indifferent. They had problems with the temperature control too, their table was quite cold. They proclaimed the decor fun, but said it was kind of a "scene" - the sort of place you would go to once.
    Leek

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  • Post #11 - September 7th, 2012, 7:23 am
    Post #11 - September 7th, 2012, 7:23 am Post #11 - September 7th, 2012, 7:23 am
    Has anyone tried brunch here?
  • Post #12 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:08 pm
    Post #12 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:08 pm Post #12 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:08 pm
    Hello--I have searched the board and could not find any reviews/thoughts about Nelecote. I am thinking about going there for a special occasion. Anyone eaten there?
  • Post #13 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:11 pm
    Post #13 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:11 pm Post #13 - January 22nd, 2013, 10:11 pm
    VICKYD wrote:Hello--I have searched the board and could not find any reviews/thoughts about Nelecote. I am thinking about going there for a special occasion. Anyone eaten there?

    I've merged your post into an already exisiting thread, which was tough to find via 'search' because of the circumflex.

    =R=
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  • Post #14 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:00 am
    Post #14 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:00 am Post #14 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:00 am
    VICKYD wrote:Hello--I have searched the board and could not find any reviews/thoughts about Nelecote. I am thinking about going there for a special occasion. Anyone eaten there?


    Welcome to the forum Vicky. :)

    Nellcote is potentially a good venue for a special occasion, but depends on what you like and what type of experience you are seeking. They have good cocktails, nice beer selection and a varied, interesting menu. There is a fun vibe but the venue can be a bit loud and when we dined there service was just fair, so it depends if you are seeking a festive, lively atmosphere (good fit) or an intimate type ambiance (not a good fit). If you describe what you enjoy and what type of atmosphere you are seeking people could probably provide more useful information to you.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #15 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:41 am
    Post #15 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:41 am Post #15 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:41 am
    Thank you Gonzo!

    I am looking for something new--not loud (although if the food is good I's deal with it).
    Good cocktails important. Like it to be non-pretensious.
    I love Maude's, the Girl & the Goat (agree about oversalting) and Au Cheval. I get stuck in a food rut!
    I was also thinking about GT Oyster & Fish--but open to new suggestions.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
  • Post #16 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:46 am
    Post #16 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:46 am Post #16 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:46 am
    VICKYD wrote:Thank you Gonzo!

    I am looking for something new--not loud (although if the food is good I's deal with it).
    Good cocktails important. Like it to be non-pretensious.
    I love Maude's, the Girl & the Goat (agree about oversalting) and Au Cheval. I get stuck in a food rut!
    I was also thinking about GT Oyster & Fish--but open to new suggestions.

    Thanks for your thoughts!


    I'd suggest The Boarding House--I was there last night and it sounds right up your alley. http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=36506
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #17 - June 29th, 2013, 6:44 pm
    Post #17 - June 29th, 2013, 6:44 pm Post #17 - June 29th, 2013, 6:44 pm
    annak wrote:Has anyone tried brunch here?


    I just had brunch at Nellcote today and was extremely impressed. It's been a long time since I've heard anything about them so I wanted to add a data point. I had intended to go to Little Goat, since a friend wanted to try it, but the wait for two was more than an hour, so we headed to Nellcote across the street.

    Image

    In contrast with the packed like sardines atmosphere at Little Goat, Nellcote was so spacious, elegant and inviting. I was surprised at how the restaurant was only about half full (those silly people waiting outside across the street!) but the food and service was just wonderful. We split the asparagus and burrata pizza with pistachios, chili flake and shaved red onion along with the seared organic salmon with poached eggs, sourdough toast and spring greens dressed in vinaigrette.

    Image

    Both the grilled sourdough bread and pizza crust were outstanding in flavor and texture. I can see why Chef Van Camp is milling his own flour and wow - it's worth trying! I think whatever issues the kitchen had last year may have been fixed, or perhaps they are just better able to deliver consistently great food during brunch. They are totally flying under the radar now and I think even those who were disappointed with Nellcote in 2012 should give them another try in 2013.

    Image

    We quickly devoured everything, and honestly, I would be happy eating those perfectly poached eggs with the creamy yolk soaking up into the sourdough every day of the week. The bread was just magnificent, crisp edges, slightly toasted top with a brush of olive oil and tangy, soft and airy center. I definitely did not mean to eat half a pizza and a couple slices of sourdough, but I can't think of a better way to fill my carb quota for the day.
  • Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 11:03 am
    Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 11:03 am Post #18 - July 1st, 2013, 11:03 am
    Is the full cocktail menu available at brunch? Because I am in love with their Rye cocktail. I could use one right now, in fact...
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #19 - July 1st, 2013, 10:35 pm
    Post #19 - July 1st, 2013, 10:35 pm Post #19 - July 1st, 2013, 10:35 pm
    Independent George wrote:Is the full cocktail menu available at brunch? Because I am in love with their Rye cocktail. I could use one right now, in fact...



    They have a separate brunch cocktails menu, but I'm pretty sure they'd make you the rye if you asked.
  • Post #20 - July 3rd, 2013, 2:23 pm
    Post #20 - July 3rd, 2013, 2:23 pm Post #20 - July 3rd, 2013, 2:23 pm
    +1 on Nellcote's brunch. We went on Father's Day and were all (4 of us) very pleased.

    We had the breakfast sharing plate (meat, cheese, brioche, madelein, earl gray-poached figs); asparagus/chili/burrata pizza; smoked trout and beet salad; sausage pizza; and... something eggy. Quiche? Eggs en cocotte? That was my brother's and I didn't get any. The rest of the food was excellent though. The crust on the pizza was near perfection, the balance of burrata, pistachio, chili, and asparagus spot on. My one quibble was that the salad could have had slightly more "stuff" to balance out the leaves. But that's just because I am greedy. In reality the ratio was fine.

    Service was friendly and attentive but not overwrought. Coffee (from la colombe, down the street, I think) was smooth and regularly refilled. The room was stunning.

    I will definitely be back.
  • Post #21 - July 6th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    Post #21 - July 6th, 2013, 4:07 pm Post #21 - July 6th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    Hurdler4eva wrote:
    Independent George wrote:Is the full cocktail menu available at brunch? Because I am in love with their Rye cocktail. I could use one right now, in fact...



    They have a separate brunch cocktails menu, but I'm pretty sure they'd make you the rye if you asked.


    I did ask today at brunch, and they made me one (OK, two). At first they said no, because they had a new bartender who didn't yet know how to make the dinner cocktails - asked a 2nd time and they got the RM bartender to make me one - success!
  • Post #22 - July 7th, 2013, 10:49 am
    Post #22 - July 7th, 2013, 10:49 am Post #22 - July 7th, 2013, 10:49 am
    I had the the truffle pizza, bread service, & cauliflower salad last night. I really want to love this place but my food was just serviceable, except the EVOO was extraordinary. I asked and it comes from California Olive Ranch if I heard correctly. I will check with dining companions who had venison tartare, rabbit loin and sausage, & pork belly confit with teeny tiny clams. The last dish smelled lovely & I've never been a fan of bacon.

    Now the back of the restaurant, RM Champagne Salon I loved. Great selection of cheeses and the al fresco last night was amazing. I definitely want to go back before summer ends and explore that menu.
    Last edited by pairs4life on July 8th, 2013, 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Post #23 - July 8th, 2013, 8:16 am
    Post #23 - July 8th, 2013, 8:16 am Post #23 - July 8th, 2013, 8:16 am
    I've been here twice, and had some excellent food both times out. Not everything was a winner, obviously, but the hits really connected for me.

    My favorite things thus far about Nellcote:

    1. Rye cocktail. I might have to re-think my dislike of Manhattans, because this was delicious.
    2. English Pea Agnolotti
    3. Gnocchi
    4. Venison Tartare

    I haven't tried the pizzas yet, but they looked (and smelled) pretty fantastic. I know it shouldn't matter, but the room itself is gorgeous. I'm absolutely fascinated by the ironwork they have by the front door.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #24 - July 21st, 2013, 10:42 am
    Post #24 - July 21st, 2013, 10:42 am Post #24 - July 21st, 2013, 10:42 am
    Returned to Nellcote last night for dinner. First, the pluses: their outdoor dining area is very pleasant and one of the nicer ones around - real tables, a very nice trellis, nicely decorated and tables well spaced. And because the bulk of Randolph Street traffic is set off from the sidewalk cafes (and there's not a ton of it anyway), you don't have much in the way of street noise.

    As for food, the spaghetti with tomato, calabrian chilies, toasted breadcrumbs and mojama was absolutely perfect. The house made spaghetti is thicker than most you'll find and was cooked to a perfect al dente, retaining some nice chew. And the flavors were stunning. It's not a large portion, but still a bargain at $9 in my opinion.

    Pizzas were very good, with one exception. My favorite was the one with broccoli and fennel sausage. And the crusts were nicely charred and delivered good flavor. All that being said, I like my crust edges to be crispy and there was none of that here. Still very good.

    The big negative though was service, and this was also my experience on my initial visit. See, the people who work here are very friendly. But they are also incredibly inattentive. The servers and hosts and hostesses are particularly proficient at standing around, chatting with one another, then disappearing for lengthy periods of time. Know that if you want someone's attention, your bus boy is your best friend. That being said, I've noticed the servers are extremely willing to take your order and quickly open the bill envelope at the end to check the tip. But flagging someone down for a drink, asking for a check, trying to tell someone you're missing an ingredient/dish . . . these are all situations where your training as an air traffic controller might come into play (waving your hands to attract attention that is).

    So while I'd love to return here and try more of the menu, particularly more of the pastas, I'm not sure I wish to go for the hat trick in terms of inattentive service.
  • Post #25 - December 15th, 2013, 10:23 am
    Post #25 - December 15th, 2013, 10:23 am Post #25 - December 15th, 2013, 10:23 am
    Was able to get a same day 6:00 reservation on a Saturday night, which is a big plus.
    Our meal was excellent in all regards. The service was friendly and attentive.
    The food:
    Bread: Liked the baguette and foccacia, brioche was just o.k.
    Sweet potatoes with creme fraiche and chives. Rich and delicious; a nice take on the old baked potato with sour cream.
    Venison tartare: Came with a small frisee salad which provided a nice acidic crunch.
    Butternut squash pasta: A tried and true combination -- butternut squash, brown butter and sage, but done exquisitely. The pureed squash in the pasta was almost liquid so that it exploded in your mouth.
    Some kind of chocolate dessert: My wife was happy; I didn't have any.

    I'd also note that we found the place quite reasonably priced. Perhaps this was because we didn't have any main dishes with meat or seafood, but still. Everything about was about $50 before drinks.
  • Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 8:47 am
    Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 8:47 am Post #26 - April 15th, 2014, 8:47 am
    We went to Nellcôte before last night's Bull's game. We had a hi-top next to the front windows, perfect to watch the snow fall. :evil: We are trying to eat better (meaning more healthy) so sharing some dishes sounded like a good plan. We had the roasted brussels sprouts, the wood-roasted mushrooms over stone-ground yellow corn polenta and the tagliatelli bolognese (heritage pork, veal, parmigiano, fried rosemary). Maybe not as light as other choices, but they all sounded good on a snowy evening. The polenta was definitely coarser than I've had before (seemed healthy!) but I enjoyed it when combined with the mushrooms. The brussels sprouts were fine -- lots of roasted garlic pieces which made me long for a mint later. We both enjoyed the pasta, although it didn't seem particularly warm. Mr. X had tea and I had the No Expectations cocktail (death's door gin, dimmi, botanical syrup, lime). It was a refreshing drink and made me long to be enjoying it outside on a warm night. We had no problems with service.

    Nellcôte might not replace my preferred small plate spots of Avec or Vera, but I'd keep it in the rotation if I'm looking for a more "sceney" location.
    -Mary
  • Post #27 - April 15th, 2014, 10:11 am
    Post #27 - April 15th, 2014, 10:11 am Post #27 - April 15th, 2014, 10:11 am
    The GP wrote:We went to Nellcôte before last night's Bull's game. We had a hi-top next to the front windows, perfect to watch the snow fall. :evil: We are trying to eat better (meaning more healthy) so sharing some dishes sounded like a good plan. We had the roasted brussels sprouts, the wood-roasted mushrooms over stone-ground yellow corn polenta and the tagliatelli bolognese (heritage pork, veal, parmigiano, fried rosemary). Maybe not as light as other choices, but they all sounded good on a snowy evening. The polenta was definitely coarser than I've had before (seemed healthy!) but I enjoyed it when combined with the mushrooms. The brussels sprouts were fine -- lots of roasted garlic pieces which made me long for a mint later. We both enjoyed the pasta, although it didn't seem particularly warm. Mr. X had tea and I had the No Expectations cocktail (death's door gin, dimmi, botanical syrup, lime). It was a refreshing drink and made me long to be enjoying it outside on a warm night. We had no problems with service.

    Nellcôte might not replace my preferred small plate spots of Avec or Vera, but I'd keep it in the rotation if I'm looking for a more "sceney" location.


    Had teh polenta/musrooms on a cold winter nigt and it was great. Ordered a second one as soon as I finished the first. Their salmon was surprisingly good.
  • Post #28 - July 29th, 2015, 4:12 pm
    Post #28 - July 29th, 2015, 4:12 pm Post #28 - July 29th, 2015, 4:12 pm
    Had a great, simple, not at all pretentious and exceptionally satisfying meal here the other night. Surprised Nellcote doesn't get talked about more often. We sat outside and it was an early dinner, but maybe it gets more scene-y and unpleasant/loud/whatever later? (Along those lines, my wife commented how the interior had serious echoes of the Kleiner/KDK spots that used to anchor Randolph.) Anyway, excellent pizza, loved the mushrooms, great cocktails, etc. Flavors and freshness right on across the board.
  • Post #29 - July 30th, 2015, 6:51 am
    Post #29 - July 30th, 2015, 6:51 am Post #29 - July 30th, 2015, 6:51 am
    Vitesse98 wrote:Had a great, simple, not at all pretentious and exceptionally satisfying meal here the other night. Surprised Nellcote doesn't get talked about more often. We sat outside and it was an early dinner, but maybe it gets more scene-y and unpleasant/loud/whatever later? (Along those lines, my wife commented how the interior had serious echoes of the Kleiner/KDK spots that used to anchor Randolph.) Anyway, excellent pizza, loved the mushrooms, great cocktails, etc. Flavors and freshness right on across the board.


    I've been about 4-5 times since they opened (most recently a couple of months ago). I agree that it's very good; I've enjoyed every visit. I can't put my finger on why I don't go more often ... or maybe I can. It's near my office, so it's always on the list for work dinners, but it's far enough from home - with far too many alternatives in-between - to be on my radar on a typical weekend.
  • Post #30 - July 30th, 2015, 7:00 am
    Post #30 - July 30th, 2015, 7:00 am Post #30 - July 30th, 2015, 7:00 am
    I've also been a number of times and am surprised to see that I hadn't posted about it. I've enjoyed every meal I've had there. I also attended a phenomenal farm dinner that Jared Van Camp hosted at Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign.

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