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Evanston Lunch Group: Ninefish, August 7 at 12:30pm

Evanston Lunch Group: Ninefish, August 7 at 12:30pm
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  • Evanston Lunch Group: Ninefish, August 7 at 12:30pm

    Post #1 - July 18th, 2007, 12:15 pm
    Post #1 - July 18th, 2007, 12:15 pm Post #1 - July 18th, 2007, 12:15 pm
    After mulling through many, many, options, I kept remembering the very enjoyable meal I had at Ninefishjust after it opened. As I haven't had a chance to return, I am looking forward to the opportunity to share it with all of you! IIRC, for lunch there are a series of bento options, and they also offer many pan-asian and american foods as well, without dumbing down the sushi experience in the least.

    Our own intrepid David Hammond reviewed Ninefish in the Chicago Reader

    Please post with your availability and I will make a reservation when we are a bit closer to the date.

    Ninefish
    2438 Main St
    Evanston
    (847) 328-9177.
  • Post #2 - July 18th, 2007, 12:21 pm
    Post #2 - July 18th, 2007, 12:21 pm Post #2 - July 18th, 2007, 12:21 pm
    Hi,

    I can be there and include Helen, too.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - July 18th, 2007, 12:22 pm
    Post #3 - July 18th, 2007, 12:22 pm Post #3 - July 18th, 2007, 12:22 pm
    I'll be there. Thanks for organizing.
  • Post #4 - July 18th, 2007, 12:28 pm
    Post #4 - July 18th, 2007, 12:28 pm Post #4 - July 18th, 2007, 12:28 pm
    Would it surprise you if I said I'm in?
  • Post #5 - July 18th, 2007, 12:57 pm
    Post #5 - July 18th, 2007, 12:57 pm Post #5 - July 18th, 2007, 12:57 pm
    Hi,

    I sounded so ungracious ... thank you for organizing!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - July 18th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    Post #6 - July 18th, 2007, 5:16 pm Post #6 - July 18th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    I find it hard to believe, as reported in today's Dish, that they were served roe on sour-cream-and-onion potato chips at Ninefish.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - July 18th, 2007, 7:07 pm
    Post #7 - July 18th, 2007, 7:07 pm Post #7 - July 18th, 2007, 7:07 pm
    That is bizarre - but then, I'll eat fish eggs on most anything :) ...seemed to me like when I went they weren't crazy avant-garde, just innovative...
  • Post #8 - August 1st, 2007, 9:35 am
    Post #8 - August 1st, 2007, 9:35 am Post #8 - August 1st, 2007, 9:35 am
    Threadbump!

    Just an opportunity for whoever wants to add on (or I suppose subtract) before I call and make reservations.
  • Post #9 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:11 pm
    Post #9 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:11 pm Post #9 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:11 pm
    I'm going to try and make it to Ninefish. I've never attended an LTH event before even though I've tried in the past and have let other obligations thwart my hungry tendencies. Please, everyone, be gentle.

    Oh... how will I know how to spot you all? Are there special hats or shirts you wear? Perhaps a secret handshake?

    - ChgoMike
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #10 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:44 pm
    Post #10 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:44 pm Post #10 - August 3rd, 2007, 1:44 pm
    You know, somehow at these events we always seem to find each other, but I'll make sure the servers know we're with "the LTH group" A prescence of cameras is often a sure sign...welcome ChgoMike!

    So, my count is 6, right?
  • Post #11 - August 7th, 2007, 7:37 am
    Post #11 - August 7th, 2007, 7:37 am Post #11 - August 7th, 2007, 7:37 am
    Yikes--it's looking like I won't be able to make it out of the office for lunch today. Sorry for the short notice. I look forward to reading the reports!

    Sharon
  • Post #12 - August 7th, 2007, 10:14 am
    Post #12 - August 7th, 2007, 10:14 am Post #12 - August 7th, 2007, 10:14 am
    Mhays,

    Thanks for setting up the lunch, please include both Steve Z and myself.

    Thanks,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - August 7th, 2007, 10:20 am
    Post #13 - August 7th, 2007, 10:20 am Post #13 - August 7th, 2007, 10:20 am
    Sorry to miss you again, happy_stomach! I'd been looking forward to talking about your dinner - oh, well - next time.

    Got you & Steve, Gary! See you in an hour or so!
  • Post #14 - August 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    Post #14 - August 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm Post #14 - August 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    Not going to post a thorough roundup because Gary was taking copious notes and pix, but just wanted to say thank you to all who came - as always, it's lovely to have lunch with such pleasant company.

    I think, company excluded, I enjoyed my last lunch at Ninefish a bit more - my inclination is that last time the food was more enjoyable than interesting, and this time (different sushi chef) it tended more towards interesting rather than enjoyable (though I thought it was a good meal.) Flavor profiles tended towards the sweet and my preferences run more sour/salty. They had matchstick apple salad which, though very simple, I really like, and I thought the fish itself had good texture and flavor.

    No potato chips...
  • Post #15 - August 7th, 2007, 3:51 pm
    Post #15 - August 7th, 2007, 3:51 pm Post #15 - August 7th, 2007, 3:51 pm
    Well summarized. But an 'A' for presentation effort, don't you think? Regardless, I had a lovely time. Great meeting you all and I'm looking forward to more Evanston area encounters, and then some.

    Where are those picnic details? Sounds like a fun time...
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 4:08 pm
    Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 4:08 pm Post #16 - August 7th, 2007, 4:08 pm
    Mhays wrote:and this time (different sushi chef) it tended more towards interesting rather than enjoyable (though I thought it was a good meal.) Flavor profiles tended towards the sweet and my preferences run more sour/salty. They had matchstick apple salad which, though very simple, I really like, and I thought the fish itself had good texture and flavor.

    No potato chips...


    Mhays,

    It was great to finally meet you and ChgoMike (the one without the Asian ex-wife) today at lunch. I think you hit the nail on the head with this description. While the place is beautifully decorated and great care is taken with the presentation of each dish, I found the fish itself to lack a certain gravitas of flavor. It was good, but one dimensional. Although the fish was pristinely fresh, I felt my sashimi was served a bit too cold to let the flavor develop. They make a considerable effort with all of their sauces and toppings, but I guess I'm just a bit too much of a purist, preferring my fish simply presented without benefit of sauce except for a bit of soy and wasabi that I might choose to apply myself at the table. I'm sure Ninefish will do well (as it should). If they decide to offer an ala carte sushi/sashimi menu, I'll probably be back.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - August 7th, 2007, 4:10 pm
    Post #17 - August 7th, 2007, 4:10 pm Post #17 - August 7th, 2007, 4:10 pm
    Like the sig, Mike! :D Welcome!

    Definitely an impressive date-nite spot both for food presentation and ambience; I'm planning to go back again with the 'spouse and hope for the sashimi bento I had last time, which I loved...(see OP for link)

    (Nice to finally meet you, too, Steve!)
  • Post #18 - August 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    Post #18 - August 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm Post #18 - August 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    Thanks to Mhays for organizing ... great time, etc etc ... but that's virtually always the case with LTH gatherings.

    I thought the sashimi presentations were interesting ... I'm not sure I've ever seen such a juxtaposition of raw fish and fresh, sweet fruit before. In retrospect, it's not my favorite style, but it was different, and I'm glad I had a chance to experience it. I thought the appetizers (skate wing and, particularly, the "fish cake") were especially good.

    I have some photos, but I wasn't taking copious notes, as Gary was, so if he chooses I'll let him post pix. After seeing his pix, if I have anything substantive to add, I may post a few of my own.

    Especially good to see first-timer ChgoMike. (note: you might want to follow this thread for picnic details: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=12499 )
  • Post #19 - August 7th, 2007, 9:40 pm
    Post #19 - August 7th, 2007, 9:40 pm Post #19 - August 7th, 2007, 9:40 pm
    Mhays wrote:Not going to post a thorough roundup because Gary was taking copious notes and pix,

    Mahays,

    I took copious notes because some (most) of the combinations were confusing. ;)

    Ninefish is cute as a button, attractive room, artistically presented food, cloth napkins, live fish in different styles of clear glass bowls scattered about, attentive well meaning service, interactive Itamae, overall good vibe, but nothing really popped flavor wise.

    We started with a gratis green apple salad, tasty but needed a bit of acidic counterpoint to highlight the flavor.

    Green Apple Salad
    Image

    Standard issue miso soup was awkward to eat from the decorative bowl with the accompanying western style spoon

    Miso Soup
    Image

    Deep fried skate was dull, good idea, but somewhat bland. Accompanying mango-cliantro sauce a bit sweet.

    Skate Wing w/mango-cilantro sauce
    Image

    Fish cake w/Thai Sweet sauce was dull flavored, particularly in comparison to Thai tod mun. Any potential lost amongst a pool of bottled Thai sweet chili sauce.

    Fish Cake w/Thai Sweet Sauce
    Image

    C2 and I had a tasting portion of O Toro sashimi, while attractively decorated, flavor/texture/richness, which is what toro is all about, was lacking. I was particularly surprised there were strands of ropy connective tissue detracting from the overall effect. A puree of watercress and arugula was served along side, interesting sauce, but quality toro needs nothing more than a bit of soy and wasabi root.

    O Toro w/watercress and arugula sauce
    Image

    Standard issue yellow tail maki with slivers of low Scoville rating jalapeno do not a Spicy Hamachi Roll make.

    Spicy Yellow Tail Roll
    Image

    Tuna Jicama Roll seems a good idea, nice jicama crunch contrast, though the jicama, oddly, had little crunch and came across somewhat watery.

    Tuna Jicama Roll
    Image

    I liked, especially in comparison to the other items I sampled at NineFish, my Sashimi Bento lunch, which C2 had as well. Though was surprised, in looking over the bill, they charged C2 $1 for her requested bowl of plain rice. Seems bento (boxed meal) should include a bowl of rice.

    Sashimi Bento
    (R to L) Scallop w/green apple syrup, White tuna w/white truffle topped with passion fruit, Salmon w/Alfalfa sprouts, Yellow tail w/scallion, Tuna w/fig
    Image

    Mhays Nigiri lunch consisted of 4 large size slices of fish and a torched scallop topped with garlic aoli.

    Chef w/torch
    Image

    Nigiri Bento
    Image

    In keeping with the pleasant customer interaction we had experienced throughout lunch we were given a few additional items to sample.

    Salmon w/guava juice and green apple.
    Image

    Tempura Strawberry w/chocolate sauce.
    Image

    All in all a pleasant lunch. Good company, nice to meet ChgoMike of the No-Thai-Ex-Wife variety.

    A few additional pictures may be found here

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Last edited by G Wiv on August 7th, 2007, 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - August 7th, 2007, 9:44 pm
    Post #20 - August 7th, 2007, 9:44 pm Post #20 - August 7th, 2007, 9:44 pm
    G Wiv wrote:O Toro w/watercress and arugula sauce
    Image


    That pic makes me sad on so many levels
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #21 - August 8th, 2007, 8:16 am
    Post #21 - August 8th, 2007, 8:16 am Post #21 - August 8th, 2007, 8:16 am
    Thanks, Gary - knew your take would be more thorough than mine! :)

    Feel I should add - the obento lunches at Ninefish, which include a number of hot options as well as the sushi variations we all tried, are $9.95 and apparently include salad, soup, and a tiny dessert (but no tea, or apparently rice.) You can order a la carte, but there isn't a menu for it so you have to guess the prices.

    During my original visit, the fish pieces seemed uncomfortably large - didn't seem to be the case this time; another difference in sushi chefs? (I'd take the big pieces and less sauce, tho)
  • Post #22 - August 10th, 2007, 6:14 pm
    Post #22 - August 10th, 2007, 6:14 pm Post #22 - August 10th, 2007, 6:14 pm
    Hi,

    I'm always pleased to try someplace new, though for me this may be a one-of visit. My biggest gripe was spending $35 on lunch and driving away hungry.

    What I would have really liked was a beef teriyaki bento box with lots of interesting treats to eat and marvel over for $9.95. The cooked food menu choices ranged from Mongolian beef to lots of chicken and a few vegetarian items. I was tempted to get the (seared?) beef with brown sauce. Was it the Japanese homage to American mystery meat option from school cafeterias?

    Anyway it was a good time with great conversation, as always.

    Thanks MHays for organizing this. I'm looking forward to Patty's next month.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - August 13th, 2007, 12:53 pm
    Post #23 - August 13th, 2007, 12:53 pm Post #23 - August 13th, 2007, 12:53 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    I'm looking forward to Patty's next month.



    Is September's Evanston group lunch scheduled for 9/4 or for 9/11 (due to Labor Day)?

    I'm looking forward to my first LTH event--or maybe it will be my second, depending on the timing of September's lunch and the LTH picnic on 9/8--and to meeting some of you whose posts I have enjoyed--and learned from! :D
  • Post #24 - August 13th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Post #24 - August 13th, 2007, 12:55 pm Post #24 - August 13th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    HI,

    It appears it will your second LTH event, because Evanston lunch will be during the 2nd half of September.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - August 13th, 2007, 12:56 pm
    Post #25 - August 13th, 2007, 12:56 pm Post #25 - August 13th, 2007, 12:56 pm
    Next Evanston Lunch Group™ at Patty's will probably be week of 9/17, at the request of The French Couple (that's when they'll be back from Paris).

    I'll make the official post in a few weeks. In the meantime, see you at the picnic!
  • Post #26 - August 13th, 2007, 6:41 pm
    Post #26 - August 13th, 2007, 6:41 pm Post #26 - August 13th, 2007, 6:41 pm
    Dude, did you really trademark it? :D
  • Post #27 - August 13th, 2007, 8:48 pm
    Post #27 - August 13th, 2007, 8:48 pm Post #27 - August 13th, 2007, 8:48 pm
    Hey, anybody can claim a ™ ... true, you get more rights if you file the paperwork, but just using the ™ symbol is enough to give you some rights to the mark (don't ask - I've done way too much new product development work). Although, as I think about it, it should probably be a "SM," except there's no cute way to get a little superscript SM from my keyboard.

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/do ... gister.htm
  • Post #28 - August 14th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    Post #28 - August 14th, 2007, 1:14 pm Post #28 - August 14th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    Now where did I put my my business card...?

    I'm looking forward to visiting that sweet, sweet mistress of hash and ham next month. Now that I think about it, I don't really need to wait until next month, do I? Excuse me... gotta go.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #29 - August 15th, 2007, 7:10 am
    Post #29 - August 15th, 2007, 7:10 am Post #29 - August 15th, 2007, 7:10 am
    nr706 wrote:Next Evanston Lunch Group™ at Patty's will probably be week of 9/17, at the request of The French Couple (that's when they'll be back from Paris).

    I'll make the official post in a few weeks. In the meantime, see you at the picnic!


    My kids will be in school (well, two of them, anyway) so I think I can join you guys for this one. Will look for the official thread when it appears.
    "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside."
    -Mark Twain

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