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Duchamp new restaurant in Bucktown

Duchamp new restaurant in Bucktown
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  • Duchamp new restaurant in Bucktown

    Post #1 - August 8th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Post #1 - August 8th, 2008, 10:25 am Post #1 - August 8th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Went here with the girlfriend last night. We got there around 7 and it was nearly empty -- only 2 other groups. It has a reasonably nice interior and the garden is great. There's wood everywhere, and long communal tables (feels a lot like Avec, though the wood is about there the similarity ends).

    The service was about what you would expect from a brand new place -- attentive (maybe overly so) but a tad sloppy. I guess it's always going to be a bit awkward when there are more waitstaff than customers.

    On to the food. We usually like to just share appetizers, so we figured the menu of small plates and large plates would be good. We started with the salmon tartare on caper bellinis and the duck rilletes tartine (both $12, I think). The salmon was good, the capers really came through, but it wasn't much food. The duck was also very good. There was a lot of flavor, with the fruit (apricot, maybe) really working.

    Next we got a lobster flatbread ($12). Now, at the bluebird a few blocks down damen, an $11 flatbread is easily a full meal. At Duchamp, it was barely even an appetizer. Just 5 thin slices, with almost no lobster at all. I liked the idea of garnishing it with celery leaves, the taste worked well, but at that price, one would hope for either more or better ingredients.

    Last, we had the cheese plate. The fruit bread it came with seemed home baked and was fantastic. Again, for $12, though, it just didn't seem like enough food. We got 2 small slices each of three cheeses (a manchego, a bleu goat cheese, and a triple-creme). They were fine, but nothing mind-blowing.

    If we had been in the loop or another area where you at least know the property is expensive, the prices might have been expected. But at Damen and Armitage, I guess we had hoped for a restaurant that would give us a reasonable meal. There are any number of restaurants just down the street -- Le Bouchon, the Bluebird, Jane's, Mado -- that for similar prices will actually serve you a full meal. And for all the similarities with Avec -- the decor, the menu style, even the food choices to some extent -- at Avec, you at least know you'll leave full.

    We quit on the meal before dessert, so I can't comment on that part of the menu, but given the skimpy portions we'd gotten so far, we figured we should just take off and finish the meal elsewhere. Maybe the large plates are more filling -- at twice the prices of the small plates, I hope so. But the small plates are really just small appetizers. At $90 for two people (including a $35 bottle of wine), you shouldn't leave hungry.

    I don't see this place surviving. For as far north as they are, and given the number of places they're competing with, I just don't see how they can charge the prices that they do for such skimpy portions. On the other hand, the food was reasonably good, and it's probably easier to give people more food than to get a better chef.
  • Post #2 - August 8th, 2008, 11:38 am
    Post #2 - August 8th, 2008, 11:38 am Post #2 - August 8th, 2008, 11:38 am
    Well, I think it's unfortunate that you had a disappointing experience at Duchamp. I had quite a different experience when I went last Friday night, during it's first weekend. For a first weekend, I thought they had their act pretty much together. And the garden dining space is very lovely and very arresting, especially when it's sunset.

    I'm not sure if you actually asked your server about the sizes of the appetizers and the entrees, because we did, and the appetizers are truly appetizer sizes. The four of us shared three appetizers: the cheese plate (which included a divine sofia capriole), the chicken wings, and the lobster pizza/flatbread. BUT, all four of us had entrees too. I think it is worth noting that there is no entree above 19 dollars at Duchamp. So I'm not really sure what you meant by the entree price being double the appetizer price (double of $12 is $24). The entrees are pretty substantial - two of us had the braised pork, which is hefty and phenomenal, with tender meatiness and a fine bolognese-type sauce. My other friend had the skate fish and chips (an interesting preparation) which was also pretty substantial. I had the "steak and eggs", which is lovely fillet with a bacon gratin, which again was pretty filling.

    I don't think Duchamp ever advertised itself as a small plates type of place like Avec and Green Zebra. And I always think, when in doubt, ask your server. I think you're unfortunate experience is a result of missed expectations, which you could have clarified before ordering.

    I just wanted to post an alternative view of Duchamp, because I don't think new places should be given an immediate kbosh by potentially unfavorable reviews. Michael Taus, of Saltaus and Zealous, by the way, is the executive chef, and if you enjoyed his food in those two other restaurants, I think you'll find Duchamp a worthwhile excursion.
  • Post #3 - August 11th, 2008, 9:35 pm
    Post #3 - August 11th, 2008, 9:35 pm Post #3 - August 11th, 2008, 9:35 pm
    So, I ate at Duchamp this past Saturday. I wanted to let a few days pass before posting so that I could temper it or gain some perspective or something. I hate to slam a place so soon after open, but what I experienced was not a question of having to “tighten things up.” There is no nice way to put this…the experience all around sucked.

    Had reservations for a party of 4 at 8:30. When we arrived out table was not ready because they were not seating the patio as they had been expecting (due to rain earlier and chilly night) there were open tables but having worked for years in the industry in my past life I understand the philosophy of not seating your room all at once. We bellied up to the bar for a cocktail. Our bartender was great especially considering that her bar was packed due to the issues with seating reservations timely and she appeared to be the only one back there but was able to give us our due attention and answered a couple questions with a smile. I later found out there was a cocktail list that we were not presented with – could have been an easy up-sell for her…but I think there were no cocktail menus available in the moment and like I said she was busy…really no big deal there. (bar seats seriously uncomfortable by the way …kinda like tractor seats but with lots of big holes that squeeze portions of your bum in an unsightly way…even making a slim gal like myself reconsider her glut workout regime)

    I was struck by how empty the room looked …not due to the people…but the walls and décor. Empty…nothing….literally blank. I thought for some reason that it would be decorated with Duchamp inspired art or something. But there was nothing and it came off as impersonal and cold.

    The food was more then disappointing. For one, there is no identity to their menu. Although I have to say that my graphic designer dining companions were really impressed with the look of the menu. I found all the twisting and turning to be a bit of a headache. (all the text runs in different directions) The food was generally uninspired and practically tasteless. We started with the duck rillettes, the beet salad, the garlic and parmesan french fries and the east meets west wings. The duck was like eating muddy goo…but with less flavor. They came to the table looking like passed apps from a large party that had already spent too much time on the floor. I cannot stress how lacking in taste they were. Even after a shake of the salt…nothing. (and the salt shaker got a fair amount of use that night). French fries…easy right? No. soggy and only a hint of garlic. As for that parm…I saw it on the fries but somehow…no parm taste. And I am not usually someone to complain about portion size but the medium size bowl they came in was only half full. If there is some place to show some portion generosity – it would be with the fries and if you are gonna be stingy with them then put it in a smaller service piece so it looks like more. It was just so…noticeable. The beet salad was not bad. I think it was lambs lettuce, feta, red and yellow beets and almondsa. Lots of beets and a good amount of cheese …this dish carried the day for the apps and really should a restaurant be relying on its salad? The east meets west wings had a good tang to them and the breading was near perfect with a beautiful glaze but the taste left in my mouth was pure salt. There was some creamy sauce that I did not try so I cant report on it but I can say that the slaw of purple cabbage...was awful. There isn’t really much more to say about it.

    As for the entrees…it only got worse. I had the “fish n’ chips” and I have to say that sake wing was not meant to be breaded like that. I love skate but the integrity of the fish was stolen by the batter and left gray mush in its wake. The chips were the same preparation as that of the app version and while this batch was crisper…it suffered from the same absences in flavor. I will say that the tatar sauce was good and had a lemony tang that I enjoyed. The thai seafood stew had a good portion of fish and seafood but again no flavor…save an essence of coconut milk….no heat…no chili…no fish sauce.. ..no cilantro….and bland bland bland. The pork shoulder…I wanted to like. I really wanted to….because the presentation was beautiful. The picked red onions, the pork, the greens and the bright red tomatoes and chutney-like base came out like a show stopper. But again it fell short in the mouth…the only flavor coming from the pickled onion…and only when mixed with the chutney which together actually worked quite well. As for the Steak and eggs…this was the biggest disappointment of the evening. It was clearly a good high quality meat (we asked the chef about it before we ordered as he happened to be walking by when our server was taking the temperature request so we inquired as to the type of beef used by the restaurant…chef said the beef was fresh and fed on grass in the right in the back of the restaurant or something of the sort…which was cute but did not answer the question posed) and when the dish came you could taste nothing but the char...it overwhelmed what looked like a beautiful mouth watering cut of meat – cooked to a perfect medium rare. Literally I could taste noting but the char it was so bad and lingered so strongly that I had to eat some bread to get the overwhelming carbon taste out of my mouth…and the “eggs” was a quiche that was sorta liquidy and runny and frankly a little gross.

    There were things that we did like the bread and the flat ware…I found the chairs to be surprisingly comfortable…the room was not too loud to carry a conversation and we had a good very reasonably priced Argentinean Malbec that our server suggested called “Ricardo” something or other…it was very rich with deep berries and earth almost like a port but without the think syrupy-ness...we had two bottles.

    The clincher…and likely the reason I wont be back (except maybe to have another bottle of that Malbec on the romantic patio) was how the evening closed…this requires a little back story…our server knew we were sharing everything and when the duck rillettes came out he announced that the dish came with three pieces – he knew we all wanted to share so he had the kitchen put another one our for our table…at first I found this gesture thoughtful and I don’t want to sound like a tightwad… but when the bill came they charged us three dollars for the piece…more then 25% of the cost of the full dish. Its really not about the cost in any case… I object to this because they did not ask if we wanted it in the first place and made it sound like a gift from the kitchen. And we had no choice …to be sure if the server had suggested that there were only three pieces in the dish and we could order an additional one so that the entire party could try we likely would have gone for it and not thought twice about the charge on the bill… But charging us for this “gift” just seemed cheap.

    Boo…so disappointing…I don't think therese are the sort of opening growing pains one may expect from a new restaurant. I already miss meritage.
  • Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 7:11 am
    Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 7:11 am Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 7:11 am
    I wouldn't pan it nearly as much, but they def. have some service issues to work on. I shouldn't have to beg for coffee refills (and have them refill mine and walk away without asking if DH wants a refill too!).

    The food is OK, but not great, and I agree that they serve skimpy portions needing a flavor boost. I'd prefer if they had some sort of direction to their menu, too (it seems sort of ameri/pan-asian/mediterranean-ish). But the chef is there, asking questions, wanting to make it better - I hope things will improve.

    They advertised their Sunday BBQ on the patio somewhere in a press release - but I'm not sure what was being BBQed, there was no evidence of any sort of outdoor cooking going on that I could see.
    Leek

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  • Post #5 - August 30th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    Post #5 - August 30th, 2008, 5:44 pm Post #5 - August 30th, 2008, 5:44 pm
    My better half and I dined at the newly opened Duchamp..2100? Damen...formerly Meritage. On Friday afternoon I called for a reservation and was told that the only time available was at 5:45. While that is usually a bit early for us, we decided to go for it. We arrived at 5:40 and the place was empty, we were the only diners. No big deal...it is still early! The dining room and bar area have been completely re-done with a contemporary wood look...think Scandanavian Design! We chose to eat in the outdoor garden area which is set up in communal table style...kinda Avec in an outdoor setting.
    We started with a few glasses of very nice white wine, sorry cant remember what they were and order the white pizza with lobster, mushrooms and taleggio cheese. I would consider it fairly average, chewy lobster but nice portion size but lacking flavor.
    The menu is fairly limited with about 8 small plates and the same number of large plates. My wife had the gnocchi with spring vegetables and what looked like ricotta cheese. The gnocchi was decent but everything else was very bland, badly underseasoned which turned out to be the case for everything we ate.

    I had the "Steak and Eggs" which is grilled skirt steak and a bacon quiche. The steak was ok, small portion but nothing to cheer about flavor wise either. The quiche was overwhelmingly bacon flavored...I know...can you have too much bacon?

    Now for the weird part....the food was out quickly so we were done by 6:45 and the place was still almost empty...maybe 8 other diners total in the garden and inside....but remember, the only reservation I could get was 5:45?

    The other irritant was the recently installed wall a/c unit that was very loud and overwhelmed the pleasant garden area. Not sure what the deal is because it was not there when it was Meritage but it really ruined the atomsphere.

    They have only been open a few weeks so maybe things will change for the better!!
  • Post #6 - September 23rd, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Post #6 - September 23rd, 2008, 4:23 pm Post #6 - September 23rd, 2008, 4:23 pm
    LTH,

    Recently had a very pleasant experience at Duchamp, outdoor garden an urban oasis of attractive serenity, and by attractive I mean both physical space and oddly disproportionate number of attractive women, professional informed service and tasty visually appealing food.

    Initially I was a little apprehensive at the prospect of yet another trendy new place run by a name brand chef, Michael Taus, which was not helped in the least by my first glance at the medieval torture devices passed off as bar stools or the George Jetson looking acrylic chairs in the main dining room, but the friendliness of the host combined with a waiter who hit a right start high note with his recommendation of a Hinges from the cocktail menu, Right Gin, Campari, fresh grapefruit juice and club soda, a tart refreshing start.

    S&M Bar Stool

    Image

    Our table split a number of starters with White Pizza, a combo of mushrooms, taleggio cheese and hunks of perfectly cooked lobster, the one I'm thinking about a week later.

    White Pizza

    Image

    Thai inspired Bouillabaisse was a heady aromatic combo of Thai red curry, shrimp, mussels, crisp edged Chilean Sea Bass and tempura fried shrimp toast for crunch counterpoint. Bold balanced flavor showed the hand of an talented and experienced chef.


    Bouillabaisse

    Image

    Bar area, aside from the S&M bar stools, was quite convivial, bourbon calling to us on our way out the door necessatating multiple drinks, laughter and a good natured fish tale or three.

    I'm looking forward to a return visit, though I dearly hope Duchamp switches out the bar stools.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Duchamp
    2118 N Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    773-235-6434
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - October 7th, 2008, 6:47 pm
    Post #7 - October 7th, 2008, 6:47 pm Post #7 - October 7th, 2008, 6:47 pm
    Had a dissappointing meal the other night. Overcooked wings, tartate that had seemed to have sat too long under heat lamp and came out very warm, and a terribly underseasoned gazpacho. Add to it the bad service and I went 0-4.
  • Post #8 - February 15th, 2009, 5:01 pm
    Post #8 - February 15th, 2009, 5:01 pm Post #8 - February 15th, 2009, 5:01 pm
    Had an incredibly disappointing meal at Duchamp last night. Perhaps Valentine's Day prix fixe dinners aren't the best time to judge a restaurant, but there were errors made that would be unforgivable at any time in any setting.

    The two of us were seated in the back room at a communal table for 6, when there a couple of two tops available, and as it turned out we were the last to be seated in the back room. This wasn't upsetting, just seemed strange.

    Apps were fine. The aforementioned white pizza with lobster was tasty enough, and my gf enjoyed her tuna tartare.

    When ordering main courses though, we had both decided to have the sweet potato risotto, only to find that they had run out. I understand this happens from time to time, and we did have a late seating (10pm); however, when a restaurant is only offering 4 main course choices to begin with and they seat until 11pm, it's very disappointing. We both opted for the bouillabaisse with sea bass, shrimp and mussels instead. The flavor of the broth was decent if a bit too restrained, and the sea bass and shrimp were nice. However, there were ZERO mussels in either dish and the amount of broth was laughable. I feel as if they were almost out of the bouillabaisse as well and tried to pass off what little they had left in the kitchen.

    Finally, the a trio of desserts to share arrived. We had noticed tables around us enjoying some type of cheesecake, in addition to the half-moon ice cream sandwiches and mini chocolate cupcakes. However, what we received instead of the cheesecake were without a doubt store bought cookies. Those really bland, frosted, sprinkle covered cookies you can find at any Dominick's or Jewel. Just embarrassing and infuriating. As it was Valentine's Day, I didn't make an issue of it, however any other night I would have.

    An unfortunate dinner, as the space is lovely and the outdoor patio looks great, but I won't be returning.
  • Post #9 - February 16th, 2009, 9:24 am
    Post #9 - February 16th, 2009, 9:24 am Post #9 - February 16th, 2009, 9:24 am
    Mcg I would not be happy if I had an experience like yours, especially on Valentines Day and would have made that known to the waiter.

    Obviously they had underestimated and run out of the Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner selections, they should have informed you up front let you substitute off the regular menu.

    After some bad experiences like yours we normally skip the weekend of Valentine’s Day and celebrate with a special dinner the following Saturday night.
  • Post #10 - February 16th, 2009, 9:53 am
    Post #10 - February 16th, 2009, 9:53 am Post #10 - February 16th, 2009, 9:53 am
    Ah, like the swallows returning to Capistrano...

    1. I don't think it's fair to pass judgement on a restaurant (especially one less than a year old) based on a bad Valentine's Day meal.
    2. I don't think it's fair to pass judgement on a restaurant (especially one less than a year old) based on eating during a 10pm seating on Valentine's Day.

    I know a lot of people here aren't big fans of eating out on Valentine's Day. We always go out on Valentine's Day and have always had good experiences because we stick to the following rules:

    1. We never go to a restaurant we've never been to before.
    2. We never go to a restaurant that just opened.
    3. We don't necessarily go somewhere "fancy".
    4. We don't sit down after 9pm.

    Graham Elliot was great this year. We've also enjoyed Scoozi. And honestly, Roy's does a pretty wonderful job with Valentine's Day. So it can be done, you just need to be a little careful.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #11 - February 16th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Post #11 - February 16th, 2009, 10:02 am Post #11 - February 16th, 2009, 10:02 am
    We had a real "non-fancy" dinner Saturday night, a perfectly good hamburger and fries at our local neighborhood Greek-owned grill. This coming Saturday is our "real" Valentine's Day dinner.
  • Post #12 - February 16th, 2009, 10:22 am
    Post #12 - February 16th, 2009, 10:22 am Post #12 - February 16th, 2009, 10:22 am
    1. I don't think it's fair to pass judgement on a restaurant (especially one less than a year old) based on a bad Valentine's Day meal.
    2. I don't think it's fair to pass judgement on a restaurant (especially one less than a year old) based on eating during a 10pm seating on Valentine's Day.


    Like I said, I recognize Valentine's Day is not the best time to judge a restaurant, but sending out store-bought cookies as dessert when they've run out of cheesecake? Like we're a couple of rubes who only dine out on Valentine's and won't realize? Just be upfront, apologize, and offer an extra portion of the cupcakes.

    And as far as the late seating goes, this is a restaurant who seats until 11pm every Fri/Sat. I can forgive running out of one option, but then to still serve a substandard portion of another option? All those mussels in G Wiv's picture above? We had none between the two of us.

    I've had fantastic Valentine's Day dinners in the past at Cafe Matou, Brasserie Jo, etc., but do understand the difficulties placed on a restaurant on such a night. Judging from the majority of posts above however, Duchamp's problems are certainly not limited to this one night.
  • Post #13 - February 16th, 2009, 10:33 am
    Post #13 - February 16th, 2009, 10:33 am Post #13 - February 16th, 2009, 10:33 am
    All the more reason to check here first before going someplace (especially for Valentine's Day).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #14 - February 16th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Post #14 - February 16th, 2009, 12:03 pm Post #14 - February 16th, 2009, 12:03 pm
    Whether or not it's fair to pass judgment on a restaurant because of Valentine's Day, the fact is that they were open for business that night like any other. I assume they weren't charging a heavily discounted price for their prix-fixe. I am curious, mcg, did you have reservations or did you head out later on that evening and just walked-in?

    I'm reminded of the debate surrounding reviews of brand-new restaurants (I'm thinking of 1-2 day old places here). On the one hand, they're open for business and charging full prices. On the other hand, they are brand new. Is it fair to judge them?
    best,
    dan
  • Post #15 - February 16th, 2009, 12:35 pm
    Post #15 - February 16th, 2009, 12:35 pm Post #15 - February 16th, 2009, 12:35 pm
    I assume they weren't charging a heavily discounted price for their prix-fixe. I am curious, mcg, did you have reservations or did you head out later on that evening and just walked-in?


    We had reservations. Prix Fixe price was pretty reasonable at $38 for three courses, as was the very bright and tasty Sauvignon Blanc recommended by our server at, I think, $36. But value-wise for the total price of the bill, I should've gone to Avec a couple times instead.
  • Post #16 - February 16th, 2009, 12:49 pm
    Post #16 - February 16th, 2009, 12:49 pm Post #16 - February 16th, 2009, 12:49 pm
    danimalarkey wrote:I'm reminded of the debate surrounding reviews of brand-new restaurants (I'm thinking of 1-2 day old places here). On the one hand, they're open for business and charging full prices. On the other hand, they are brand new. Is it fair to judge them?


    I think it's fine to critique a new restaurant (or a restaurant on Valentine's Day), but to say you would "never go back" because of a bad experience in one of these situations is a bit extreme (obviously this depends on the circumstances, like if the chef came out of the kitchen and brandished a cleaver at you I would say it's reasonable to not want to return, especially if this happened on Valentine's Day). Like a review written under those circumstances, the experience should also be taken with a healthy grain of salt.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #17 - February 16th, 2009, 1:06 pm
    Post #17 - February 16th, 2009, 1:06 pm Post #17 - February 16th, 2009, 1:06 pm
    It seems as though EvanstonFoodGuy is the one I'm closest to agreeing with here. There were enough big problems with mcg's meal to warrant complaining-Although I would suggest directly to the management. If there was an offer to somehow make things right, mcg might not have decided to cross the place off his list.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #18 - February 16th, 2009, 1:53 pm
    Post #18 - February 16th, 2009, 1:53 pm Post #18 - February 16th, 2009, 1:53 pm
    I just about never go out to dinner on any Saturday night, because this kind of stuff always seems to happen to me. 5PM at Sunshine Cafe is about as far as I'll go on a Saturday. Valentines Day, New Years Eve, and their ilk...I don't even consider it. Do I think it's fair for somone to post such a damning report of a V-day Meal? Sure, why not? It's one person's account of a recent meal, and it provides some data to be combined with the other stuff in this thread. It doesn't caution me never to eat at Duchamp, but I'll be even more sure to avoid it on busy holidays.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #19 - February 17th, 2009, 12:53 pm
    Post #19 - February 17th, 2009, 12:53 pm Post #19 - February 17th, 2009, 12:53 pm
    I am surprised that so many items would be 86'd, especially for those that made reservations. It's not like they didn't know how many people would be there that night. Also, I would concede the point that forever swearing off the place because of a Valentine's meal might not be the "fairest" idea, but rather just for hectic nights like that in the future.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #20 - March 8th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    Post #20 - March 8th, 2009, 5:11 pm Post #20 - March 8th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    We're going to an art opening in Bucktown this Friday, and Duchamp was an option for us--but it no longer is, after reading this thread. Sure, bad things can happen on Valentine's Day and this Friday night is not Valentine's Day. But a restaurant that would do the sorts of things to customers on Valentine's Day that Duchamp did (not to mention some of the other tales being told here about other nights)...well, it just seems like we'd be letting ourselves in for a world of pain. Bottom line, yes, I consider an LTHer's Valentine's Day experience relevant to my choice, since how a restaurant responds under stress says a lot about it.
  • Post #21 - March 8th, 2009, 5:41 pm
    Post #21 - March 8th, 2009, 5:41 pm Post #21 - March 8th, 2009, 5:41 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Bottom line, yes, I consider an LTHer's Valentine's Day experience relevant to my choice

    Sir, may I refill your water glass?

    Yes, please, its half empty and I am very thirsty.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - March 9th, 2009, 3:54 pm
    Post #22 - March 9th, 2009, 3:54 pm Post #22 - March 9th, 2009, 3:54 pm
    riddlemay wrote:We're going to an art opening in Bucktown this Friday, and Duchamp was an option for us--but it no longer is, after reading this thread. Sure, bad things can happen on Valentine's Day and this Friday night is not Valentine's Day. But a restaurant that would do the sorts of things to customers on Valentine's Day that Duchamp did (not to mention some of the other tales being told here about other nights)...well, it just seems like we'd be letting ourselves in for a world of pain. Bottom line, yes, I consider an LTHer's Valentine's Day experience relevant to my choice, since how a restaurant responds under stress says a lot about it.


    We have been to Duchamp twice, once last summer and again last Saturday night. We had a delightful experience, nothing like what was reported on Valentines Day. We (party of 4) arrived 20 minutes early for our 8:00 reservation thinking we would have a drink at the bar, but our table was ready. We were seated at a communal table and our waitress promptly greeted us and gave us great recommendations for drinks. One of our friends and I had their cosmo-they make their own cranberry vodka and it was tasty and not watered down at all. My friends husband had a belgian beer and was very happy. We started with the wings which were just a little spicy served with a red cabbage slaw. They were good. We all had the roasted beet/feta salad and liked it. Our main courses were the bouillabaisse, salmon roulade and 2 cheeseburgers. I loved the bouillabaisse, it had a nice size piece of sea bass with quite a few mussels swimming in a coconut curry sauce. The roulade was done perfectly and my husband and friends husband absolutely loved their burgers. We finished with a lemon tart (?) and a creme brulee.
    The wait staff was very attentive throughout the meal. The seats next to us were quickly filled with other diners and we struck up a conversation. It turned out that the owners wife was one of the other diners. She was extremely engaging, really pleasant and fun to talk to. We met her husband and the chef, Michael Taus and they couldn't have been nicer.
    After dinner we had a drink at the bar and again found the bartender to be easy to talk to, he made a great dessert wine recommendation and kept refilling our water glasses while we sat there talking.
    We will be back and think that LTH readers should not write this restaurant off.


    Edited for typo...
    Last edited by Diane on March 9th, 2009, 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #23 - March 9th, 2009, 4:37 pm
    Post #23 - March 9th, 2009, 4:37 pm Post #23 - March 9th, 2009, 4:37 pm
    Diane wrote:We will be back and think that LTH readers should not write this restaurant off.

    This was a persuasive post and does much to erase the "virtual bad taste in my mouth" left by some of the earlier ones.
  • Post #24 - March 9th, 2009, 4:44 pm
    Post #24 - March 9th, 2009, 4:44 pm Post #24 - March 9th, 2009, 4:44 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    Diane wrote:We will be back and think that LTH readers should not write this restaurant off.

    This was a persuasive post and does much to erase the "virtual bad taste in my mouth" left by some of the earlier ones.


    I'm glad! I just had to write because our experience was so contrary to the previous posts.
  • Post #25 - March 29th, 2009, 5:47 am
    Post #25 - March 29th, 2009, 5:47 am Post #25 - March 29th, 2009, 5:47 am
    I had a really nice meal at Duchamp last night. I was there with 10 people so we had the opportunity to cover a pretty wide swath of the menu. For starters the East Meets West Wings and the Mini Braised Duck Rillette Tartines were a highlight. I had the Bouillabaisse, and as someone mentioned upthread, it was excellent. My only gripe with the whole meal is that I was served fries that were way undercooked. They were limp and soggy. When i asked the server if they were served this way intentionally she replied that they were and that the logic behind this madeness is that the chef wants you to taste the potato so he serves them al dente. They were crap. Message to the chef: undercooked fries are no good, all i could taste was the fact that they were undercooked. There are lots of methods for turning out fries that are not greasy and still taste like potato. Your fries are lazy. The fries were so shockingly undercooked that they deserved a warning on the menu if it was intentional.
  • Post #26 - June 13th, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Post #26 - June 13th, 2009, 9:13 pm Post #26 - June 13th, 2009, 9:13 pm
    Just came across this: http://www.travelandleisure.com/slidesh ... -burgers/3
    Fettuccine alfredo is mac and cheese for adults.
  • Post #27 - June 8th, 2010, 5:30 pm
    Post #27 - June 8th, 2010, 5:30 pm Post #27 - June 8th, 2010, 5:30 pm
    Duchamp, Saturday night. Great space and great service.

    Lovely Agave Margarita made with Lemoncello and Orange bitters. Light, vibrant, and didn't coat the palate with sugar.

    Food. Blick!!! Duck rillettes on a very oily crostini and Creme (?) base = fat on fat, on fat. No duck flavor what so ever. Back to Thailand, Thai inspired seafood soup wretched, served with shrivled pea sized PEI mussels, overcooked Rock shrimp, and a nice piece of Chilean seabass, but the broth was insepid and off. Fish and Chips, great battered Skate wing inedible mushy fries.

    Wanted to love it, but can't go back.
  • Post #28 - June 8th, 2010, 7:17 pm
    Post #28 - June 8th, 2010, 7:17 pm Post #28 - June 8th, 2010, 7:17 pm
    rhinopias wrote: Lovely Agave Margarita made with Lemoncello and Orange bitters. Light, vibrant, and didn't coat the palate with sugar.

    Eric Hay, one of the bartenders at Bar DeVille, recently took over the cocktail program at Duchamp. It doesn't surprise me that the cocktail was one of the highlights of your experience there. He's got a very nice touch. I believe the cocktail you had was the Limon Agave Margarita, which is made with Semental blanco tequila, limoncello, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and orange bitters.

    I recently had one of signature drinks, the Loretto Flower. It consists of Maker's Mark (not my fave but worked well in this application), St. Germain, Aperol and fresh lemon juice. It was bright, complex and well-balanced. I definitely look forward to trying more of his libations.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #29 - June 9th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    Post #29 - June 9th, 2010, 9:38 pm Post #29 - June 9th, 2010, 9:38 pm
    I just don't love it here :( Based on a Pigmon tweet that it was the best burger EVER we went and tried again. It was fine, and the service was lovely, but unless the gorgeous patio is open I just don't see us going there. Many better choices in the 'hood. I feel bad, because the chef is quite nice and always seems to be there, but just Eh. Not Meh, which is kind of bad, just Eh, which is indifferent.

    EDIT - I misquoted - not best burger ever, just "best burger in town"
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #30 - June 10th, 2010, 8:03 am
    Post #30 - June 10th, 2010, 8:03 am Post #30 - June 10th, 2010, 8:03 am
    leek wrote:I just don't love it here :( Based on a Pigmon tweet that it was the best burger EVER we went and tried again. It was fine, and the service was lovely, but unless the gorgeous patio is open I just don't see us going there. Many better choices in the 'hood. I feel bad, because the chef is quite nice and always seems to be there, but just Eh. Not Meh, which is kind of bad, just Eh, which is indifferent.

    EDIT - I misquoted - not best burger ever, just "best burger in town"


    I haven't had the Duchamp burger, but a couple of doors north at The Bristol, they make a damn fine burger with some just-as-fine fries. It might well be the best burger I've had in this town.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food

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