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Vie - Blackbird lite? Even Better! [edited]

Vie - Blackbird lite? Even Better! [edited]
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  • Post #181 - October 5th, 2011, 9:09 am
    Post #181 - October 5th, 2011, 9:09 am Post #181 - October 5th, 2011, 9:09 am
    I go to Vie often (for a restaurant 35 miles from home). I never get soup or salad there since I find myself stuffed after one or two apps, an entree and gooey butter cake.
    A couple of weeks ago I had a salad which was amazing. The salad had greens, plums, burrata and a vinaigrette. I may have to order salad more frequently now.

    Also, I prefer their old Gooey Butter Cake vs. their new Gooey Butter Cake v2.0. I find the new one is too cakey for my tastes. Which version do others prefer?
  • Post #182 - October 5th, 2011, 10:22 am
    Post #182 - October 5th, 2011, 10:22 am Post #182 - October 5th, 2011, 10:22 am
    milz50 wrote:I go to Vie often (for a restaurant 35 miles from home). I never get soup or salad there since I find myself stuffed after one or two apps, an entree and gooey butter cake.
    A couple of weeks ago I had a salad which was amazing. The salad had greens, plums, burrata and a vinaigrette. I may have to order salad more frequently now.

    Also, I prefer their old Gooey Butter Cake vs. their new Gooey Butter Cake v2.0. I find the new one is too cakey for my tastes. Which version do others prefer?

    I agree that the vinaigrettes at Vie are great. They're consistently among the best I've had in town.

    I too, prefer the old incarnation of the WGBC. The old version was a self-contained round cake, baked in individual portions, and the crispy edges were awesome. I get the feeling that the new incarnation is baked in a larger format and then cut into individual portions. As such, those crispy edges seem to be a thing of the past.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #183 - December 1st, 2011, 7:34 pm
    Post #183 - December 1st, 2011, 7:34 pm Post #183 - December 1st, 2011, 7:34 pm
    though Vie has always been within close distance of the family hub, I've always hesitated in bringing them there. My family is much more comfortable with a Chili's or Applebees than anything considered 'fine dining'. Imagine my surprise when everyone agreed to Vie rather than PF Changs in Oak Brooke.

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    Right from the start I was worried. We were served an amuse bouche, which I don't know that my family has ever had. My grandmother may have even tried to get the attention of the waiter to let him know, "we didn't order this..."
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    We put in an order for two appetizers.

    Crispy Garlic Pork Sausage creamed celery root, fried brussel sprouts, cirspy lemon slices, dill pickles, herbs
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    Nathan's Charcuterie Plate pork rillette, bresaola, liver mousse, local greens with mustard vinaigrette, housemade pickles and preserves
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    To my surprise, they enjoyed both! Everyone agreed that these were the best brussel sprouts they've ever tasted, and I was quite surprised to see my grandmother have a second serving of the bresaola.

    Entrees:

    Smoked and Roasted Howling Hounds Pheasant horseradish scalloped potatoes, caramel apple jam, wood-grilled fennel, pickled asparagus, roasted poultry jus, dill butter
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    Pan-Roasted Walleye Pike carrots, genesis growers beet and herb puree, anson mills brown rice, preserved meyer lemon and poppy seed vinaigrette
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    Wood-Grilled Vie Burger dietzler farm beef with cheddar cheese and bacon, Nichols Farm broccoli with garlic and chili flakes, fried chickpeas
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    Unfortunately, my pregnant sister needed this recommended burger to be well done. That being said, she did say this was the best bun she ever tasted...

    Wood-Grilled Dry-Aged CDK Farm Beef Loin and Crispy Braised Beef smoked and roasted parsnips, local spinach, braised royal trumpet mushrooms beef jus and preserved garlic aoili
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    2 of us ordered this entree. Both found this delicious, but the braised beef was a tad underseasoned.

    Desserts:

    Valrhona Tainori Chocolate Cake popcorn gelato, cocoa caramel, cocoa nib nougatine
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    Rustic Nichols Farm Apple Tart apple butter creme fraiche, puff pastry
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    This was my dessert. Though both my sisters assured me that their, "chocolate cake wins over the apple tart", I have a rough time believing that.

    Lovely meal. My grandmother (who I thought would have the biggest issue), came way the most impressed - which is great. She's the one who lives 10 minutes away. I'll be back shortly.
  • Post #184 - December 1st, 2011, 11:49 pm
    Post #184 - December 1st, 2011, 11:49 pm Post #184 - December 1st, 2011, 11:49 pm
    I must say, while the food probably tasted good, that plating is very sloppy. Compare it to alot of the earlier pics here and it doesn't even look like the same restaurant IMO. I understand the "rustic" feel they might be going for but I'm a little shocked :?
  • Post #185 - December 2nd, 2011, 12:24 am
    Post #185 - December 2nd, 2011, 12:24 am Post #185 - December 2nd, 2011, 12:24 am
    gocubs88 wrote:I must say, while the food probably tasted good, that plating is very sloppy. Compare it to alot of the earlier pics here and it doesn't even look like the same restaurant IMO. I understand the "rustic" feel they might be going for but I'm a little shocked :?

    The plating's always been very much on the rustic side at Vie and based on previous experiences, I'd be willing to bet it tasted phenomenal.

    Nice shots, incite. I'm jealous. I haven't been to Vie in months but I'm hoping to remedy that very soon. The NYE menu looks great but I'm hoping to make it out there before then.

    In case anyone's interested, here's Vie's NYE menu:

    <><><>
    New Year's Eve

    The menu below will be served on Friday, December 30, 2011 and Saturday, December 31, 2011

    amuse
    beet and chevre pave, sturgeon caviar, shaved apple, chives

    first
    smoked sablefish, paternoster farm mandarins, preserved grape crème fraiche, mustard greens, mustard seed lavosh, raisins

    second
    wisconsin ivory char, black truffles, shirred egg, slow-cooked kale, pickled white asparagus, breadcrumbs

    third
    wood-grilled cdk farm beef tenderloin, bone marrow and celery root gratin, wilted spinach, red wine foie gras sauce

    fourth
    zingerman's creamery "manchester," spiced pear preserves, brioche

    sorbet
    tangerine vanilla

    dessert
    baba au rhum
    ginger ice cream

    mignardise
    sacher torte

    $120 per person, optional wine pairings $50
    does not include tax and gratuity
    <><><>

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #186 - February 16th, 2012, 9:11 pm
    Post #186 - February 16th, 2012, 9:11 pm Post #186 - February 16th, 2012, 9:11 pm
    Vie is having a book release event on April 2 for Virant's "Preservation Kitchen."
    Five courses with wine pairings, a signed book and a jar of jam.
    I'm in already, they only had two other tables for four when I called.

    [edited, realized I left the date off]
    Last edited by JoelF on February 17th, 2012, 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #187 - February 16th, 2012, 10:52 pm
    Post #187 - February 16th, 2012, 10:52 pm Post #187 - February 16th, 2012, 10:52 pm
    JoelF wrote:Vie is having a book release event on April for Virant's "Preservation Kitchen."
    Five courses with wine pairings, a signed book and a jar of jam.
    I'm in already, they only had two other tables for four when I called.

    Here's a link to an online version of the email that went out . . .

    The Preservation Kitchen Dinner

    As of 9:30 on Thursday, there were a few 2-tops still available on the earlier and later sides.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #188 - February 17th, 2012, 5:54 pm
    Post #188 - February 17th, 2012, 5:54 pm Post #188 - February 17th, 2012, 5:54 pm
    (This post is for the April 2nd, 2012 Book Release dinner.)

    FWIW, I was able to reserve a 4-top for 8:30PM on April 2nd. I called late this afternoon and have an e-mail confirmation.

    The person who took my call initially told me that due to popular demand, they had added another date (April 4th) for this event, but the Monday date worked better for me.

    FYI, I was given several options (5PM, 5:15PM, 8:45PM) at the time of reservation.

    Vie is one of our absolute favorites in Chicagoland and have now dined at both Vie and PV several times.
  • Post #189 - March 13th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Post #189 - March 13th, 2012, 10:28 pm Post #189 - March 13th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Shamefully, it had been months since my last meal at Vie. :shock:

    So, last weekend, the wife and I made a plan with REB & RAB to have dinner there. Since we love their bar so much, we arrived early and enjoyed some cocktails. It's the very end of the season for blood oranges but we made it there just in time to get served this one. It was, if I'm not mistaken, created by bar manager Mike Page and mixed perfectly by Amanda . . .

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    Blood & Whiskey | Templeton Rye, Muddled Blood Oranges, Chartreuse, Old Fashioned Bitters

    While we were hanging out at the bar, we also ran into Mr & Mrs milz50, who'd also made the trip from up north to Vie. The 6 of us LTHers chatted for a while before we took our tables. Even though Vie's 30 miles from home, I almost always run into someone I know there -- ususally other LTHers. :)

    We threw caution to the wind and went with the Tasting Menu, which the house seemed very enthusiastic about serving.

    To pair with the first round of dishes, RAB selected an excellent, food-friendly Dr. Fischer 2010 Riesling. I loved the tartness and sweetness, and how perfectly in balance they were.

    Food-wise, the kitchen crew launched our meal with a mammoth platter of Chef Nathan Sears' stellar charcuterie. Vie was recently HACCP-certified and this round of "test batches" was their way of sharing the good news with us. LOL, their "test batches" are better than most restaurants' best-ever efforts in this area . . .

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    Charcuterie
    Front to Back:
    Savory Suma: garlic, pig blood and ground sumac
    Bresaola
    Sour Honey
    Nolan: orange zest, anise seed and chili flakes
    Soppressata
    Spanish chorizo, made with pimenton de la vera, garlic and house-made anchos

    It's hard to pick a favorite among these but if I had to choose . . . nah, why bother? :wink:

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    Accoutrements | mostarda, pickles, local greens, grilled, house-baked bread
    I personally love that everything on this plate (with the exception of the greens) was made in-house.


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    Amuse | House-Canned, Wild-Caught Albacore Tuna Mayo, pickled beets, fried capers
    Does it still count as an amuse if it's served after a big ole' platter of meats? I loved this bite, especially the tuna mayo, which was intensely flavorful.


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    Beet Salad | Genesis Growers golden beets, Zingerman's burrata, preserved eggplant, American sturgeon caviar, rosemary vinaigrette
    There were so many little steps required to make this salad, it's no wonder it was amazing. The addition of burrata and caviar didn't hurt, either. :wink:


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    Fried Wisconsin Smelts | Anson Mills Charleston Gold brown rice, wood-grilled fennel, mandarinquats, pistachios, mint
    We were thrilled when this showed up at the table. RAB was jonesing for smelts and they were extraordinarily crispy and light.


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    Pan-Seared Walleye Pike | local carrot & almond puree, pickled asparagus vinaigrette, hard-cooked egg, crispy tuscan kale
    This may have been my favorite dish of the night. The puree-vinaigrette-egg combination synergized into something truly phenomenal and created a great match for the perfectly-cooked, unctuous pike.


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    Braised Chatham Bay Cod | roasted chickpeas, slow-cooked tuscan kale, pickled celery, shaved hakuri turnips, house-smoked ancho peppers
    The house-smoked anchos delivered not only some great flavor but also a surprising burst of spice. I loved the combination of flavors and textures in this dish.

    With the next courses, we were fortunate that REB & RAB brought a very special bottle of 2005 Porter Creek, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It was delicious, a great match for the courses that followed and the most 'barnyard-y' California wine I can ever remember having. A real treat.

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    Goat Larb | greens
    I'm pretty sure Nathan just threw this gem together for us using ingredients he had in the kitchen. It contained greens, ground goat, some sort of "quat" (not sure if they were the mandarinquats shown above) and some crispy bread crumbs, plus a few other items. It was a great, Thai-inspired harmony.


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    Slow-Cooked Slagel Farm Goat | toasted buckwheat polenta, wood-grilled rutabaga, braised Werp Farm leeks, dried tomatoes, roasted goat jus
    A glorious hybrid of birria and goat hash with amazing accompanying elements. REB joked that she wanted a tortilla with this one and I agreed. Those intensely tart and slightly sweet tomatoes, cooked down to a fraction of their original volume and then canned at Vie, are added directly to the dish. Wow!


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    Wood-Grilled, 21-Day Dry-Aged, Q7 Ranch Ribeye | saffron potato puree, wilted spinach, pickled artichokes, shaved fennel, crab-butter hollandaise
    If Vie ever starts brunch service, this dish should be on it, which is not to say that it wasn't great at dinner because it was. Several elements on this plate really shined (shone?) . . . the perfectly-cooked beef, the tender-tart, pickled baby artichokes and the super savory crab-butter hollandaise.


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    Dried Seedling Farm Pear and Leek Terrine | Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue Cheese, fried biscuit, pickled leeks
    This dish, from the 'Soups and Salads' section of the menu, was placed as a bridge course at the end of our savory courses. I can't remember ever seeing a dish like this at Vie before and I thought it was very successful. The lousy picture doesn't really get across how beautiful the terrine was. I thought the combination of the sweet-savory terrine and intense blue cheese was inspired. The fried biscuit was light, tender and tasty.


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    Blood Orange Sorbet
    One more incarnation before the blood oranges are gone until next season.


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    Black Forest Cake | house-brandied cherries, Zingerman's cream cheese, cocoa nib tuille
    The cake was so moist and so rich, and perfectly-balanced between sweet and bitter. In its center was one more house-brandied cherry. The tuille was so tasty, it could have been a dessert on its own. Yet another phenomenal, contemporary take on a classic dessert at Vie.


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    Shortbread
    Mignardise and a glorious one, at that. Oh-so-buttery. :)

    I really can't say enough about how enjoyable this meal was. We all have restaurants we just "get" (or that just get us) and Vie's one of just a few in that category for me. Course after course had me saying "yes" in my mind (and out loud! :wink:). With each successive plate, I delighted in the ingredients, the flavors and the skilled hands that combined them into extraordinary dishes. I also have to say that the courses were perfecty-portioned. There were a lot of them but we didn't get full until the very end of the meal. It was a really impressive display of intuition and self-editing by the kitchen, which seemed extremely eager to throw down for us.

    Shame on me for not having eaten at Vie for so long. This is not a mistake I will ever make again.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #190 - April 3rd, 2012, 5:31 am
    Post #190 - April 3rd, 2012, 5:31 am Post #190 - April 3rd, 2012, 5:31 am
    We went to the "Preservation Kitchen" book event at Vie last night. Probably one of the best meals I've ever had.
    $125 got you six courses (a starter plus 5), six drinks, a jar of jam (sour cherry, rather liquid for jam, but I'm betting it's delicious), a signed copy of the book (gorgeous, but all of Ten Speed Press' cookbooks are), and it included a $20 donation to DuPage County health.
    Six drinks (actually five since neither of us drink beer) is a lot more than we normally drink in an evening (or a season, for me -- it affected my sleep which is why I'm posting at 6AM).
    Sue is not a fan of fish and they graciously provided substitutes for her in two courses.

    I'm sure Ronnie will be posting photos (he was just about on his way out as we were coming in) -- we didn't take any.

    Starter: Cheese curds with a red pepper vinaigrette - probably the best fried curds I've ever had. It helps to start with good cheese. The vinaigrette and breading reminded me of New England calamari served with pickled cherry peppers. This was served with a buffalo trace bourbon Manhattan with brandied cherries and beer jam that was quite a stiff drink, very tasty.

    First: Whitefish poached in duck fat, paired with a lager (tasted, didn't drink as it didn't change my opinion of beer). I never liked whitefish growing up, my mother always prepared it so that it came out pasty and bland. This was rich and succulent, and I think slightly smokey. A very thick piece of fish -- larger than I thought I'd get for a first course, and absolutely perfect. (Sue was substituted a sauteed chicken patty sort of thing, same sauces).

    Second: Waldorf Salad with a grape aigre-doux dressing. Probably the best salad dressing I've ever eaten (cookbook reveals it includes creme fraiche, cider, curry oil), perfectly crisp apples and candied walnuts. Paired with a chardonnay.

    Third: Sauteed rainbow trout over creamed ramps and morels. Another perfect piece of fish (Sue was substituted a turkey sausage that she said reminded her of a veal brat). Paired with a Cab Franc / Chinon from the Loire.

    Fourth: Pork belly... I'm forgetting how this was presented, except that the caramelized bark on the edges really made the dish. A more solid meaty piece of pork belly than I've had elsewhere (that's a good thing, I'm not fond of gelatinous meats). Oh yeah, pickled summer beans on top. Paired with a Syrah.

    Fifth: Cheese tart with apricot preserves, almond brittle and preserved cherries. Nice not-too-sweet desert, paired with a very sweet muscat.

    Final chocolate chip cookie was good, but not up to the fantastic stuff that preceded it.
    Bread throughout the meal was a light-textured chewy sliced bread with salt and rosemary on the crust, outstanding.

    Wow, just wow.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #191 - April 3rd, 2012, 7:49 pm
    Post #191 - April 3rd, 2012, 7:49 pm Post #191 - April 3rd, 2012, 7:49 pm
    JoelF wrote:We went to the "Preservation Kitchen" book event at Vie last night. Probably one of the best meals I've ever had.

    <snip>

    Wow, just wow.

    I couldn't agree more. As many times as I've been to Vie -- and as much as I love it -- last night's Book Release Dinner was among the most enjoyable meals I've ever had there. It was a lot of fun experiencing a menu composed, almost entirely, from recipes that appear in The Preservation Kitchen. And many of the components were things I've been served (and loved) in the past at Vie, which made it even more fun.

    Obviously, I haven't cooked from it yet but the book is simply stunning. Photography, by Chicagoan Jeff Kauck, is gorgeous beyond words and is a perfect aesthetic match for Paul Virant's easy-going, rustic and distinctive style.

    I'm not going to go into too many details about each dish but they were stellar across the board. My wife and I 'ooh'd and aah'd' our way through the entire meal. The cooking was masterful and even elements we'd had before delighted us as if we were experiencing them for the first time.

    Vie Restaurant - 12.0402
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    Dinner Menu


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    Fried Cheese Curds | greens, pickled pepper vinaigrette


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    Bourbon County Manhattan | Buffalo Trace bourbon, beer jam, brandied cherry juice, Peychauds and cherry bitters (served with the cheese curds)


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    Duck Fat-Poached Whitefish | dill pickle vinaigrette, braised sauerkraut


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    Dynamo Copper Lager | Metropolitan Brewing Company, Chicago (served with the whitefish)


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    Waldorf Salad | apples, candied walnuts, celery, grape aigre-doux dressing
    Pairing: 2010 Casa de Campo, Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina


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    Rainbow Trout | creamed ramps and morels
    Pairing: 2009 La Petit Timonerie, Cabernet Franc, Chinon, Loire Valley, France


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    Pork Belly | garlic conserva, glazed pickled summer beans
    Pairing: 2009 Vinedos de El Seque, Monastrell / Syrah, Alicante, Spain


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    Cheese Tart | apricot preserves, almond brittle, muscat-macerated cherries
    Pairing: Domaine De la Pigeade, Muscat Beaumes De Venise, Rhone Valley, France


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    Jennifer's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I joked last night that I couldn't wait to get started botching these recipes. In all seriousness, Paul's recipes appear at first glance to be well-written (with co-author Kate Leahy) and easy to follow. Paul's style of cooking has always spoken to me, so it's very exciting to see his philosophy laid out in such beautiful, usable form. I really can't wait to cook from this book.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #192 - April 6th, 2012, 11:36 pm
    Post #192 - April 6th, 2012, 11:36 pm Post #192 - April 6th, 2012, 11:36 pm
    and starring Paul Virant as The Rampmaster.

    I had a light meal of soup and salad at Vie this week that was like a spring lightning strike to the weary palate. First, it was framed by a rather large amuse of charred salmon with pickled vegetables and a generous plate of effervescent almond brittle. Second, the puckeringly sourdough bread and butter accompaniment were a cut above. Third, the deeply bone-toasted chicken broth burst with preserved lemon zest, herbs, and fresh rare spaetzle. Fourth, the salad was an ingenious pairing of asparagus and clams that the menu only hinted at, and then trumped with spotless shellfish and a sparkling Pernod dressing to enhance the peak-flavorful little trees.

    Every element sparked on its own - acidic pickled ramps, earthy vegetable cubelets, new greens, and the chicken in the soup actually tasted like chicken - while resonating with all else around it. Somehow ordering two modest plates turned into a full meal of seasonal awakening. I'm much obliged to Vie for the reminder.
  • Post #193 - June 14th, 2012, 12:46 pm
    Post #193 - June 14th, 2012, 12:46 pm Post #193 - June 14th, 2012, 12:46 pm
    Hog Week at Vie is a great event and if you get a chance to hit it before it concludes on Saturday, I highly recommend doing so. We were there Monday night and our dinner was phenomenal from end to end. Here's the menu we had on Monday:

    Charcuterie
    all house made: coppa, country pate, liver mousse, sumac salami, mortadella, preserves, pickles and toast

    Salad
    local green salad, shaved ham, spring onions, turnips, fried potatoes, ranch dressing
    and
    roasted klug farm asparagus, tuscan style preserved pork, quinoa, fried egg, wood-grilled onions, oregano vinaigrette

    Roasted pork
    slow roasted and wood grilled pork belly, smoked sausage, marinated pork belly, pickled carrots, arugula & olives with pickled green garlic and pork jus
    and
    warm peas with bacon and anise hyssop
    and
    smashed buttermilk potatoes
    and
    roasted and pickled beets, rosemary and lemon

    Dessert
    strawberry shortcake
    and
    chocolate chip cookies

    The pictures I took do not do the food justice (it was very dark) but this meal was a steal at $45/person (+ $20 for wine or beer pairings). I can't even identify a stand-out dish because so much of what we ate was great. Most menus like this have or's between the dishes. Gloriously, this one had nothing but and's. :D

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #194 - June 14th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Post #194 - June 14th, 2012, 3:10 pm Post #194 - June 14th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Husband and I enjoyed Hog week last night and it was wonderful. If I had to quibble, it would be that I wish our course descriptions were more complete. While I saw other wait staff describing courses at other tables, we received very brief ("this is salad") level descriptions from the back waiter/runner. I had to ask just to confirm that the "hog" in our dessert was in fact lard in the baked goods.

    That said, we enjoyed the food and I got the beer pairings (only $15) and loved it.
    "The only thing I have to eat is Yoo-hoo and Cocoa puffs so if you want anything else, you have to bring it with you."
  • Post #195 - July 29th, 2012, 10:42 pm
    Post #195 - July 29th, 2012, 10:42 pm Post #195 - July 29th, 2012, 10:42 pm
    My friends at Vie regularly host cool events (see posts above about Hog Week, for example) but the "Old Standby Beer Dinner" scheduled for this Tuesday looks like a particularly good one. In talking with the folks from Vie -- and reading an email I received from them last week -- I get the sense that this is one of their favorites. The event will showcase the Vie kitchen, as well as some other notable local chefs, and the menu looks great . . .

    in an email, Vie Restaurant wrote:Howdy all, this is Jimmy the G.M...
    I have done over 100 events with Vie in the past 7 years and this is by far my favorite. This is our 2nd annual shitty beer dinner. The first one we held last year was a huge hit. We picked beers in which we all drank as minors or morons (same thing). We choose Miller High Life, Busch, Hamm's and so on. People stayed after the event and we whooped it up late. This year we choose 5 great chefs from Chicago and had them pick the shitty beer they drank. It is so funny to see what people drank around the country from New Orleans to Cincinnati.

    The price of the event is $85.00 food and beer included.

    If your partner does not enjoy beer we can pair up some wines.

    We will party late into the night with Chef Paul and his fellow cooks. Feel free to stay after the dinner to help finish off all the shitty beers and laugh the night away.

    Thank You,

    Jimmy McFarland G.M.

    Amuse
    Nathan Sears, Vie
    Miller High Life
    slow roasted lipstick peppers and 4 hour onion salad with potato agnolotti, cilantro and rivers edge illahee

    First
    Leonard Hollander, Marion Street Market
    Hudy Delight
    corn gazpacho, housemade prosciutto, pickled okra, driftless fritters

    Second
    Jared Wentworth, Longman & Eagle
    Narragansett
    soft shell crab, pickled ramps, beech mushrooms, zucchini pickles, pea tendrils, soy caramel

    Third
    Johnny Anderes, Telegragh
    Grain Belt Nordeast
    cobia, stuffed cherry stone clams

    Fourth
    Paul Fehribach, Big Jones
    Budweiser
    pan-fried sweetbreads, sea island bennecake biscuit, oyster gravy, pickled peach chutney, mustard greens

    Fifth
    Justin Large, Big Star
    Bohemia
    barbequed duck, creamy fregola salad, tomatoes, cucumber, mint and basil

    Dessert
    Tara Lane
    Mickeys
    mickeys fine malt liquor syrup, vanilla lime cream,
    honey comb candy and chocolate malt semifreddo

    Shitty Beer Dinner - Tuesday, July 31st

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #196 - August 23rd, 2012, 11:46 pm
    Post #196 - August 23rd, 2012, 11:46 pm Post #196 - August 23rd, 2012, 11:46 pm
    Hey all,
    So my dad and I are on our annual trip to the Windy City to spend our money and calories freely and gluttonously. To start off our trip, we stopped by Western Springs to Vie.

    Amuse: Fried matsutake mushroom with beet

    Prairie Fruits farm ricotta and spigarello gnocchi, sherry glazed peppers, wood-grilled fennel, cilantro
    o A great opening course and reflective of what Vie does great: Distinctive, collaborative flavors heavy on the sour/salty combo. The list of ingredients for each dish can be overwhelming, yet each bite tastes well thought out and clear. Take our opening dish of perfectly light ricotta gnocchi, dyed green with spigarello (a leafy green not too much unline broccoli rabe). As great as these were, the accompaniments of the sweet and slightly spicy peppers and fennel reminded me of a sort of saccharine giardiniera. Then came the cilantro, seemingly out of nowhere, yet sneaking in when you least expect it and offered a refreshingly clear flavor that cut through it all. Everything had a purpose, everything in its right place.

    Nathan’s charcuterie plate: pork pate, crispy blood sausage, goose breast pastrami and coppa, local greens with mustard vinaigrette, house made pickled green beans, blackberry compote
    o Wow! This was a hefty portion even considering we split it! But I certainly was not complaining. Favorite thing on the plate was the goose breast pastrami, which was very lean yet tender, and offered a hint of game flavor. The blood sausage was also excellent and appeared to have been stuffed with pinenuts, which offered a great textural contrast. The surprise of the dish: The pickled green beans. I knew Chef Virant was into pickling before dining here, but boy does that man know how to pickle. Not lip puckeringly acidic like some homemade pickles can be, but it definitely offered a nice refreshing crunch amidst a sea of heavy cured meats.

    Gunthorp farm rabbit ballotine, caponata, buttered fingerlings, mustard pickled local cauliflower, roasted rabbit jus, basil
    o This was my dish, and I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I really loved the interplay between the sour and savory. The ballotine was a rabbit sausage, stuffed in a rabbit loin, all wrapped up in a blanket of rabbit bacon. Delicious, flavorful, coarse ground rabbit sausage made this ballotine stand out. What made the dish, however, were the other members of the band. On bass, you had the buttered fingerlings. Though they offered the least in terms of overall flavor, they served to absorb on many of the accompany flavors, and helped to temper the stronger elements on the place. Enter: The pickled local cauliflower on guitar and rabbit jus on drums. The way that Chef Vierant can pickle a vegetable and have it remain crisp and crunchy in texture is beyond me, but these were again excellent.

    Local pork combination (pork sausage and porchetta), buttered corn, roasted sauerkraut, toasted bread puree, sherry vinegar glazed summer apples, roasted pork jus
    o This was my dad’s choice, and would have been mine, too, if not for the appearance of rabbit on the menu (which is not too easy to find in my neck of the woods). A homemade pork sausage and thin slices of fatty porchetta rested amidst the sea of accompanying flavors, whose profiles closely match with my rabbit dish. Though I didn’t try any of this dish, the empty plate told me it wasn’t too bad.

    Zingerman’s Creamery gooey buttercake, snicker doodle cookie apple compote, caramel, brown sugar granola, seedling hard cider sorbet
    o My dessert. I’d read about this dish many times on various blogs and forums, and knew I was getting it weeks before I ate here. Needless to say, “gooey” does not begin to describe the buttercake. Not a dry crumb on the plate, with the sweet taste of butter in every bite. This went brilliantly with the apple compote, whose warm flavors matched well with the heavy cake. The hard cider sorbet sort of grew on me. I admit that, at first, I found it a bit too tart. But interestingly, as it began to melt and mix around a bit with the caramel and soak into the cake, I found it much more complimenting and toned down in a good way. Who knows, maybe I’m more of an ice cream person. Either way, an excellent dish, and a great dish.

    Peach semifreddo, red raspberry torta, grilled peaches, toasted pistachios
    o My dad’s dessert. He is much more of a fruity sweets guy compared to my rich desserts preference. Again, I did not try this dish (I’m starting to sense a trend here…), but again, all signs pointed to this being a perfect ending to his meal.

    Overall, Vie surprised me. I don’t know why it should have, seeing as it garnered a Michelin Star two years running, and has been going strong six years before that (note: Just by chance, we dined there on their 8th anniversary). But I always thought, “Well, how good could it really be, way out there in the suburbs?” Turns out, very good. Vie is an ode to Midwestern ingredients in a refined setting, for sure. But it is doing something with flavor combinations and tickling neglected flavor sensations that are rarely touched by other chefs. The bitter, the acidic, and sour – all paired perfectly with their respective savory or sweet counterparts. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Vie thinks so, too.
  • Post #197 - November 4th, 2012, 9:31 am
    Post #197 - November 4th, 2012, 9:31 am Post #197 - November 4th, 2012, 9:31 am
    SueF and I introduced three other couples to Vie on Friday, as sort of a farewell party to one couple heading south for the winter.
    Except for the noise of being positioned opposite the bar, it was a wonderful experience as always. No pics.

    Various beverages were consumed by the table including a Bombay G&T, the Quin-zerac (a quince sazerac), a Ginger Sour by me (which was pronounced as an old lady drink, but wasn't nearly as frou-frou as the pink Quin-zerac), and some delicious reds whose provenances i don't recall.

    Starters were well-varied across the table (the only duplicates being a pair of the charcuterie plates, which had a coppa, a mortadella and a proscuitto-looking something that I can't confirm). The pumpkin soup with duck I had a taste of, outstanding with some thai flavorings. I had the ricotta gnudi, which a sauerkraut-like braised spaghetti squash and pickled cherry bomb peppers, which was fantastic. The apple bread salad was also highly praised.

    There was less variety among the entrees, which included the slow-cooked goat with a sweet potato cake (delicious) -- this also had the pickled peppers in it, the ribeye, the chicken ballotine (didn't taste or hear much about it, but clean plates abounded). I ordered the sturgeon with crispy beef, olive-mustard relish, beets, and carolina gold rice (the server said something about eggplant, but I'm not sure). Each element was outstanding (especially the fish), but I'm not so sure they really went together.


    Vie may be in a remote location, but it's still the fastest trip to a Michelin star for me given its convenience to 294, and a great fine dining value (bang for the buck is probably only exceeded by Inovasi, and it's a close one). Nobody out there uses sour flavors like Virant, as a result of his pickling, aigre-doux, etc.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #198 - August 15th, 2014, 8:31 am
    Post #198 - August 15th, 2014, 8:31 am Post #198 - August 15th, 2014, 8:31 am
    As some of you may know, Vie is celebrating their 10th anniversary this week, and they are serving a celebratory menu of Vie classics. My wife and I went last night, which happened to be the exact anniversary date. I won't give a dish by dish recap or post the few pics I took (which are bad). Just let me say a few things. First, I'm surely glad to see this place chugging along at ten years. A lot of places talk the talk of local, seasonal, sustainable cuisine, but few do it like Vie, and now they have shown they can do it for 10 years running. I look forward to eating their 20th anniversary meal. Second, they remain a bastion of deliciousness. Sure, there are elements of inventiveness and artistry in the cuisine, especially in the ways Chef Virant incorporates the preserved elements, but to me, what makes the place remains his flat out ability to cook. If a dish says fried, you know it will be fried well. If there's Bearnaise sauce, it's textbook Bernaise. Dinner last night proved that.

    OK, a few more random notes. The chicken fried quail could fit neatly in any top 3 fried chicken list these days. And the cocktails are incredible. Having been at Analogue the other night, I'd say that Vie out Analouged Analogue.

    If you have no plans in the next few days, you should go out to celebrate this place.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #199 - August 15th, 2014, 11:18 am
    Post #199 - August 15th, 2014, 11:18 am Post #199 - August 15th, 2014, 11:18 am
    Vital Information wrote:Vie is celebrating their 10th anniversary this week

    10 Years of Vie: How Virant Broke Ground in the Burbs
  • Post #200 - March 29th, 2015, 3:18 pm
    Post #200 - March 29th, 2015, 3:18 pm Post #200 - March 29th, 2015, 3:18 pm
    I'm sad (and a bit embarrassed) to admit that it had been almost 3 years since my last meal at Vie -- not at all indicative of my genuine love for the place. But I rectified that with a recent meal there that was as delicious as ever. From cocktails to mignardise, the entire experience was excellent but also had me feeling regretful over how many awesome creations I'd probably missed during my time away . . .

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    Faculties Inverter | journeyman ravenswood rye, vie brandied cherry juice, luxardo triple-sec, fresh lemon, aperol, sage


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    French 75 | north shore no. 6 gin, fresh lemon, chamomile tea, sparkling wine


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    Makes Wide Turns | rittenhouse rye, campari, bols genever, vanilla earl grey syrup


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    Old Fashioned


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    Amuse | smoked steelhead


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    Charcuterie Plate | country pate, ed's fromage de tete and coppa, rye toast, pickles, preserves and mustard


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    Pan-Seared Bay Scallops | wood-grilled bread, sweet corn chow chow, wilted and pickled chard, mayonnaise brulee


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    Potato Gnocchi | cured and smoked sablefish, perigord black truffles, celery root, slow-roasted red onions, sauce regence


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    Egg In Purgatory | shaved ham, spicy tomato and preserved pepper sauce, shirred egg, crispy potatoes, herb salad


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    Roasted Indiana Shrimp | Minnesota wild rice, grilled meyer lemons, three bean salad, mint, fried capers


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    Duck | roasted carrots, kumquats? (special)


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    Sherry Glazed Buttercup Squash | braised and crispy lentils, pancetta vinaigrette, chevre, pea shoots


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    The Vie Salad | local greens, lemon pickled turnips, shaved radishes, garlic and herb vinaigrette, parmesan


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    Roasted Beets | smoked pickled ramps, mascarpone, blood orange vinaigrette, cripsy fermented brussels sprouts


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    Wood-Grilled CDK Ranch Strip Loin | crispy smoked beef potato cake, creamed greens, slow-cooked leeks, pickled sweet pepper beef jus


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    Wood-Grilled Pork Sausage and Loin Milanese | smoked-pork braised sauerkraut, fried giardiniera, pork jus


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    Rabbit Cassoulet | confit leg, sausage, rabbit bacon and roasted loin, braised white beans, roasted turnips, tarragon, claytonia, pickled summer beans, apricot mostarda


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    Wood-Grilled Veal Loin | thuringer sausage and crispy glazed veal sweetbreads, preserved cherries, salsify puree, braised farro, marsala veal jus


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    Wood-Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Sturgeon | spiced beet puree, Carolina gold rice, walnut-brown butter aillade, pickled romanesco vinaigrette, preserved lemon, spinach


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    Think You're Ready for This Jelly? | brioche doughnut, blueberry preserves, rosemary gelato, pine nut praline crumble, meyer lemon curd


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    St. Louis Cream Cheese Gooey Buttercake | graham crust, donut peaches, creme fraiche


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    The Choc-O-Churro | valrhona araguani chocolate pot de creme, hazelnut-feuilletine crunch, strawberry preserves, cocoa churro


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    Mignardise | peach gelee

    A couple of the dishes above were very kindly sent out for us by the kitchen, which resulted in a few leftovers being taken home. Speaking of the kitchen, Chef de Cuisine Dan Compton is absolutely crushing it at Vie. He's masterfully perpetuating Vie's distinctive style of food while also managing to add many personal touches. The bar program, headed up by Bill Anderson, is also notably excellent. Service, provided by wine director Theirry Menguy, was flawless as usual. He also paired the meal up with a couple of perfectly matched wines, the details of which I cannot remember at the moment (will update if I can find my notes). The bottom line is that Vie is as great as ever and if the distance or other factors have kept you away, don't make the same mistake I did. Get over there and have a meal asap!

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #201 - July 27th, 2016, 1:08 pm
    Post #201 - July 27th, 2016, 1:08 pm Post #201 - July 27th, 2016, 1:08 pm
    Still on the fence about attending because of the timing but on September 13, Vie is holding a Vie Alumni dinner, which is going to feature an impressive line-up of chefs . . .

    Vie's website wrote:
    Chef lineup (A-Z)*

    Abra Berens, Stock Café.
    Dennis Bernard. Dove’s Luncheonette.
    David Chapman. Green Zebra.
    Justin Large. Vander Mill Cider.
    Scott Manley. Table, Donkey and Stick.
    Elissa Narow. Pastry Chef Extraordinaire.
    Nathan Sears. The Radler.
    Dennis Stover.
    And your current Vie kitchen team!

    Reception + eight-course dinner with beverage pairings
    $175 per person (plus tax & gratuity)
    Menu coming soon!

    *As of July 26

    It's not cheap but based on previous experience with these special events at Vie, this should be a great value and an exceptional dining experience.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #202 - August 1st, 2019, 9:17 am
    Post #202 - August 1st, 2019, 9:17 am Post #202 - August 1st, 2019, 9:17 am
    Vie is celebrating its 15th anniversary August 13-17, with a delicious-sounding four-course prix-fixe meal for $60 with $30 pairings
    https://www.vierestaurant.com/events/vie15

    We'll be there on Thursday the 15th at 7:15.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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