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Sweets and Savories - GNR Dinner

Sweets and Savories - GNR Dinner
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  • Sweets and Savories - GNR Dinner

    Post #1 - March 16th, 2006, 12:00 pm
    Post #1 - March 16th, 2006, 12:00 pm Post #1 - March 16th, 2006, 12:00 pm
    Call it the Anti-Cajun Charlie's

    Last night I had the pleasure of dining with 20 LTH'ers and non-LTH'ers as we presented Sweets and Savories with their GNR award.

    I have to say, I don't think the restaurant could have done a better job handling our party. The staff was gracious, the food was outstanding (and plentiful).

    We were started with some appetizers served family style. Good sized portions of steamed mussels and asparagus risotto with truffle oil got the night off to a good start. For me at least, the risotto was one of the highlights of the night.

    Next we moved on to the burger. 21 people, 21 burgers, it was a beautiful thing. Gorgeous hunks of meat cooked to a perfect medium rare with foie gras pate and truffle mayo. Take that PETA! Everyone else, relax. As we were enjoying the burgers, plates of frites and lobster mashed potatoes made their rounds. Both were delicious, with the frites fried in duck fat. We also enjoyed some truffled mac and cheese which was another hit.

    Following dinner we moved on to a pre-desert of a (help me out with this one people) blackberry ice cream soda with foie gras ice cream. Good, but I think some people wanted their ice cream a bit more liver-ee. For dessert we had a fallen flourless chocolate souffle cake which I could barely touch because I was about to explode. Finally we had the ever-present house-made truffles (French lavender last night).

    All in all, just a great night. Chef David and his staff were extremely appreciative of the award and the support LTH has given the restaurant. Pics were taken so hopefully they'll be up soon.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #2 - March 16th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    Post #2 - March 16th, 2006, 1:48 pm Post #2 - March 16th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    That was a really nice dinner and nice to have the chance to award the GNR to a restaurant whose progress to the award was sort of tracked in real time on the site (in the nominating thread and this one in particular).

    As it happens, the least satisfying part of the dinner for me was, ironically, the Kobe burger with foie gras. Nothing wrong with the preparation, but the extra fatty-juiciness of wagyu beef, the extra voluptuousness of foie gras, and the extra extraness of truffle mayo were not, to my mind, an improvement on simply making a good burger the old-fashioned way. I'm glad I tried it, but probably won't be going there week after week for it like some folks. On the other hand, everything else was excellent, especially the lusciously cheesy risotto and the blueberry/foie gras ice cream float, which was indeed subtle with the liver-ee flavor.

    It was also nice to see a bunch of new faces including Blueyedfoodie, Epoisses, and others-- great that so many first-timers came out and dug in determinedly to the softball-sized hunk o' beef and its various accompaniments. Epoisses put me on the spot at one point by asking me for secret places I haven't mentioned on the board. Sheesh, I've got 3100 posts or somethin', I have no secrets left!

    Another fine LTH evening, and a worthy award. Afterwards I was tempted to go a couple of doors down and give the award for the worst burrito in Chicagoland, but I didn't want to be murdered on the spot.
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  • Post #3 - March 16th, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Post #3 - March 16th, 2006, 1:59 pm Post #3 - March 16th, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Outstanding...simply outstanding. Service, quality of food, ambiance, cost and as always (and never a disappointment) the company of new and familiar faces couldn't have been better.

    I'm so fortunate to live only a few blocks east of this fine establishment and will definitely come back for the Wednesday burger nights and also to try out the sunday brunch that TonyC has previously mentioned in another thread.

    Sweet & Savories certainly has left a wonderful and flavorful taste in my mouth - even after the unique and interesting combination of fois gras and blue/blackberry compote! It was such an "Iron Chef moment" that was well received. :)
  • Post #4 - March 16th, 2006, 2:16 pm
    Post #4 - March 16th, 2006, 2:16 pm Post #4 - March 16th, 2006, 2:16 pm
    majordomo mike, consider yourself lucky: unusually, the brioche wasn't butter topped yesterday. the petite waitress confirmed a d'frent person baked the bread.

    the girlie said the lavender truffles were her fave to date from this restaurant. after S&S, we went to matisse and got sloshed on $3 chocolate martinis... w00t!
  • Post #5 - March 17th, 2006, 8:50 am
    Post #5 - March 17th, 2006, 8:50 am Post #5 - March 17th, 2006, 8:50 am
    jesteinf wrote:Last night I had the pleasure of dining with 20 LTH'ers and non-LTH'ers as we presented Sweets and Savories with their GNR award.

    I have to say, I don't think the restaurant could have done a better job handling our party. The staff was gracious, the food was outstanding (and plentiful).

    Josh,

    Couldn't agree more, a great pleasure dining with 20 LTHers and it's hard to imagine Sweets and Savories doing a better job handling our group. Kudos to Chef David, Paul and staff.

    LTHers at Sweets and Savories.
    Image
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    Kobe Burger
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    Terrasini (Sal) digging in to a burger
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    Truffle Mac and Cheese
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    Lobster Mashed Potato
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    Roy Loving a Spoonful
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    of Blueberry soda w/foie gras ice cream.
    Image

    There was also a terrific fallen flourless chocolate souffle and lavender chocolate truffles.

    Fallen Flourless Chocolate Souffle
    Image

    Foodie1 family.
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    Epoisses and Mary Lisa
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    Jesteinf and Marissa
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    Jesteinf presenting Chef Dave Richards with LTHForum GNR Award
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    Truly a wonderful evening, great food and company.

    Additional pictures may be found here

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - March 17th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #6 - March 17th, 2006, 10:02 am Post #6 - March 17th, 2006, 10:02 am
    It was suggested when I got back to my seat that in future years the GNR award should look more like a Publisher's Clearing House-style giant check. I couldn't agree more. That presentation picture would be a lot cooler if I were presenting a giant novelty sized award.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #7 - March 17th, 2006, 11:26 am
    Post #7 - March 17th, 2006, 11:26 am Post #7 - March 17th, 2006, 11:26 am
    jesteinf wrote:It was suggested when I got back to my seat that in future years the GNR award should look more like a Publisher's Clearing House-style giant check. I couldn't agree more. That presentation picture would be a lot cooler if I were presenting a giant novelty sized award.


    Have you seen the blown-up poster-sized version of the GNR in Honey 1's window? It actually doesn't look all that bad, but I think it'd be hard to get a restaurant like, say, Moto, to hang it in their window :)
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #8 - March 17th, 2006, 11:30 am
    Post #8 - March 17th, 2006, 11:30 am Post #8 - March 17th, 2006, 11:30 am
    Actually, I think the giant award would only be used for presentation purposes. The restaurant would then get to keep a normal sized award. Or, like the Stanley Cup, each winning restaurant would get to keep the giant award for one day and then pass it along to the next restaurant.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #9 - March 19th, 2006, 11:23 am
    Post #9 - March 19th, 2006, 11:23 am Post #9 - March 19th, 2006, 11:23 am
    This was the first time my wife and I have attended an LTH dinner and WOW! Everything was wonderful. The staff, the service, the food and especially all of the awesome LTHers that were there. I'm just wondering why we didn't join you all before.

    Congrats to Jesteinf for organizing this event, which was his first. How will you ever be able to top this? Thanks to G Wiv for putting my ugly mug on the website. I think you have guilted my wife into posting on the site. We're looking forward to meeting up with you at LSC sometime. To everyone else, it was nice meeting you and don't be offended if I have forgotten your names the next time we meet. It takes five or ten times for it to really sink in to the old gray matter.

    Back to Sweet and Savories, the food was so mmmmmm. The highlights for me were the burger (less truffle mayo perhaps), duck fat fries and the mussels. I liked everything but these were my top three.

    Hope to see you all soon.
    Sal G
    Chi cerca trova.
  • Post #10 - March 21st, 2006, 8:54 pm
    Post #10 - March 21st, 2006, 8:54 pm Post #10 - March 21st, 2006, 8:54 pm
    Wow! Sounds great! I can't wait to check out this place. The pictures look awesome and those burgers are making me drool.
  • Post #11 - March 24th, 2006, 8:52 pm
    Post #11 - March 24th, 2006, 8:52 pm Post #11 - March 24th, 2006, 8:52 pm
    It's been really interesting to hear about everyone's experiences at Sweets and Savories. The feedback here has been so overwhelmingly positive that I was thrilled to have the chance to eat there myself. We went on a Monday for their $50 tasting menu and no corkage fee special. Many of you had commented on the great value, and I have to say - it's hard to complain about 8 courses for that price.

    We were started with an amuse of oysters with lime granite. They were a little salty but a nice start. After the saltiness of the oysters though I would have to say that every other plate was quite underseasoned. I did enjoy the seafood soup we had with halibut, mussels and a divers scallop in a tomato lobster broth. The broth had a complex flavor and was seasoned just right. Unfortunately, my halibut was cold in the middle - completely unacceptable. Other highlights of the course included truffle mashed potatoes, blueberry risotto with (i believe) veal confit, and the cherry and sake sorbet. There was also a lovely palate cleansing salad of frissee, aged goat cheese, candied walnuts and balsalmic. It was a refreshing break between the 'sweet' and 'savory' portions of the meal. It was also the only non-meat, non-starch plate we had. A surprise course of seared foie with pineapple and chocolate was just charred and bitter.

    When we were seated we were offered a bread basket to start. Thankfully, our waiters reminded us that the portions were ample and that bread would be overly filling. But I walked out of there completely stuffed and feeling almost ill because of it. In my opinion the courses could have been a bit smaller to ease up on the stomach. I am aware, however, to many diners large portions equal good value. For me, it was too much.

    But it was not all bad. Our servers were wonderful and I love the atmosphere of the dining room. I liked the food in concept but I think it could have been executed with more thought. The combinations were pretty standard; more adventure would have been greatly welcomed. I would especially like to see the chef move away from the meat-starch-sauce combo and incorporate some seasonal produce into the dishes.

    In short, I liked about half of the 8 courses, but was not wowed by any of them. I'd like to go back, possibly for the ala carte and definitely for the brunch ($16! wow). I've also heard good things about the 'kobe' burgers with foie and would like to try those as well. Sweets & Savories definitely has a good thing going, and they obviously do many things very well but in my opinion a few aspects of the menu really need to be pushed to be better.

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