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Sweets & Savories Foie Gras

Sweets & Savories Foie Gras
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  • Sweets & Savories Foie Gras

    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 12:31 pm
    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 12:31 pm Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 12:31 pm
    I'm signed up for the June 20 foie gras degustation at S&S, just wondering if anyone had any notes from the 5/23 event so I can start getting excited...
  • Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 12:55 pm Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 12:55 pm
    To be honest with you, and it pains me to say it because I am such a fan of this restaurant, I was disappointed with the first foie gras dinner. Don't get me wrong, the food was very very good (the venison served with a foie gras in puff pastry was outstanding), but I left hungry.

    I suggested to our waiter on the way out that the Chef should consider adding a course or two. I guess they're just trying to keep the cost reasonable.

    You should definitely still go, I'd be curious to hear about any changes from the first dinner.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #3 - June 20th, 2006, 9:31 pm
    Post #3 - June 20th, 2006, 9:31 pm Post #3 - June 20th, 2006, 9:31 pm
    I just got back from the June 20th F.G. dinner with my bro. The entire restaurant was doing the dinner in one seating and we were all served the same courses at the same time -- we both got the wine pairing ($80 for dinner + $40 for the wine). To be very honest, neither one of us know much about wine, but we are trying to learn and we both thought a decadant meal such as this would be a goood place to learn. Here's what we had:

    - duck leg confit with mandarin orange and creme freche on belgian endive leaves served with a red sparkling italian wine from the veneto. The wine (proseco?) was dry and almost a little campari like in its dryness--I guess this was an aperitif

    - foie gras mouse with fried bits of salsify sticking up with a bubbly whiteish (cloudy)sake. I thought the sweetness of the mouse and the sweetness of the sake paired very well. They seemed to echo eachother. I really enjoyed the sweetness and richness of the liver in this dish. I never had salsify before, and it tasted a lot like parsnips to me (thats pretty much what I expected as well). There was a sauce with the dish but I don't remember what it was made of. There was also tiny bits of chive that really added to the overall flavor. I promised myself to use chives more often in my own cooking once I tasted how well their slight physical presence truly enhanced the dish.

    -vichysoise with lobster meat and seared foie. This came with a very heavy sweet wine that matched well with the richness of the dish. Everything was excellent. I have been very impressed with the soups at S+S primarily beacuase they do these incredibly deep and flavorful preparations of what i think would be a simple dish (their carrot soup was one of my favorite courses from a previous meal there). Also, I can't figure out how they make lobster claws taste so good. I'm from New England and a boiled lobster claw was always considered the less-wanted byproduct from the tail in a boiled Maine lobster. Anyway, the claw meat was tender and succulent (maybe it was butter-poached?) the seared foie was good but didn't stand out to me.

    -foie gras risotto with seared diver scallop and golden beet sauce. Served with a german resiling and an alsastian one as well. A fantastic dish with fantastic pairings. My brother articulated it best when he said he didn't really notice the difference between the two wines until he paired them with the dish. I don't really have the words to describe how it worked, but the lighter wine seemd to cut through the richness of the dish while the more alcoholic wine seemed to stand up to the richness with its own more forceful flavor. Either would have been great, but both together was a kind of wine epiphany for me. Also, I don't thinka scallop can be more perfectly cooked.

    -Beef wellington with a big peppery red wine. I liked the big chunks of foie in the pastry and loved the truffle sauce, but was not impressed with the soggy pastry and I noticed that mine was quite well-done (no redness in the meat at all) while those around me seemed to have rare or med-rare ones. I didn't really mind (it tasted really good and was very tender!), but I can imagine that others might have been upset. The wine and beef were an excellent combo and evidently a classic one.

    --Fois gras ice-cream with fruit soda, mint leaf and a grand marnier truffle with strong sweet english beer aged in calvados barrels. I couldn't taste the foie in the ice cream but it was a tasty dessert and the beer was a very good dessert beer.


    Service was fine throughout. The sommelier seemed to be very enthousiastic and personable. He would give his 1-2 mnute wine spiel after everyone was served their food which made me worry that the food was getting cold and I kept wanting him to wrap it up a bit sooner. If he coulld have cut 30 seconds off of each of his descriptions, I think it would have been much better. Too effusive of a description can sometimes start to seem like BS after a while. He seemed very nice though and came by after dessert was served to answer any question or just to talk about the pairings or wine in general. The chef (David?) came out after dinner to applause and announced 1)he had recently shot a foodnetwork show featuring him as the main event to be shown in sept and 2)he would be opening a new, more casual restaurant in the wicker park area sometime soon (they made it seem like this was somewhat "hush hush" news, but I can't imagine that they wouldn't want it know by people who read this board).

    Overall, a very decadant and enjoyable meal with some very nice wines. My brother enjoyed it enough to immediatly sign up for the July F.G. dinner when his GF will be in town (evidently it will be held on the last day that the serving of foie is legal in Chicago and will also be a birthday celebration for the chef).


    Sorry if spelling and punctuation is off. I did do a full wine pairing tonight and I'm generally not good at either of those things anyway.
  • Post #4 - June 22nd, 2006, 9:49 pm
    Post #4 - June 22nd, 2006, 9:49 pm Post #4 - June 22nd, 2006, 9:49 pm
    hantav, thanks for posting about the 6/20 dinner. I was also there with a friend of mine, and we had a fantastic time.

    I thought that all the courses ended up coming out great, which, admittedly, is rare for me in these kinds of dinners. (There's usually something I'm not too fond of when it's a tasting menu...)

    I have always particularly liked their risotto, which was no exception this time. It turned out excellent. They also seared the scallop (that came with the risotto), and it had a taste that was light and sumptuous. It did not have that typical overwhelming 'taste' that scallops usually have.

    The lobster meat was definitely excellent in the soup, and I agree - the foie gras was very subtle in it, but I was impressed that you could definitely taste the foie gras in every course --- AND, it didn't get old by the end of the meal, they did an EXCELLENT job of making everything work.

    The soda was interesting ... I was surprised to note the foie gras taste when I was drinking it. It went very well with the mango, well done.

    And, yes, the beef wellington was good as well, although I will say that mine was a bit well-done for my taste. I did love the foie gras in it (very nice), and give them huge credit for being so adventurous.

    The head server who we all know commented on the fact that this dinner went a lot better than the first one -- and it certainly showed. Chef was on top of his game. It was a very relaxed, cozy, but classy atmosphere. The wine pairings were *great,* although I don't know if I'm ever going to go after that aged ale that they served -- that was a bit much for me.

    I wonder if the July dinner has booked yet. If it hasn't, I definitely recommend to anyone that if you're still interested - check it out! Price-wise, it wasn't horribly expensive, considering the quality of everything -- with the wine pairing, the dinner came to $120/pp.

    I took a copy of the menu with me, so if anyone would like, I could list it on here...
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene

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