Sunday, September 7, 2014

boka (2) - chicago, il
1729 north halsted street
chicago, il 60614

my first visit to boka was in april of 2013, and while it was solid meal, the current iteration of the restaurant under chef lee wolen is a significant step up. readers of this blog know that i tend to gravitate toward tasting menus. this is partially because i often find myself getting bored with an entree sized dish halfway through. this did not happen at boka, as some of dishes had a complexity that made each bite different, and others were just so effing good that i could have had seconds. desserts definitely kept up with the savories, and the bonus coconut rice pudding course our server brought us was very much appreciated. this was the most successful al a carte meal i can honestly remember having, and as a reaction to it i have chosen betony (helmed by another eleven madison park alum.) for one of my dinners on an upcoming nyc trip. there is no doubt in my mind that boka will retain its michelin star, and it is the first chicago based restaurant i would recommend to anyone not looking to drop serious money on a 3+ hour tasting menu.
cocktails to begin

amuse of chilled asparagus soup

pretzel roll and olive loaf with housemade butter

heirloom carrots, pistachios, amaranth, smoked goat cheese

heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, pickled watermelon, sesame, olives

foie gras terrine, gooseberries, hazelnuts, vadouvan

grilled spanish octopus, plum, garlic, roasted pork broth

roasted chicken, fennel, radicchio, pistachio, brioche

olive oil poached dorade, gulf shrimp, tomatoes, zucchini, pickled ramps,

coconut rice pudding, tres leches, lime, cassis sorbet

chocolate ganache, caramelized white chocolate, plum, pistachio ice cream

roasted peaches, olive oil cake, buttermilk, pecan ice cream

peppermint patties

Saturday, September 6, 2014

sixteen (3) - chicago, il
401 north wabash avenue
chicago, il 60611

presentation of the menu..."inspirations from where land meets water"

picnic basket - elotes, mortadela/burrata sandwich, pickled quail egg, fish and chips, fried quail, sangria pushpops

lardo/yellowtail - tomato, basil, seaweed
bibi graetz, ansonica, isola del giglio - tuscany, italy 2011

beef tartare/osetra caviar - oyster leaf, mussel, green curry
orleans borbon, palomino, manzanilla fina de sanlucar de barrameda, jerez, spain nv

foie gras/ahi tuna - corn, avocado, mure
dr. burklin-wolf, riesling, "ruppertsberger - gaisbohl," gc pfalz, germany 2009

an additional bit to accompany the dish above...the details have been forgotten

mini baguette

sweetbread/razor clam - charred leek, chanterlle, samphire
eric bordelet, sidre "nouvelle vague", normandy, france nv

pork trotter/octopus - green chickpea, pil pil, courgette
uriondo, hondarrabi zuri, bizkaiko tkakolina, spain 2012

chicken oyster/langoustine - fennel, tomato condiment, nasturtium
sadie family, cinsault, "pofadder" riebeek mountain - swartland, south africa 2012

olive bread

spiced lamb/cuttlefish noodle - radish, cilantro, pho style broth
uehara shuzo, yamada nishiki, "soma no tengu - forest spirit," usunigori nama genshu, shiga, japan
roast squab/crab - red pepper, rapini, szechwan peppercorn
gantenbein, pinot noir, bundner herrschaft, switzerland 2011

wagyu ribeye/broiled eel - smoked eggplant, mushroom, onion
dourthe, cabernet sauvignon/merlot/cabernet franc, "essence", saint-estephe/haut-medoc/bordeaux superieur/pessac-leognan/st. emilion, bordeaux, france 2005

supplemental cheese course (worth it!)

condensation - strawberry, kalamansi, thai basil, black pepper

at this point in the meal, we were given the choice land or sea themed desserts.


apricot, almond, sorrel, celery
donnafugata, zibibbo, passito di pantelleria, sicily 2011

blueberry, corn, pistachio, anise hyssop
royal tokaji, furmint, mezes maly - 1st groth, tokaji, hungary 2007


blackberry, banyuls, rose, galangal
buglioni, brut rose of molinara, "vigliacco" valpolicella, veneto italy 2012

chocolate, blueberry, cognac, delice de bourgongne 
d'oliveira, bual - malvasia fina, madeira 1983

final bites