Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We Fondue, do you?

It was a retro fondue pot kind of Valentine's Day. Jake surprised me with the idea to fondue at his house (BEFORE he knew if he still had a fondue pot!). We had quite a few tasty veggies and thinly sliced pieces of aged beef to fondue in some rosemary-garlic infused oil. Dessert consisted of quite possibly the best chocolate ever with fresh fruit and angel food cake.

Fondue - from the French "fondre" (to melt); past tense "fondu" (melted)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Watermelon Carving

J's first fruit carving. This is a small watermelon he carved based on traditional Thai fruit and vegetable carvings. The aesthetic appeal is just as important in Thai cuisine as the balancing of flavors; Food should please the eye as well as the palate.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


623 W. Randolph
Chicago, IL 60661

I had the pleasure of dining with a coworker for lunch at meiji restaurant in West Loop this week. I'm still somewhat new to the world of sashimi, makimono, and japanese food in general, but if this is any indication of what I've been missing, I've been missing a lot!

I started with Miso soup - a great broth with tofu, scallions, and wakame (a type of edible kelp, it sort of looked like flat spinach pieces). We opted to try three different makimono:

Honey Fire
tamago (egg), shiitake mushroom, masago (smelt roe), yuzu (citrus fruit) sauce topped with tempura flakes, spicy crab, unagi (eel), jalapeno, red tobiko (flying fish roe) and sweet chili sauce

Philly Crunch
smoked salmon, wasabi cream cheese, scallions, and cilantro wrapped in wonton skin and topped with spicy salmon

shrimp tempura, avocado, and spicy mayo topped with spicy shrimp, masago, tempura flakes

Delicious! I love the way I feel after eating this type of food. Energized. Alive. Happy. My favorite was the Philly Crunch, though they were all great. Honey Fire definitely had the most variety of flavors in each bite.

At this point in the meal we were basically praising the waitstaff for their attentive service and enjoying the occasional visit from the manager and waitress as they stopped by to ensure we were having a pleasant time.

Upon request of the dessert menu we were notified one item was sold out, but the manager was quick to recommend another dessert and ended up bringing us Green Tea Mille Feuille with raspberry coulis (layers of puff pastry and sweet pastry cream with a thick raspberry sauce), on the house! This was the perfect ending to a great lunch. The green tea cream was amazing - my coworker said "delightful" and "this is to die for!" about 10 times during dessert.

To top off the experience, we chatted with the manager as we were leaving. She was very friendly and told us how the restaurant is family run and managed by her and siblings. After mentioning their upcoming specials, and the hours for the lounge above the restaurant, she invited us to come back and gave us a gift certificate to use on our next outing. Needless to say, we'll be going back very soon!