Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Birthday Weekend in Chicago

I am back from a wonderful weekend in Chicago, wherein I turned 34. I spent the weekend with my friends Lisa and Matt, and we had excellent meals, and experienced excellent shopping.

First, the meals.

Before the shopping began, Lisa and I had lunch at Karyn's, a raw food restaurant. I was delighted to find that it was just as good as NYC's Pure Food and Wine! We shared the following, and I very much wished that Karyn would put out a cook(construction?)book:


  • Crimini Mushrooms stuffed with a Nut Pate and Topped with a Light Gravy

  • Basil Scented Ravioli (wrapper made of jicama) with a Macademia Whipped CrËme Dressed with a Sun-Dried Tomato Puree
  • Taste the Riches of the Ocean with this Creamy Sea Wrap, Filled with Avocado, Crunchy Walnut Pate, Sweet Onion and Basil Wrapped in a Seaweed Crepe
That evening, Lisa, Matt and I went to Moto. We had the 5 course tasting, Matt and Een had the meat version, and I had the vegetarian. We had the same basic courses, with vegetarian proteins substituting the meats, and without meat ingredients in the purees, sauces and reductions.

  • Edible menu was a very thin, crisp cookie printed with edible ink, accompanied by a slightly salted pear gelee an pear reduction .

  • White truffle brulee with a white truffle biscuit (veg) / maple and bacon biscuit (meat)
  • Pan fried tofu (veg) / cod (meat) with soya miso puree and pan fried puffed rice
  • Crispy hash browns, hard boiled egg with spinach (both were perfect cubes) with a kind of beans I can't remember (veg) and thin slices of beef (meat)
  • Wee flourless chocolate and black tea cake, wee vanilla and lemon cake enrobed in gelee with raspberry
  • Coffee ice cream with a cup of warm almond biscotti flavoured creamy liquid. The ice cream was freeze-dried, and you dipped it in the cup of warm liquid biscotti
Although Moto definitely has that molecular gastronomy bent, the flavours on the plate would be in place with any other high end, more traditional restaurant that I've been to. Both Moto and Karyn's were absolutely amazing, and it's really hard to choose a favourite. Out of everything, though, I do think that the white truffle brulee was the champion of the day.

Between lunch and dinner, Lisa and I went to a number of shops. I took pictures of the cuteness that came home with me.

At Habit, I picked up this brass necklace.

At Renegade Handmade, I bought this Erica Weiner bronze necklace of a mouse pelvis:

And this mounted bunny head, by T&A:


roro said...

Jesus Christ! How did I miss your birthday?? The ONE day I'm not on the Facebook!! I'm so sorry - but not sorry that you seem to have had a fabulous birthday weekend!! Love the mouse pelvis...

Melissa said...

I had been feeling neglect from the West Coast! But I put that down to the Jamba Juice that I know you've been swimming in!