|Image courtesy of www.giltbarchicago.com|
We took our annual foodie trip to Chicago to celebrate one of our best friend's birthday. After much deliberation, we decided on Gilt Bar on West Kinzie. We were extremely happy with our meal. Happy isn't even a good description. We were elated. It was a culinary dream.
We have to apologize if the pictures aren't the best. You see, the lighting is dim and moody. There were actually a lot of people using their cell phones to read the menu, but after the first couple of minutes, your eyes adjust and the experience is pretty cool. It's just, we couldn't see what we were taking pictures of because the camera just saw black until the flash went off. And then we blinded our table. All in the name of bringing you our tasty meal.
So, we started off with an array of appetizers. They had so many things we wanted to try.
First, we had the Sweet Balsamic Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil. This was tasty and simple. It was also the lightest item that we ate the entire meal. Everything else was very rich.
Our next appetizer had to be the Roasted Bone Marrow with Red Onion Jam. If you're grossed out by eating the marrow from a beef bone, we recommend you try it. It is delectable. It was buttery and rich and might be one of our favorite things. We'd order it again in a heart beat. The onion jam was also an amazing treat. It added a sweet break to the rich marrow. If they bottled it and sold it, we'd be one of their best customers.
Our third, and final appetizer was Foie Gras & Pork Liver Mousse with Stone Ground Mustard & Cornichons. Say what you want about foie gras - it is delicious. We had to try it, at least once, to see what all the fuss was about. We recommend you throw all of your previous experiences with liver mousse or pate out the window and try this. The grainy mustard was also a delightful pairing.
Now, for the entree round. We'll start with our friend Kara, who had the Spoon Tender Beef Pot Roast with Red Wine Glazed Vegetables. This was probably the best beef roast we've ever tasted. It was literally spoon tender. We aren't sure how long they braised the meat, but it was worth every minute. The red wine reduction was pretty great with the root vegetables.
Next, we'll move to our friend Nathan's meal. He had the Lake Superior Whitefish Boulliabaisse with Red Pepper Rouille & Garlic Toast. The fish was cooked perfectly. It had a nice crisp on the outside, while still being juicy and tender inside. The rouille was thick and rich and a great compliment to the fish. Having the toast was great as well, so we could share more of the rouille.
Now, for Michelle's meal, the Grilled Duroc Pork Belly with Braised Lentils
& Pickled Onion Salad. Both Kara and Michelle decided this was their favorite dish. We don't think we've ever had the pleasure of eating pork belly before, but we'll probably seek it out from now on. It was tender and had that nice grilled char. The lentils were perfect. In fact, we'll probably cook more lentils at home as a result.
Finally, we have Zack's meal, the Hand-Cut Fettucini with Braised Short Ribs and Alfredo. This was one of the chef's specials for the evening, so don't count on it being there if you take a trip to Gilt Bar. It is also very rich, and very delicious. Something about homemade pasta just takes everything up a notch. We're going to have to break out our new pasta roller soon.
And, if that wasn't enough food, we also decided that we just had to try the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Pork Belly, Maple & Parmesan. Since we recently enjoyed our own brussels sprouts adventure, we wanted to see how the pros do it. They were good... really good.
We didn't make it to dessert. We may have gone a little overboard with the starters, but we couldn't pass up the chance to try them. You don't have roasted bone marrow or foie gras every day. As far as our culinary adventures go, Gilt Bar goes on the list of must go again. We loved everything. They have a pretty extensive craft beer list, and some tasty wine.
As far as price goes, it's not too bad. Entrees are around $20 each. If you don't go crazy trying appetizers, you can have an amazing meal for a reasonable amount of money.