Friday evening I went out to dinner with two good friends in the field, to Mercat a la Planxa on Michigan Avenue. It was amazing, even if the name makes me think of meerkats on a plank. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of one friend, we ordered the tasting menu. And not il poco tasting menu, either, but il grande. Here is what we ate, though I'm convinced I've forgotten something. Heidi can correct me. When I got home I scribbled down everything I could remember, but I'd had at least three glasses of very good wine.
Bruschetta with fresh tomato, lemon and garlic
Dates in bacon
Manchego cheese and apples
Jamon Iberico sliced so thin you could see through it
Rabbit in pasta with sour cherry sauce and a foam (I forget what the foam was about)
Egg and potato frittata
Farro with baby pattypan squash and hazelnuts and watercress
Grilled octopus and potato rounds (little potato cutouts the size of Liberty dimes)
Tiny fried sweet Padron peppers
Morel risotto with slivered asparagus
Flatbread with short ribs, cheese and a bacon jam
The restaurant was beautiful, and cheerfully loud, the service lively, and every bite was delicious. Heidi and Pam weren't as thrilled with the octopus, so I got the whole plate to my greedy cephalopod-loving self. By the time the perfect beef arrived we were in a bit of a stupor from wine and deliciousness. It was expensive, but all I can say is it was an experience worth many times more than, say, a pair of pants.
|Three cheeses, mustards and sliced apples.|
Still to come, the Chicago Humanities Festival!