Our friends are so awesome. Not only did they drive an hour to meet us in Chicago, but they also shared over $100 in gift certificates with us for this meal! Yay!
When we dined at Tru, James Beard Award-winning Chef Rick Tramonto still helmed the kitchen. Some of you may remember him as a contestant on the second season of Top Chef Masters. His ex-wife, Gale Gand, also a James Beard Award winner, still remains the pastry chef at Tru. A guest judge on both Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts, Gand is no stranger to Top Chef either.
We started off with some Comte cheese gougeres and fresh warm bread.
Beef consomme, Wagyu beef ravioli, espelette pepper, parsley.
Warm welcome for the whole table.
Kushi oyster, California white sturgeon caviar, lemongrass cream.
Fresh and cool contrast to the preceding consomme.
Tru let us do two different tasting menus simultaneously. The girls got the Valentine's Collection, and the guys got the Chef's Collection. We all sampled everything! Win!
VALENTINE'S COLLECTION ($130)
Red Ace beet ravioli, foie gras mousse, Granny Smith apple.
Soup de Homard, saffron, rosemary.
How often do you get to stir your soup with a tiny rosemary
Duck confit, white wine pear, potato puree.
Underneath these Hershey kiss-shaped mashed potatoes was a luscious pool of shredded duck. Epic.
Dover sole under brioche, Normandy butter sauce.
Veal served three ways, Savoy cabbage tart.
Love me tender.
Palate cleanser for the whole table -- Meyer lemon puff, tapioca, mint, yogurt.
What a surprising bite! A tad tart! A bit minty! Great bridge to dessert.
Passion fruit Bavarian, macadamia gianduja, black sesame.
A tropic delight.
CHEF'S COLLECTION ($145)
White sturgeon caviar, avocado, hazelnut.
Tru's one molecular gastronomic offering of the night. Very nice.
Red Ace, Candystripe, and Golden Beet collage and horseradish cream.
Celeriac veloute, black truffle, celeriac profiterole.
Hot soupy and fried crunchy duo. Yes!
Maine lobster, Romanesco, Madras curry, espelette tempura.
Lovely melange of flavors and textures. Stupid Long John Silver's plating.
La Ratte potato gnocchi, white veal glaze, fragile lace tuile.
Incredible -- in looks and in taste. So weird and so cool!
Miso-marinated sable, kale, radish, Banyuls brown butter sauce.
Fish done right. Oh, so right.
Prime beef ribeye, grilled foie gras, hedgehogs, parsley.
A carnivore's dream...topped with fatty fabulous foie.
Fresh and ripened cheeses.
I feel bad for the lactose-intolerant.
Tahitian vanilla cremeaux, hazelnuts, manjari chocolate cream.
I stole this from Mr. Monkey. Ok, I didn't steal it, but we traded. I liked it more than my tasting menu's dessert!
We represent the Lollipop Guild!
Take-home breakfast muffin.
The restaurant took care of us even the morning after our meal.
Tru is quite the traditional fine dining establishment. Don't let the semi-contemporary decor fool you. A jacket is required for men, and service -- while excellent -- skews a bit stuffy. We enjoyed our meal, but we generally prefer a more relaxed environment.
If your man is willing to suit up for an evening of decadence, and you're willing to tone down your completely unbridled laughter (which is difficult and unnatural for me), Tru may provide you some fancy formal fun.