Sunday, August 26, 2012


          I recently took a trip to Chicago, where a friend and I planned our own Michelin tour with the goal of trying as many starred restaurants as possible in three days. Takashi was one of the restaurants we chose for dinner and ended up being one of our favorites. We ordered the Chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings, and truly enjoyed everything we tried. Throughout the meal we commented several times that the course we had just tried was our favorite, and then the next course proved us wrong.

          We started with an amuse of tofu in a slightly spicy sesame sauce with fresh soybeans on the side. This was served cold, it was light and a perfect beginning to our meal.

          Next was the crudo of baby octopus and scallop – octopus wrapped in scallop and prosciutto, served with cucumber, seaweed salad, broccolini, and eggplant. Eating the seafood in combination with each of the different accompaniments made each bite a new experience. Although they all worked well, my favorite was the eggplant which completely melted in your mouth.

          Our next course was the Wagyu beef tataki. This came with soy sauce on the side, cabbage, jalapeños, pickled red onion, and toasted garlic. The beef was served mostly raw, and just slightly seared on the outside. I loved the flavor of the toasted garlic with the beef and tried to make sure I got a little bit in every bite.

          The next dish was one of my two favorite savory courses of the night: sautéed scallops with soba gnocchi and celery root Parmesan foam. The scallops were delicious and fresh, the gnocchi light and fluffy, and all of the flavors worked well together.

          The soy ginger caramel pork belly was the other of my two favorites. The pork belly was some of the best I had, and it came with buns and greens to create mini sandwiches.

          Our final savory course was the roasted Indiana duck breast. This was seared perfectly and served with a duck rillettes roll (a mini spring roll) baby turnips, and green bean salad.

          Dessert was the egg, an actual eggshell filled with milk chocolate crème brulee and caramel foam. This was amazing; the crème brulee was light and airy and had a consistency more like mousse. It came with a strawberry macaroon on the side, which was the best macaroon I’ve ever had.

          Although we were seated at the other end of the restaurant, I thought I spotted Chef Takashi (who I of course recognized from Top Chef Masters) working in the kitchen and not so subtlety tried to get a better look and a picture. When he saw, he graciously came over and not only talked to us about the menu but posed for a picture with me. Although the food was the highlight of the experience, this was definitely a close second!


  1. Very nice meal! We'll be visiting Chicago in a week and I have us booked for lunch at Takashi on Sunday (would love to go to dinner but just not there for enough nights). My wife loves noodles and he has a special noodle menu on Sunday for lunch so we're looking forward to it.

  2. That sounds delicious! Let me know how you like Takashi, and how the noodles are! Where else are you trying in Chicago? If you have any breakfasts open you should check out Longman and Eagle, I reviewed them earlier this week!

  3. We're going to be hitting up Blackbird and Trenchermen for dinner (just two nights in Chicago). I'll also be stopping by Takashi, Xoco, and Lou Malnati's (deep dish pizza) for lunch. For breakfast we're going to check out a doughnut shop one day and then have dim sum on another. Last time I was in Chicago I went to Longman & Eagle and it was great. I haven't done the write up for it yet b/c I'm so backlogged but I did put up a Flickr gallery:

    I'll be sure to let you know how Takashi's noodle lunch is!