Friday, July 5, 2013

From The Horse's Mouth

There are some restaurants that people are shell-shocked that The Husband and I haven't been to.  Some places we get a loud "Are you SERIOUS?" Au Cheval is one of those places.

The Husband and I had tried two other times to have dinner at Au Cheval, both times we were told the wait would be over two hours. We knew the food was good, we knew we wanted to go, but we were too hungry to wait.

For our last week in Chicago, we were fortunate enough to have dinner with two friends who didn't mind a possible wait and were happy to join us in our Farewell Tour.  We went at 630 on a Sunday and were able to get a table for four without an issue. Thank goodness, although I was ready to wait this time around.

And we were fortunate enough to go with a couple who were more than willing to dive deep into the menu. And we went really really deep (don't laugh!).

We tried to order the 32oz Porterhouse with Foie Gras and Roasted Apples, our friend had been before and said it was amazing. Unfortunately, we were told they only have two or so of the Porterhouses a night and both had already been ordered. We've got something else to go back for next time, not that it would take us much to go back after this dinner).

We started with the Foie Gras Terrine with strawberry Jam. It came out in a thick slice, akin to Pate, with four large slices of toasted brioche. The foie was salty and buttery and creamy and combined with the jam was heavenly.

We had an order of the Roasted Marrow with the Beef Cheek Marmalade. The Marmalade was awesome, it had loads of caramelized onions,so it was a little sweet and paired really well with the marrow. For those of you who haven't had marrow, I know it sounds gross, but it is really fantastic. When it's roasted, it becomes soft and a little sweet. It's a little nutty and honestly tastes like amazing butter.

 I realize it sounds strange that The Husband and I eat these things, and had you told me 10 years ago that I would enjoy things like marrow and sweetbread and heart, I'd laugh in your face. Initially you just can't' think about it, if you think about it, then you get grossed out. And after a while, you don't even care, you just think to yourself  "Oh man, I would LOVE some bone marrow!"

Back towards the more "normal" side of food, we got an order of the General Jane's Honey Fried Chicken. It is the best Chicken wings in the whole city, seriously. For years I sang the praises of High Dive/Rocking Horse and their Spicy Barbecue Wings (they're fried, dipped in sauce, grilled and then dipped again) but General Jane's Chicken takes the cake. Crispy, delicious sauce that's a little sweet and spicy. I could have eaten them all night.

We moved onto our next set of dishes. We had friends sing the praises of The Fried Bologna sandwich. And  The Husband and I can say, without a doubt, this sandwich is life changing. Seriously, I am not a bologna eater and for some reason I expected a thick piece of hot bologna between two slices of Wonder Bread. I mean, I know it's a totally incorrect thought, but I think of bologna sandwiches and go back to elementary school.

First, it's a house-made mortadella, second, it's on a brioche bun. Imagine a huge sandwich, piled high with thinly sliced warm meat, covered in warm cheese and mornay sauce. Oh this sauce. I could sing the praises of this sauce (it was also on the Crispy Fries along side a fried egg). The sandwich was fantastic. Seriously, go, now, stop reading and just leave.

If you're still reading, we went on and had their Crispy Fries. Double fried, salty, covered with a fried egg and the mornay sauce. With a side of  garlic aolli and the mornay sauce.

We also got two of the Au Cheval Burgers. One with just Cheddar, the other with Bacon, a Fried Egg and Cheddar. Both burgers came with two thin patties, each covered in cheddar cheese and topped with a sauce of a little dill and thinly sliced pickles. It's awesome, the burgers are cooked perfectly, while they are thin, they are juicy and have great taste. The Bacon on the Bacon, Egg and Cheese was a super thick-cut slice of Bacon. The Husband and I frequent Kuma's Corner and we both thought that this burger was better than anything that we had at Kuma's. And Kuma's had our favorite burgers in the city for years and years.

After our amazingly low fat dinner (ha!) we tried to walk down the block to Little Goat and grab a drink on their roof. However because it had rained earlier in the evening, they shut the roof down (bummer.). So we ended the lovely evening sitting outside of Haymarket, having a few beers and enjoying the Chicago Summer.  It was worth the wait.

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