In early May, I will be spending a week in Chicago- several nights on my own and then three with my wife Susannah. Our birthdays fall within a week of each other in late April and early May. Our big splurge will be a night at Charlie Trotters- I really admire his philosophy on food that he expounds upon on his website:
On Local Food
"The taste of free-range and organic products is so much better than the alternative. It is also good to know that you are eating unadulterated food and supporting farmers and growers who are directly connected with the land."
Chef Trotter prefers saucing with vegetable juice-based vinaigrettes, light emulsified stocks, and purees as well as delicate broths and herb-infused meat and fish essences.
"Unlike sauces that incorporate a lot of butter or cream, our approach does not mute or block the basic flavors of the ingredients they are meant to support."
It is important to Trotter that diners enjoy a perfectly balanced meal that continues to satisfy afterwards.
"I do not want guests walking out of the restaurant feeling as if they over-indulged because of excessive cream, butter, and alcohol. I want them to feel stimulated and alert, knowing that they will be able to look forward to breakfast the following morning. Food doesn't have to be rich to taste good."
Other restaurants under consideration are Frontera Grill, Blackbird, Avec, Schwa. I welcome any other suggestions.