Thursday, October 26, 2017

Strangers and Shoe Shines

Prime and Provisions
222 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
(312) 726-7776

Meets Goodman and Adelman were the first two to arrive and took a table near the bar, where the Cubs proceeded to lose a playoff game on a nearby TV.  Meets Mullen and Levy attended soon after. 

Levy and Adelman got into their usual patter, with Levy asking for small favors under the table.  Adelman suggested a new entry into the ‘Rolodex of Love’.

The Stranger is a move by which you sit on your hand (whichever one you toss off with) until it gets numb.  Once the numbness sets in, you start the self-abuse.  It’s supposed to feel like someone other than yourself is twanging your wire.
The attending Meets will inform me of their respective experience with this.  Now back to our meal.

Our server, Roxy, was attentive and kept our tumblers full throughout the night, not once having to wait for a refill.

We opted away from the usual seafood starters and took on some Thick-cut Bacon and Fried Chicken with a chili Bourbon Maple glaze for dipping.  The winner at the table was the chicken by a landslide, fried to perfection with a crispy, tooth-cracking skin of greasy love.  To a man, the Meets agreed that the only other thing that was needed was a side of waffles… and a bowl of the Bourbon Maple Glaze.

When it came to the meat, the cuts were satisfactory.  However, Mullen found his Bone-In Ribeye to be overcooked, closer to a medium than medium rare.
Prime and Provisions does have a game changer with the roasted garlic on the side, ready for smothering over our respective cuts.  Goodman took full advantage of this, extracting every last oily clove, smothering it on every bite of his 10-ounce filet, leaving an exhausted garlic carcass on his plate.

A dessert of Peanut Butter and Whipped Milk Chocolate Pie was buttery smooth and absolutely ravaged by all Meets.

Aside from familiarizing ourselves with The Stranger, the highlight of the night occurred post-meal as a derelict approached us outside at the valet stand, offering shoe shines and his own brand of gospel.  The man was ‘saved’ from the evils of drugs and gangs, choosing the straight and narrow path.

Meet Mullen, the most charitable of the Meets, obliged himself to a shoe shine from the man, with little regard for the lack of small bills in his fold.  Long story short, Mullen’s charitable nature cost him $40 for a shine that probably involved nothing more than wipe down with water and vinegar.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Ted Foxman of Salts

707 N. Wells Street, Chicago
(312) 600-6305

The title of this post is in honor of Ted Foxman.  All-around nice guy and classmate of ours from HPHS.

Bloom came back to town with a vengeance, pre-emptively switching the venue from a chain steakhouse (Shula’s) to a local boutique (GT Prime).  It turned out to be the right call - two points for Bloom.

We looked at the menu and quickly noticed that this was not the typical sort of steakhouse that we were used to:  only 6 cuts of meat offered in 4-ounce or 8-ounce options, hot and cold tapas-style plates and no seafood selection except for a 1-lb. Alaskan King crab offering – served warm.  The $80 gamble on the crab didn’t pay off and the horseradish that it was served with reminded Levy and Adelman of their bubbe’s Passover gefilte fish.

The hot and cold plates turned out to be full of comestible indulgences.

The beef tartare with malt vinegar chips was a clear table favorite as Adelman led the charge for extra chips post tartare.  Levy and Goodman agreed on the rabbit leg confit with the potato puree to which they licked the plate clean.  Bloom’s call on the grilled octopus was a solid ‘amuse bouche’ as he phrased to the rest of the Meets.

Most notable were the ‘finishing salts’ that came with our cuts of meat, as we were looking for more sodium with our meal to this point.  There were three salts to choose from:  a fragrant hibiscus, Icelandic sea salt, or Murray River (Australia).  Goodman opted for all three in a medley atop his 8-ounce beef strip.

Levy’s bison tenderloin was arguably the most tender of the cuts chosen at the table, as confirmed by Goodman.

Unlike any steakhouse we’ve been to since RMC’s inception, our cuts came to the table pre-sliced.  Above everything, this is what made GT Prime unique and primed for a return by the Meets.  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tim Comes Marching In

520 N. Dearborn St., Chicago
(312) 521-5100 

With Bloom headed back to his ‘Rocky Mountain High’ ski-bummery, we welcomed with open arms our fellow high-school chum, Tim Mullen.  His sommelier’s prowess was well received at the table as he assumed his rightful space in the booth (which was okay with Levy, as his taste for booth seating is intolerant).

Red Meets headed back to Mastro’s for its quality of product and service we experienced upon our last visit.  Goodman took over some ordering duties from Bloom, especially in regard to the seafood tower, which have been lackluster in our last few meetings. 

Mastro’s delivered on target with a plethora of shellfish: King crab claws and legs, succulent lobster halves, briny East Coast oysters and jumbo shrimp.  Goodman and the Meets ultimately forgot the downside of ‘plethora’ when the bill came.

Mullen was the first to comment on his Tomahawk steak, who claimed that it was tasty, but not rare enough to his refined standards.  Nary a peep out of Adelman and Levy, for the seemed to enjoy their cuts.  Goodman was well-impressed with the parmesan crust well-done on his 8-ounce filet.

The meal made dents in our respectively wallets, especially with the aforementioned seafood tower.  Drinks were also well imbibed, adding to the total (roughly $220  per person). 

It’s still worth every penny.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Johnny Comes Marching Home

1000 W. Fulton, Chicago

Date:  2/27/17

Our meet was highly anticipated as Bloom made a homecoming trip from his new digs in Colorado. 
By word of mouth and written review (it was also Levy’s choice this time), Swift and Sons was touted as the bona fide challenger to the more traditional steakhouses of Chicago (Gene and Georgetti, Gibsons, Joes).

The seafood tower (more like a bowl) was skimpy and lacked presentation.  Bloom’s customary New York strip was not a good cut of meat.  To his credit, he demanded satisfaction and he received a replacement 14 oz. bone-in filet with a replacement of two sides. 

To add insult to injury, Bloom (our most refined but shrewdest of Meets) noticed that he was charged for the two extra sides he received, which by all accounts, is nickel and diming.  He summoned the front of house for more richly deserved satisfaction as fellow Red Meets Levy, Adelman and Goodman chuckled on in the folly of Bloom’s disappointment.

After all, our buddy traveled from Colorado for this? 

Blooms vow of “Never again!” was echoed by the others in agreement.

We can always tell if the establishment is to our satisfaction on all the ‘S’ fronts:  service, seafood tower, steaks.  But should we stay for sweets (dessert), then that is the deciding factor.

None of these were present. 

Swift and those sons of his failed to deliver.