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The Lake Effect at Chief O’Neill’s

The Lake Effect at Chief O’Neill’s
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  • Post #31 - January 4th, 2012, 8:48 pm
    Post #31 - January 4th, 2012, 8:48 pm Post #31 - January 4th, 2012, 8:48 pm
    Dave, what a wonderful post. Sorry you had a software glitch, but you really made your meal come alive. I actually haven't been to Chief O'Neill's yet -- Alan said it'd be a good idea to give it some time, but it sounds like he's already hit his stride.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #32 - January 4th, 2012, 9:27 pm
    Post #32 - January 4th, 2012, 9:27 pm Post #32 - January 4th, 2012, 9:27 pm
    First off, thank you for your kind words. We've been on quite a ride here w/the busy holiday season. NYE was the first nite of my food entirely (a work in progress).

    Secondly, it helps to have good product and I've been busy sourcing it. The airline breast (so named because of the wing joint attached) is from Gunthorp and will probably lose the "airline" designation but keep the Gunthorp pedigree when it comes to what's written on the menu. Too many people have a bad connotation to the word. Live and learn. The Lamb in the Irish Stew (w/porcini and root vegs) is from Mint Creek Farm. Sourced some stunning salmon from the Faroe Islands today which is the newest member of our family. The cold waters between Norway and Iceland make for salmon marbled like prime beef- when I put it on the grill it actually dripped (or maybe they were tears). Said salmon will be encrusted w/Irish bacon, shallots and green apples. A light chevre butter lemon sauce and some colcannon will complete that dish. The traditional Irish favorites have been reviewed and revised as needed and the desserts mentioned along w/all of the above will be on the new menu.

    I'm just playing around w/ingredients that are Irish in nature, like the barley which I thought was a natrual considering the Guinness that runs through this place like the River Shannon. Just trying to immerse myself and extract something unique from the bounty of Irish provisions and put a bit of a spin on it to keep it interesting and a bit more contemporary. The consult I did @ the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin is coming in handy. Also, an idea gleaned from LTH will be rearing it's head shortly- peat smoked whitefish. Still working out the details of the dish but where better to have been inspired but right here?

    My thanks to you all,

    Alan
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #33 - January 4th, 2012, 10:37 pm
    Post #33 - January 4th, 2012, 10:37 pm Post #33 - January 4th, 2012, 10:37 pm
    Alan,

    I completely forgot about the porcini mushrooms in the stew (I should have re-read the menu). I knew there was another ingredient I was completely wary of, but worked out perfectly. I have never had mushrooms in Lamb Stew, but they really added a noticeable earthy flavor to the sauce. Good call. To a traditional lamb stew aficionado, mushrooms might be a turn off. Oh well, their loss.
    BTW, were there parsnips in the stew?

    Dave

    edit: It is a little of reminiscent of the Swiss "hunter's stew" which is made of boar, venison, pheasant with a variety of wild mushrooms and served with a 3 berry jam on the side.
  • Post #34 - January 4th, 2012, 11:35 pm
    Post #34 - January 4th, 2012, 11:35 pm Post #34 - January 4th, 2012, 11:35 pm
    That Salmon sounds wonderful ... will have to plan to come eat!
  • Post #35 - January 5th, 2012, 9:56 am
    Post #35 - January 5th, 2012, 9:56 am Post #35 - January 5th, 2012, 9:56 am
    d4v3 wrote:Alan,

    I completely forgot about the porcini mushrooms in the stew (I should have re-read the menu). I knew there was another ingredient I was completely wary of, but worked out perfectly. I have never had mushrooms in Lamb Stew, but they really added a noticeable earthy flavor to the sauce. Good call. To a traditional lamb stew aficionado, mushrooms might be a turn off. Oh well, their loss.
    BTW, were there parsnips in the stew?


    The porcini's are a variation on a theme. In keeping w/the spirit of the dish, and being an American not beholden to tradition w/a predilection for improv in the name of taste (both in music and food) I added things I felt would work well. Enter the shrooms and the roasted barley. The vegetables that are added to the braise during the second half (to maintain their integrity while giving up their essence to the cause) are as follows: celery, carrot, onion, parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, whole garlic cloves and reconstituted porcini's w/their broth. Then there's the lamb demi we made from additional lamb bones and the herbage; thyme, parsley and rosemary.

    We'd like to take this chance to mention once again that this is a work in progress and not ready for prime time (@ least if you want the full on "Lake effect"). It's not the same as doing it from a closed position and the luxury that provides. We have a business to run and are trying to make the changes behind the scenes as seamless as possible to exceed the expectations of our customers. We are working towards that goal but envision it to be weeks away from being able to withstand the microscopic scrutiny of our community and the like. There's a lot in motion @ the moment and I promise to tell you when that occurs. In the meantime "it's getting better all the time..."
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #36 - January 20th, 2012, 10:42 am
    Post #36 - January 20th, 2012, 10:42 am Post #36 - January 20th, 2012, 10:42 am
    Dublin meets Deli. Taking a dish inspired on these pages for a test run tonite. County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Friache, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay. Serving it as an app.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #37 - January 20th, 2012, 12:07 pm
    Post #37 - January 20th, 2012, 12:07 pm Post #37 - January 20th, 2012, 12:07 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Dublin meets Deli. Taking a dish inspired on these pages for a test run tonite. County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Friache, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay. Serving it as an app.


    That sounds worth slogging about in the snow for--in fact, the smell of peat sounds just about perfect for this blustery day! Looking forward to stopping in soon.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #38 - January 20th, 2012, 1:59 pm
    Post #38 - January 20th, 2012, 1:59 pm Post #38 - January 20th, 2012, 1:59 pm
    Hey there jazzfood,

    How late is your kitchen open? i'll be in the area tonight, but couldn't get over to The Chief until after 10pm.

    Buddy
  • Post #39 - January 20th, 2012, 4:00 pm
    Post #39 - January 20th, 2012, 4:00 pm Post #39 - January 20th, 2012, 4:00 pm
    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:Hey there jazzfood,

    How late is your kitchen open? i'll be in the area tonight, but couldn't get over to The Chief until after 10pm.

    Buddy

    Website says 10:30 - http://chiefoneillspub.com/directions/
    “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
    ― Mark Twain
  • Post #40 - January 20th, 2012, 5:06 pm
    Post #40 - January 20th, 2012, 5:06 pm Post #40 - January 20th, 2012, 5:06 pm
    Hmmm, normally, it's a three minute ride from where I'm at to Chief O'Neill's, but with the snow, I'm not sure I'll make it.

    Reckon I'll make a judgment call when the time comes.

    Buddy
  • Post #41 - January 21st, 2012, 3:24 am
    Post #41 - January 21st, 2012, 3:24 am Post #41 - January 21st, 2012, 3:24 am
    Managed to make it in to The Chief tonight, beating the snow and the odds, and arriving in the Nick O'Time. Sat at the bar and "enjoyed" the thinly disguised homoerotic choreography otherwise known as "Ultimate Fighting" playing on the big screen TV. Eventually, the bartender and I switched it over to Letterman, improving the night tenfold.

    Started with a very nice bowl of New England Clam Chowder. Excellent flavor, tasting slightly of the sea with a rich creamy texture and appetizing color, not a pure milky white, but a more earthy and rustic tone. Highly recommended for all you Chowder lovers out there.

    On to the main event: "County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Fraiche, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay", served as an app, but eaten, by me, as an entree.

    First off, the dish gets a big thumbs up. I need to say that up front, so any less than sterling comments I make down the line will not be misconstrued as overly critical. I made sure to try the fish plain before slathering it with the Cucumber-Dill Creme Fraiche and Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish. While I am very familiar with the smell of peat and its effect on baked brown bread, I was not prepared for how it would taste when used as a smoking base for fish. Peat smoke imparts a very different flavor than any hardwood used in American Barbecue. It's more "herby" (I suppose the fact that peat is actually dried, decayed vegetable matter might have something to do with that); kind of like when you smoke duck using dried tea leaves. A lovely flavor, but wholly unexpected. I could have eaten the whole (generous) piece of fish as is, but Chef Lake clearly spent time preparing the Creme Fraiche and Relish; I had to honor his efforts and indulge all elements of the dish. I'm awfully glad I did, because it all came together perfectly: Dense earthy smoked fish, rich creamy notes from the creme fraiche, a bit of tang from the relish, and finally a splash of lime to brighten the whole thing.

    I think this dish will be even better in the late summertime when the tomato adds not just color to the relish, but significant flavor as well. The relish wasn't without flavor, but the current crop of flavorless, pale pink winter fruit added little and didn't do justice to the rest of the dish.

    It was so good, I ordered a second one to take home to Mrs. Roadhouse. And that is where I discovered--too late--my dissatisfaction. Upon opening the carry out version of the dish I had just enjoyed, I realized I'd been cheated: Dere was no feckin' Shallot Hay on the plate I consumed at the restaurant! I didn't realize it at the time. It was only when I noticed those beautiful crispy fried rings that I understood what I had missed. I grabbed the fork out the wife's hand and put together a single, perfect bite of fish, creme, relish, AND SHALLOT HAY so I could fully appreciate what I'd missed out on. Sweet merciful monkey pants it was good. So good, in fact, I got pissed off. So pissed off that now I am forced to go back to Chief O'Neill's the next time they offer this special, order it again, and make sure the feckin' Shallot Hay is included this time.

    The Old Fashioned Potato Salad was quite good; an excellent compliment to the fish. Good firm texture on the spuds, without being underdone. Personally, I would have liked some more assertive flavors, but just a dash of salt and all was well.

    Overall, the experience was as close to the way we ate on the west coast of Ireland as I can remember. Oh yeah, the music--back to the traditional Irish fare I remember from the early days of The Chief. A welcome change that rounded out an excellent dining experience.

    Thank you Chef Lake. Be sure to let me know when this special is offered again so I can satisfy my Shallot Hay Jones.

    Buddy
  • Post #42 - January 21st, 2012, 9:46 am
    Post #42 - January 21st, 2012, 9:46 am Post #42 - January 21st, 2012, 9:46 am
    Buddy,

    My apology. You must have come in after I'd left (close to 10) as I was on the line until then. One of the problems of a new dish is everyone plating/cooking it correctly @ first. Even w/the mis en place in front of them and pix taken on their phones for reference, they forget. All the components that make sense to me does not always translate well. Agree on the tomatoes, and know others would forsake them but the deli idea (smkd fish) w/o out them seemed absurd, so I opted to relish them instead. This comes from someone that actually sat in a upper management meeting re: the elimination of tomatoes on a burger set up in a hotel in Atlanta I was consulting @. They were as you described so we took them off. Our clients revolted and the meeting was held. We held our ground and didn't put them back until late spring.

    In truth, the owners had second thoughts about putting this dish on the menu in the winter, feeling it would work better in the warmer months, but I pushed it. Maybe I shouldn't have but figured it would be the only way to know. I could serve it warm but logistically speaking, that would be a nightmare for the kitchen timing wise, something @ this point I'm cautious of and wouldn't solve the tomato issue. Perhaps a good grape tomato would be an option.

    I will add one other special we're trying out and will have this evening- a Savory Blue Cheese Cake made w/Irish Cashel Blue, Pecans and Scallions w/a compote-chutney of Kumquats and Figs and an Herb Salad.

    As far as the music, we have live Irish music every Tues, Sat and Sun but may be adding different types on occasion. In fact, my latest Brazilian project "Casa de Soul" will be doing a fundraiser/cd release benefiting a youth center I'm involved with March 8th. More on that soon.

    If you'd like to come back today, I owe you one. Need to let me know sooner than later so I can earmark it for you (or your wife).

    Thanks for your insight.


    Alan
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 1:19 pm
    Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 1:19 pm Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 1:19 pm
    Alan,
    Unfortunately, I cannot make it in tonight as I am tied up with my own restaurant responsibilities, running the floor at Burt's (where, BTW, we are expecting a large group of LTHers somewhere during the dinner hours).

    As for the missing Shallot Hay, no worries. I enjoyed the dish both with and without. The addition of the fried shallot turned a merely excellent dish into one of sheer bloody genius. I can live with excellence.

    Your insistence on serving the dish in the winter months is just fine, and I think you're right about the grape tomatoes. They seem to be always in season, and their sweetness will pair nicely with the pickled onion. In fact, I would consider using the grape tomatoes year round, even when regular tomatoes are in season. A sweet grape tomato, quartered; the resulting slivers mixed with the pickled onion will make a very attractive relish.

    Also, no complaint whatsoever about the dish being served cold; I think serving it warm would have detracted from the overall effect.

    Finally, you owe me nothing except maybe the pleasure of your company the next time I drop by. Generally though, it will be after 10:00pm as I am working until that time when I am in your neighborhood.

    Until my next visit to The Chief, best wishes to you and your crew!

    Buddy
  • Post #44 - January 22nd, 2012, 9:10 am
    Post #44 - January 22nd, 2012, 9:10 am Post #44 - January 22nd, 2012, 9:10 am
    I wasn't familiar with Chief O'Neill's before hearing that Jazzfood was taking over, but I realized yesterday that it's the place across the street from the Prop Theater, where I head once or twice a year for Rhino Fest. So, I stopped in for some pre-show Irish food.

    Much to Jazzfood's amusement, I came in by myself with the appetite of two 18-year-old boys (idiotic planning on my part resulted in me running a half marathon then doing 4 hours of yoga before dinnertime). I ordered the Cashel Blue Cheesecake, the Donegal Smoked Whitefish and the Lamb Stew. (I would have also tried a burger had I not had to make the show at 7pm.) The cheesecake was kind of surprising, well-rounded flavors--seemed like it would be a good introduction to blue cheese for novices or those otherwise wary. I saved a few bites of it for the end of my meal just because that's when I like to have cheese. I also enjoyed the smoked whitefish, but for me the real winner was the stew. Dave described it aptly--the Guinness, barley, cuts of lamb, root veggies...real integrity to each part. I loved it.

    At least the front room of Chief O'Neill's seemed the place to be early on a Saturday night--buddies, couples, families gathered and made a jovial atmosphere, and that was even before the live music. It'll be neat to see what Alan does here!
  • Post #45 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:17 am
    Post #45 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:17 am Post #45 - January 22nd, 2012, 10:17 am
    happy_stomach wrote:(idiotic planning on my part resulted in me running a half marathon then doing 4 hours of yoga before dinnertime)


    insane!
  • Post #46 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:07 pm
    Post #46 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:07 pm Post #46 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:07 pm
    The day after Jazzfood advised he had a peat smoked whitefish on his menu. I came with my Mom to check it out. Our order for the peat smoked whitefish prompted Jazzfood to check if there was an LTH'r behind it. Sure enough, he found us there eager to give it shot.

    I regret not ordering the lamb stew, especially when he commented how he made it. Not bound to tradition, he was using demi-glace sauce, dried mushrooms, pearl onions and other touches unseen in traditional Irish kitchen. I am all for it, if it maintains the spirit and improves the taste. (I have had to sometimes fake enthusiasm for some Irish food to please my family.)

    My Mom very much enjoyed the peat smoked whitefish, though it was a first experience for both of us to eat anything flavored by peat. We liked it quite a bit.

    We also had their fish and chips, which Jazzfood has been overhauling. He now has his cod delivered fresh rather than frozen when he took over. The French fries are cooked in 100% tallow, one of the few places melting 50-lb blocks to obtain it. While I failed to take a picture, my Mom would not resist returning to have more. And not because it is an Irish establishment, but because it was good.

    Our 'dessert' was the blue cheesecake appetizer with that wonderful kumquat chutney and greens.

    Jazzfood wrote:I will add one other special we're trying out and will have this evening- a Savory Blue Cheese Cake made w/Irish Cashel Blue, Pecans and Scallions w/a compote-chutney of Kumquats and Figs and an Herb Salad.


    Image
    Savory Blue Cheese Cake made with Irish Cashel Blue by cal222, on Flickr

    Jazzfood wrote:]Dublin meets Deli. Taking a dish inspired on these pages for a test run tonite. County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Friache, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay. Serving it as an app.


    Image
    County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Fraiche, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay by cal222, on Flickr

    Image
    County Cork Peat Smoked Lake Superior Whitefish (served chilled) with Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Cucumber-Dill Creme Fraiche, Pickled Onion-Tomato Relish and Shallot Hay by cal222, on Flickr

    I hope Jazzfood continues with his interventions, because my Mom will come for the music and I will come for the food.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #47 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:51 pm
    Post #47 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:51 pm Post #47 - February 2nd, 2012, 6:51 pm
    We were there last Friday night. No pix, but have to agree that the savory bleu cheesecake with a bit of stewed fruit compote has to be one the best appetizers I've had in quite a while. I also got the Mint Creek Lamb Stew, which was complemented by a nicely toothsome serving of barley. Delicious. Moetchandon started with the peat-smoked shrimp - I only got try try a little bit; she wanted to keep most of it for herself. And her salmon was perfectly, and slightly, undercooked, for a moist lushness that's pretty rare among other salmon preparations I've experienced. It came with a huge mound of well-flavored mashed potatoes.

    I'm not a dessert guy, and I'm not especially fond of rhubarb, but the strawberry rhubarb crumble dessert - not too sweet - may make me re-think my preferences.

    I'd been to Chief O'Neill's a few years ago, and I thought the food was pretty good - on a par with some of the area's other better Irish joints. Alan has taken the food several levels higher. We'll be back.
  • Post #48 - February 3rd, 2012, 9:10 pm
    Post #48 - February 3rd, 2012, 9:10 pm Post #48 - February 3rd, 2012, 9:10 pm
    I had the pleasure of visiting Chief O'Neill's this week, and will echo all the huzzahs. The lamb stew is unbelievably flavorful and toothsome, and we were lucky enough to snag the kitchen's very last bowl of the night. I also will attest to the spot-on texture and flavor fish fry, though I am still a little puzzled why the sandwich comes with a slice of melted cheese draped on the filet. I have never been a fan of "blonde" steak fries (paired with the sandwich), preferring a crispy exterior, but the tallow makes them so creamy in their jackets, I was completely won over.

    The bowl of mussels was lovely, though I would have liked a higher bowl of sterner stuff so it would better retain the heat of the broth. We also enjoyed a chef's special appetizer of a "beet napoleon", a stunningly composed plate of roasted beet discs alternating with layers of honeyed creamy cheese, and strewn with micro greens and pomegranate seeds.

    The extra special bonus came when the chef himself came out and schmoozed the table, explaining many of the techniques and elements to his fine work. What a treat!
    We crack us up.
  • Post #49 - February 18th, 2012, 1:50 pm
    Post #49 - February 18th, 2012, 1:50 pm Post #49 - February 18th, 2012, 1:50 pm
    Headed there tonight with high expectations, though must admit to more than mild surprise that their menu is not online yet. I understand they're finalizing elements of it, but really, for a place with this much kitchen energy happening, to not publish a menu seems like a major missed opportunity to snag interest from people who may not read LTHForum.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #50 - February 18th, 2012, 2:01 pm
    Post #50 - February 18th, 2012, 2:01 pm Post #50 - February 18th, 2012, 2:01 pm
    We had Sunday dinner there 2 weeks ago. I was craving fish & chips and it was quite possibly the best version I've had in Chicago. My only "complaint" was that I could have eaten twice the portion given of mushy peas. They were really addictive...
  • Post #51 - February 18th, 2012, 2:06 pm
    Post #51 - February 18th, 2012, 2:06 pm Post #51 - February 18th, 2012, 2:06 pm
    LynnB wrote:We had Sunday dinner there 2 weeks ago. I was craving fish & chips and it was quite possibly the best version I've had in Chicago. My only "complaint" was that I could have eaten twice the portion given of mushy peas. They were really addictive...


    Wonder if the fried fish are done in tallow, too.

    When I was a youth, I worked for McDonald's corporate during the time they were phasing out tallow and starting to use the trans-fat frying solution that is now, itself, no longer used. Tallow gives potatoes a beautiful cast and crunchiness.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #52 - February 19th, 2012, 10:41 am
    Post #52 - February 19th, 2012, 10:41 am Post #52 - February 19th, 2012, 10:41 am
    I'll address some of the above:

    After much soul searching, all fried items are done in the tallow. I went back and forth on this, logistically it was difficult to keep things separate and truth is or should I say "my" truth is that It just tastes better and seems to impart a slightly different texture (creaminess). Taste is my main focus.

    We will correct the lack of new menu items on our website in the next day or so. We've been so busy working out the dishes that we felt it would be best to keep a lower profile. @ this point, the genie is out of the bottle.

    As for not enough mushy peas, the solution would be to ask for more- which we'd gladly give you. Flattered you like them so much. Last nite someone asked me what they were. Told them Irish guacamole.

    For those that get their info here (where else) @ this point we've reworked the traditional Irish fare, the entrees and now, here's the new apps:

    Donegal Peat Smoked Shrimp (served chilled)
    Fennel-Orange Salad, Carrot-Ginger Emulsion

    Cashel Blue Savory Cheesecake
    Pecans, Scallions, Herb Salad, Kumquat-Fig Chutney

    Roasted Beet Napoleon
    Honey Goat Cheese, Mache, Mircro Greens, Walnuts, Pomagrante

    Chix and Chips
    Beer Battered Miller Amish Chicken Thighs, Root Vegetable Crudite, Fresh Grated Horseradish Sauce

    Ale Steamed Mussels
    Porcini Mushrooms, Leeks, Black Garlic, Celery Leaf, Thyme, Kerrygold Irish Sweet Butter

    Baked Crab Stuffed Clams
    Roasted Peppers, Celery, Onion, Garlic, Pecorino Romano, Lemon Zest, Rosemary, Thyme

    Spinach-Arichoke-Goat Cheese Fondue
    Oven Dried Tomato, Parmesan Pita Chips

    Kerrygold Flatbread
    Carmelized Cabbage, Roasted Potato, Smoked Cheddar

    Thanks for your interest and observations.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #53 - February 19th, 2012, 11:03 am
    Post #53 - February 19th, 2012, 11:03 am Post #53 - February 19th, 2012, 11:03 am
    One of the things that distinguishes Jazzfood's "take" on Irish food from the more traditional approach is his attitude toward vegetables.

    Image

    This beet Napoleon was a fine balance of slightly bitter root, sweet/sour pomegranate, and creaminess. He shows a lot of respect for the root.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
  • Post #54 - February 19th, 2012, 11:21 am
    Post #54 - February 19th, 2012, 11:21 am Post #54 - February 19th, 2012, 11:21 am
    "respect the root", love it. I should get a t shirt made to go w/my "culinary sherpa" one that was given to me. Growing up as a Russian Jew I ate borscht on a near daily basis for my first 10 yrs or so (kasha as well). It was actually a request from Siobhan (the prettier of the two owners) that I incorporate them onto the menu as she loves them.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #55 - February 21st, 2012, 4:48 pm
    Post #55 - February 21st, 2012, 4:48 pm Post #55 - February 21st, 2012, 4:48 pm
    I stopped in at Chief O'Neill's last week with the inimitable stevez to visit our friend Chef Alan Lake in his (relatively) new digs. Since Alan is my friend, I won't pretend that this account will be objective in the least. I love what he's doing at Chief O'Neill's. It's clear to me, from chatting with Alan over the past several weeks, that he still sees his menu at Chief O'Neill's as a work in progress. However, from my perspective, the progress is already abundantly clear. No matter how much we enjoyed each dish we tried -- and we tried several -- Alan, ever the perfectionist, had a critique and some tweaks planned for each one of them. The artist in him is never satisfied . . .

    Image
    Irish Soda Bread


    Image
    Beet Napoleon


    Image
    Cashel Blue Savory Cheesecake


    Image
    Donegal Peat Smoked Shrimp


    Image
    Lamb Stew (Mint Creek Farm)


    Image
    Fish & Chips


    Image
    Faroe Island Salmon

    The level of care, and high quality of ingredients in chef Lake's food is clearly evident. As he continues to re-tune and refine the menu, I'll be returning regularly to enjoy it -- and his continued accomplishments.

    =R=
    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

    Do you know the muffin man? --Max Beckmann

    Twitter: ronniesuburban
  • Post #56 - February 21st, 2012, 4:54 pm
    Post #56 - February 21st, 2012, 4:54 pm Post #56 - February 21st, 2012, 4:54 pm
    Jazzfood, we ate at the Chief about 10 days ago and we'll be back. I had what I'd describe as the Mac 'n' Cheese with bacon and I loved it.

    But...
    Ale Steamed Mussels
    Porcini Mushrooms, Leeks, Black Garlic, Celery Leaf, Thyme, Kerrygold Irish Sweet Butter

    My first thought was that one of the mussels was off because the dish was a bit fishy.
    Noting in the description says that some of those things that looked like they might be a mushroom were anchovies. If I had known that there would be anchovies in the mix, I'd have ordered something else.
  • Post #57 - February 21st, 2012, 5:32 pm
    Post #57 - February 21st, 2012, 5:32 pm Post #57 - February 21st, 2012, 5:32 pm
    I enjoyed a lovely late lunch on a very snowy, blustery Friday a couple of weeks ago and only have a few data points to add:

    1) That bread--gorgeous--it was such a perfect combination of sweet and savory, melt-in-your mouth soft and, yet, with the texture of the seeds--oh so good.
    2) No one has mentioned the flatbread yet but it was one of my favorite apps--very hearty, base had a nice crunch and the ingredients were balanced.
    3) Guinness and cheese soup--I don't want to know what was in this (Alan was very specific in telling me i didn't want to :twisted: ) and I don't care--best cup of soup I've had this winter. It's absolutely a calorie splurge but worth it!!

    Looking forward to our Trivia night--I saw the room and it's a wonderful space--should be a great night!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #58 - March 2nd, 2012, 11:53 am
    Post #58 - March 2nd, 2012, 11:53 am Post #58 - March 2nd, 2012, 11:53 am
    I was at the LTH Pub Quiz night a couple of days ago and it was my first time sampling Alan's reworked menu. I certainly expected everything to be up to his usual standards and I wasn't disappointed, but what stood out for me were the details. I'm Irish and I've eaten my share of mushy peas mostly so bad that I actually forget they could have taste, I was blown away at how good these were and I wasn't the only one at my table who took notice. You could taste actual pea flavor, butter and was that a hint of mint? The lamb stew had a depth of flavor, the lamb was melty and unctuous and the wonderfully barley had just enough chew.

    The beet napoleon was also a surprise, but it shouldn't have been, he recreated what he'd done for the LTH picnic in 2009 and this time I didn't feel guilty about eating such a beautiful presentation. I though the Cashel Blue would make a wonderful dessert with some fruit, I think I'll have this at the end next time rather than a starter, I thought it might be too rich, but I was wrong. I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the menu.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #59 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:39 am
    Post #59 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:39 am Post #59 - March 22nd, 2012, 10:39 am
    For what it's worth, phase 3 of menu changes have gone into effect as of today. @ this point, everything has been tweaked and/or changed.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #60 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:16 am
    Post #60 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:16 am Post #60 - March 22nd, 2012, 11:16 am
    I was planning to bring my visiting Mom and the baby for lunch today. Glad I checked the website and discovered you don't open til 4pm Mon-Thurs. :(

    I'm not used to being anywhere but work for lunch during the week. I'm guessing that by the time I have the weekday neighborhood "lay of the land" figured out my leave will be up...

    Anyway, looking forward to coming in soon. Even though I'm no longer pregnant, I'm still craving those mushy peas (and I won't hesitate to ask for a double portion!)

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