rant: fine dining

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Michael
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by Michael »

I'd rank Shin Thompson's old Bonsoireé at my least favorite michelin star level restaurant I've ever been to. The service was extremely rude and condescending because my wife asked "stupid question" (it wasn't, but even it was who cares) about a dish. The kitchen, including Shin, were openly doing shots with the front of the house and bro'ing it up in the back. I'd be okay with that if the service was attentive and well paced like Schwa, but it wasn't. And to steal a woody allen joke, the food sucked and the portions were too small. My biggest regret is I left a 10% tip instead of zero. It was like a roll call of all of fine dining's worst instincts.

Shin can go suck a lemon.
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33anda3rd
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Re: rant: fine dining

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Michael wrote:I'd rank Shin Thompson's old Bonsoireé at my least favorite michelin star level restaurant I've ever been to. The service was extremely rude and condescending because my wife asked "stupid question" (it wasn't, but even it was who cares) about a dish. The kitchen, including Shin, were openly doing shots with the front of the house and bro'ing it up in the back. I'd be okay with that if the service was attentive and well paced like Schwa, but it wasn't. And to steal a woody allen joke, the food sucked and the portions were too small. My biggest regret is I left a 10% tip instead of zero. It was like a roll call of all of fine dining's worst instincts.

Shin can go suck a lemon.
You and I could open a Michelin starred restaurant, there’s a very easy template. Weird setting, tasting menu only, $100 and up, 9-14 very small courses, you’ll get a star. Next is the only tasting menu-only place in town open long enough to get a star that doesn’t have one, and it’s silly that they don’t. Thing about Michelin-starred restos is they don’t last. Acadia stays open, even as a 2-star, because Ryan’s dad is wealthy and covers losses.

I’m underwhelmed by a lot of Michelin-starred experiences. Elske a couple weeks ago, desserts were incredible but savory was mostly just ok. I thought Roister was so-so, and was offended by the service—we ordered 7 dishes, they all hit the table within a short time of one another, we were in and out in 1:05, which is not acceptable for a $280 dinner. Elizabeth is ok, but too precious and too cookbook-y for me. The ones in town that I think are legit worth the money for a big-time tasting menu are Smyth and Oriole. If you were offering to buy me dinner I’d take them over Alinea and even Grace when they were open. Oriole [expletive] soars. Both it and Smyth are not stricken with the sickness that makes starred chefs put foams and dots of gel on every plate.

Schwa last summer was like 4 A+ dishes, 4 F dishes and a handful of Bs. It’s not what it used to be when Brian Fisher, Matt Karney, Noah Sandoval were in the kitchen and Carlson still worked service and you’d have 12-15 perfect dishes then go in the basement and have a paint ball war or go in the alley and throw firecrackers at each other while Fisher did enough cocaine to wipe out a horse farm. Those were fun times, nowadays there’s a constant stream of weed in the kitchen and Norm has brought more party-time than when Wilson was there, but it’s still a lot tamer than it was 7-10 years ago.

The spot that replaced Bonsoiree was a 180 as far as the quality of the people and service and the style of hospitality IMHO.

Shin’s got his ramen chain now. They have 6-7 locations. They have not paid one penny back to their investors, 5 years or so in, but Shin drives around in a lovely new Tesla and they’re pushing prices up to attract either a buyout or VC money to go national, which is ludicrous. I know a guy in real estate who I feel bad for because he gave Shin money for Furious, that’s how shady I find Shin: me makes me empathize with a real estate millionaire.
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by Freed Roger »

Bonsoireé , Furious, Acadia....
I am going to start trademarking fine resto names and make these [expletive] come to me.

The Feedlot™ is already taken.

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Michael
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Re: rant: fine dining

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33anda3rd wrote:
Michael wrote:I'd rank Shin Thompson's old Bonsoireé at my least favorite michelin star level restaurant I've ever been to. The service was extremely rude and condescending because my wife asked "stupid question" (it wasn't, but even it was who cares) about a dish. The kitchen, including Shin, were openly doing shots with the front of the house and bro'ing it up in the back. I'd be okay with that if the service was attentive and well paced like Schwa, but it wasn't. And to steal a woody allen joke, the food sucked and the portions were too small. My biggest regret is I left a 10% tip instead of zero. It was like a roll call of all of fine dining's worst instincts.

Shin can go suck a lemon.
You and I could open a Michelin starred restaurant, there’s a very easy template. Weird setting, tasting menu only, $100 and up, 9-14 very small courses, you’ll get a star. Next is the only tasting menu-only place in town open long enough to get a star that doesn’t have one, and it’s silly that they don’t. Thing about Michelin-starred restos is they don’t last. Acadia stays open, even as a 2-star, because Ryan’s dad is wealthy and covers losses.

I’m underwhelmed by a lot of Michelin-starred experiences. Elske a couple weeks ago, desserts were incredible but savory was mostly just ok. I thought Roister was so-so, and was offended by the service—we ordered 7 dishes, they all hit the table within a short time of one another, we were in and out in 1:05, which is not acceptable for a $280 dinner. Elizabeth is ok, but too precious and too cookbook-y for me. The ones in town that I think are legit worth the money for a big-time tasting menu are Smyth and Oriole. If you were offering to buy me dinner I’d take them over Alinea and even Grace when they were open. Oriole [expletive] soars. Both it and Smyth are not stricken with the sickness that makes starred chefs put foams and dots of gel on every plate.

Schwa last summer was like 4 A+ dishes, 4 F dishes and a handful of Bs. It’s not what it used to be when Brian Fisher, Matt Karney, Noah Sandoval were in the kitchen and Carlson still worked service and you’d have 12-15 perfect dishes then go in the basement and have a paint ball war or go in the alley and throw firecrackers at each other while Fisher did enough cocaine to wipe out a horse farm. Those were fun times, nowadays there’s a constant stream of weed in the kitchen and Norm has brought more party-time than when Wilson was there, but it’s still a lot tamer than it was 7-10 years ago.

The spot that replaced Bonsoiree was a 180 as far as the quality of the people and service and the style of hospitality IMHO.

Shin’s got his ramen chain now. They have 6-7 locations. They have not paid one penny back to their investors, 5 years or so in, but Shin drives around in a lovely new Tesla and they’re pushing prices up to attract either a buyout or VC money to go national, which is ludicrous. I know a guy in real estate who I feel bad for because he gave Shin money for Furious, that’s how shady I find Shin: me makes me empathize with a real estate millionaire.
I don't disagree with any of this. To be candid, I haven't had a tasting menu in like 3 years. Nowadays I find them to be tiresome. In my limited experience, North Pond has the worst food of any star'd restaurant I've been to in Chicago or anywhere else. Regardless, when I consider service and portion size Bonsoireé still ranks dead last.
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G. Keenan
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by G. Keenan »

Either of you been to Brass Heart yet?

I've been thinking of going for a special occasion. My wife is vegetarian and they offer a vegetarian/vegan tasting menu which can be hard to find at tasting menu places. Been hesitant to pop for it though given the cost and the rather mixed reviews it's been getting to date.
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33anda3rd
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Re: rant: fine dining

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Haven't been to Brass Heart but I like Matt a lot. He cooked at Schwa in the heyday, took the torch from Jared at Longman and retained the Michelin star there (Michael: worst star meal in Chi is Longman, never consistent) and I'm sure it's great.
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by tlombard »

I was told on Friday that Southtown Pub on Kingshighway had closed. I thought they were crazy and didn't believe them. I might have even told them so. Then yesterday I was passing by on my way to get some tacos from across the street and sure enough they had a sign out front saying they were closed for the day. That sign has apparently been there since Thursday and there is already an online auction scheduled to sell stuff this week.
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by 33anda3rd »

A Guide To Very Specific Midwestern Sandwiches

I didn't know that a Brain Sandwich was a thing in St. Louis. Anyone had the one they mention?
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Re: rant: fine dining

Post by Freed Roger »

33anda3rd wrote:A Guide To Very Specific Midwestern Sandwiches

I didn't know that a Brain Sandwich was a thing in St. Louis. Anyone had the one they mention?
Not the one they mentioned. But had brain sandwich, cooked by my relatives. German descent, rural. I remember it being coated in cracker crumbs and fried. I can't recollect it enough to describe the taste, but recall it being unique- Did Not "taste like chicken."

For years I thought it was a dish called brains, and never knew it was actual hog brains.
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Re: rant: fine dining

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Famous stl photo

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