Okay, so I'm a food slut. Complete, total, unapologetic. I don't care how much it costs and I never met a restaurant check I didn't happily add 25% to. In return, I merely ask for passion, defined thusly:
- Shockingly great food. I don't confuse great with trendy, but rather with a chef who eats, breathes and sleeps flavors, and who knows that great food restores the soul. If there are unusual combinations, great. But there's got to be a point to it. I have cried over great food, and if they make me cry the tip will be 35%. But don't think you're going to fool me with some flabby foiwe gras, because I've been to Alain Ducasse. 'nuff said.
- Top service, i.e., knowledgable, gracious and present without hovering. I want servers who are really glad to be there. After all, they're going to get a $200+ tip from me with no begrudging, so the least they can do is fake it for a couple hours.
- If I get a multi-course wine-pairing meal, I expect that a lot of thought went into it and that the servers and sommelier will explain it without sounding like robots
- I do not equate a loud restaurant with an exciting one like too many jaded foodies and critics do. The only headache I want to have is from the alcohol. I am suspicious of loud places; I wonder what they are trying to distract me from.
I've been to Trotter's (a few years ago) and liked it a great deal, although I didn't get the sense that the waitstaff was allowed to eat the cooking or taste much wine because they didn't seem to know a whole lot. Not a disaster by any stretch, but the service wasn't world class like the food. I am thinking of going back -- after all, as long as they don't spit on my plate the food is still king -- but I thought I'd get some opinions here.
So where should we go? I'm thinking about Dec. 30th.
p.s.: Absolutely no reverse snobbery allowed. Don't tell me that the little hole in the wall in Greektown is better. I'll go there a different night and enjoy the hell out of it, but this night is going to be the best restaurant in Chicago.