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Restaurants & Bars 17

Boo to Tru

Manfred Kerner | Jan 8, 2006 06:52 AM

Greetings fellow Chowhounds

A while ago I was in Chicago on a business trip, accompagnied by my wife. As we were celebrating our wedding anniversary during the stay, I asked one of my business partners to book us a table at a superb restaurant he could recommend. It turned out that he had made us a reservation at Tru. I looked it up on the internet and what I saw on the restaurants website looked promising. I only just found this message board and would now like to give you a review of the place.

All I can say is that either Tru had their most collosal off-night in history or they simply have no idea about good food and neither does anybody who has given them good reviews (I searched this board and the reviews are indeed very mixed). Sorry but no offense to those who enjoyed it.

We both chose the 3-course fixed menu which started off with an amuse bouche that consisted of 5 or 6 small dishes, quite nicely presented but not a single one was particularly tasty or gave a hint that anybody in the kitchen really had a clue about cooking. From then on, things only got worse. My starter was a truffle risotto with lobster. Sounds good, doesn´t it? Well it wasn´t. The rice corns were so overcooked that they had the size of small peas, truffles were not evident anywhere in the mush and the lobster part consisted of few equally overcooked slivers. In reality it was a very bad tomato risotto. Even a very modest italian restaurant would be ashamed to serve their guests a dish like that.

Another lowlight was my main course (I´ll spare you the horrors of my wife´s menu). Black-striped bass and foie-gras. An unusual combination but I chose this assuming we were in an exciting, excellent restaurant. The fish was again totally overcooked and bone dry and the foie gras hidden under it was practically falling apart. The whole thing looked like it had been cooked a day before and then been nuked in the microwave. Horrible beyond belief.

Desserts were neither good nor bad, just forgetable, the sweet wagon was OK but none of the items I chose were any better than something from the supermarket.

Service was pretenious, their two man synchronized pouring of the mineral water is just ridiculous. This was only topped by their wine list, maybe heaven for label drinkers but hell for anybody looking for a gem. It consists of several wines featured with 10 or 12 vintages and then a few random choiced from other houses to top it off. This is just showing off but has nothing to do with an intelligently assembled wine list. I doubt if 1% of Tru´s clients could make an educated choice between 10 vintages of the same wine.

How I wish Gault Millau did a Chicago edition, I´d love to see the biting commentary they´d give this place and the embarrassing 11 points Tru would be rewarded with.

Conclusion: You will have a better meal at any Holiday Inn dining room.

Manfred Kerner, Frankfurt am Main

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