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Restaurants & Bars 6

Gary Danko - report

leek from chicago | Oct 3, 200201:09 PM


On 28 September we ate at Gary Danko. Our reservation was for 8:30 or 9 pm, I forget which, and we were a bit early. We were, however, seated fairly quickly.

We were supposed to meet a friend there, but his travel plans changed at the last minute, so we brought our (my husband's) aunt. It also was my husband's 40th birthday. We hadn't said anything about this when our friend made the reservation, he didn't want a fuss.

The decor is quite nice, all wood - not paneling, just flat wood - but not too noisy. It was noiser than I had expected, though. The bathroom was quite pretty, and they had the BEST smelling hand soap and lotion. I need to call them and ask what brand it was!

For his birthday, our aunt had brought a bottle of 1964 Sauternes (not sure which producer, it was not d'Yquem). The wait staff were quite solicitous. It was almost too much, almost obsequious, but not quite. I know they were trying to be attentive and nice, but it was just a bit too much - it rang false.

Nonetheless, they took good care of our wine, even though it turned out that there was a 1964 Sauternes on their wine list - who'd have thought? It was not by the same producer, though. And they never mentioned it. There's a place here in Chicago where they would charge an OUTRAGEOUS corkage if you brought something similar to what you could get on their list, even if it was a special bottle you'd been saving to drink on this occasion.

We all had the foie gras appetizer with the sauternes, and it was a great combo. For dinner I had a very tasty sturgeon, my husband had scallops, and his aunt had squab. The sommelier (not the wine director) recommended something, but my husband ordered something else. It was OK, but I suspect the recommended wine might have been better (at twice the price :)

For dessert we had chocolate souffle and a poached pear - the pear went well with the sauternes. My husband's aunt had mentioned at one point that the bottle was a birthday gift, so they had written "Happy Birthday" on my husband's plate, and put a small candle in his pear. Low key, and very thoughtful.

We had about 1/2 bottle of the sauternes left, which we gave to the wait staff. They were trying to get us to take it home, but we wanted them to taste it.

It was a lovely evening, although I could have done with just a little less fussing over :) We were never without someone hovering.

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