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Report [long] on Ninth Anniversary dinner at Nine

Wayno | Oct 5, 200411:59 PM

We live downstate, just across the river from St. Louis [sorry, Cubs fans; but, anyway having moved here a few years ago from SF, I'm actually grieving over the Giants -- but you can keep Dusty]. Back on topic, our ninth anniversary was Sept. 9th, aka 9/9. So, since St. Louis does not have a restaurant Nine, we had to make plans to fly up for dinner on 9/9 to celebrate our Ninth at your Nine. Of course, when I made the reservation, I told them of the occasion and of the fact that we were flying up that evening just for dinner and returning the next afternoon, and, long story not very short, they responded with royal treatment. The guy who took the reservation said that he was tempted to give us table "9", but that it's a crappy table so he didn't. A day before 9/9, I called again to check on the corkage fee because I wanted to bring a nice red wine from '95, the year of the nuptials. The server who answered the call said they don't have a corkage policy and don't allow BYO, but when I expressed surprise/disappointment {I mean, even Trotter does, for $50), he suggested I call the sommelier, which I did. By the time I got through to her the next day, calling from the Orange Line after arriving at Midway, she was prepared for the call and said that, by all means, we could bring a special bottle and that they were awaiting us later that evening. Sure enough, when we arrived, a complimentary bottle of Veuve-Clicquot was waiting for us in a prime booth. Our own bottle was a '95 Chateau Pavie, which they handled just fine. Dinner was very good. We split the 36 oz. bone-in ribeye, with king crab legs on the side and lobster mashed potatoes. While this wasn't pushing any culinary frontiers, we decided to go with steak since Nine bills itself as a steakhouse [and I've eaten at most of the other fine dining spots in Chicago -- though, if it weren't for the whole "nine" thing, I probably would have picked North Pond for this special occasion]. The lobster fritters that were our starter were just so-so, but that was overshadowed by everything else. When it came time for dessert, we retreated to the bar, and they comped us then to a luscious chocolate sorbet with a chocolate pastry. Unfortunately, the upstairs Ghost Bar was closed for a private party, but, all in all, spending the 9th on 9/9 at 9 turned out great.

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