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Sweets & Savories Review - Long

Ms. Paris | Aug 20, 200510:12 AM

*Note to visitors from out of town, Chicagoans looking for a place to go for a 'special meal' and anyone who loves good food ~ this is the place for you!!

J. & I went to S&S last night and couldn't have had a better experience. The food, the service, the decor, the music ~ all were perfect. At the end of the night, our only question was -- why isn't this place packed?? Why aren't there lines out the door? No wait. That was the second question. The first was: when can we come back?

The restaurant itself is very small, almost completely nondescript from the street, on a clogged section of Fullerton, just before Ashland. It seats about 50. The decor is French bistro-style, the music French or at least Francophone.

Though we knew they had recently gotten their liquor license, we also knew that their corkage fee remains very reasonable ($10). When we arrived they gave us the wine list ~ a very nice, if small, list with many reasonably priceed bottles. They seemed slightly put out that we'd brought our own. Understandable, I think, but once they saw what we brought (no Yellow Tail here!) it seemed ok. We sent back tastes to the kithen & staff from each bottle.

Our service was impeccable: friendly, enthusiastic, helpful.

Onto the food... we both got the tasting menu. Seven courses, $50. Except that we ended up getting 10 courses (11 if you count the chocolate truffles at the end) ~ for the same price, of course. It was, in a word, divine.

My descriptions don't nearly do justice to the meal - we had no menu, nor did I take notes so I am certainly missing some important components in these dishes, but I've at least captured their essence ~

1) Chilled potato & leek soup with grapes.
2) Mussels in a tomato & lobster broth
3) snapper on a bed of herbed polenta
4) beef with duck-fat fries
5) duck confit risotto with blueberries, creme fraiche and white truffle oil
6) cheese (wish I could remember what kind) in a bed of lavendar honey, with fresh figs and freshly shaved truffles
7) arugula salad with parmesan-like cheese and lemon
8) blackberry-cabernet sorbet
9) lemon curd tart with blueberries and cream
10) molten chocolate cake
11) lavendar-chocolate truffles

While I don't have the time now to go into detail about each dish, let me just say that in every way, the food here exceeded my already high expectations. The snapper and beef were definitely standouts, but it would be unfair to say that any one dish was better than another -- they were all delicious.

The portions were small but by no means tiny. J. somehow managed to clean his plate with every course; besides the mussels, there was no course that I could finish entirely. The staff was eager to box up leftovers, meaning I have a second delicious lunch/dinner waiting for me today.

Overall, transcendant food (you should have seen the look on J.'s face as he savored the cheese-truffle-honey-fig combination), excellent service and extremely reasonable prices made our experience at Sweets & Savories truly memorable.

This has to be the best deal in Chicago, hands down.

Sweets & Savories
1534 W. Fullerton Ave.

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