Sunday, September 23, 2007
The beautiful, crisp Chicago fall evening prompted Andy and I to venture out on foot last night in search of a good meal. We happened upon Tarantino's (1112 W. Armitage) and decided to pop in upon a quick scan of the menu.
The inside was warm and cozy - quiet enough to converse without straining the ears but happening enough to feel out on the town.
Our meal is worth mentioning. In part as motivation for any Chicagoans looking for a place to dine out and in part because I'm hoping that Ms. Shaw will undertake a few of these items at one of our next get-togethers. I'm certainly not a chef and won't do these items justice - but I'll put in as much detail as I can for any foodies that want to recreate at home.
The wine: An Argentinian Malbec: Terrazas de los Andes. Not too pricey and "way under-rated" according to my beau. I'm not efficient at describing wines...but the wine site that I looked up the name on said this - "Its deep dark violet color prepares you for the wonderful aromatics of this value-packed Malbec. On the nose mingle blackberries, plums, strawberries and more violets, while the palate is soft and refreshing, with a concentrated fruit core along with licorice notes and savory tannins." In short - very good and I highly recommend.
The starters: A beet salad on a bed of arugula with granny smith apples, candied walnuts, and a balsamic dressing. Very simple. Very tasty.
Grilled fig stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciuto. (Liz - this is the one I'd like you to try and recreate. Wow was this fantastic - unfortunately, only on the specials menu and not a full time menu item)
The entres: Andy had a mustard crusted rack of lamb with apricot chutney and brussel sprouts. Cooked to perfection - and we finally convinced this previous "well-done" guy to go medium rare, and I don't think he'll ever go back (thank goodness!)
I have been on a seemingly unending scallops kick, so I was delighted with the scallop risotto with yellow squash, zucchini, and red, green and yellow bell peppers. After a recent bad-risotto experience in the UK I was relieved to see this dish come out warm, gooey and delicious!
To top off a great meal our server (Ryan) was attentive, friendly and knowledgable. It's clear why these guys have been around for 12 years. Andy and I both give an enthusiastic thumbs up for anyone looking for a new Italian spot to try in Chicago.