If you should describe what makes Chicago such an interesting food destination, stylish and original dining rooms come to mind. Mostly the modern food cooked in this city is complimented by inspiring environments, which make the overall dining experience even more special. That Alinea prepares brilliant food is undeniable, but how often do people rave about the mysterious entrance? An amazing interior really can make your dinner special.
At Tru this is no different. The timeless décor sets the tone immediately: a giant room with massive bare walls, the high ceilings making it feel even more spacious. Because of its minimalism it feels somewhat cold but the elegant colors and furniture balance it in a clever way. This looks is a serious place.
The service brigade does not only operate in big numbers, but also makes sure that your every wish is immediately catered for. As in some Parisian restaurants, this is highly professional service. Happily however, the brigade is not that stiff but charming and friendly. In line with the spacious room, comes a huge wine list, with about 1700 different wines with a focus on Europe. Often at Tru there are rare wine auctions, so it isn’t a surprise that wine is dominantly featured here.
With the dining room being on the verge of feeling cold, and the service on being nearly too professional, this clearly is a restaurant that operates at the limits. The same goes for the food, which is cooked by the talented Anthony Martin.
After Alinea, Next and L2o he’s serving the most interesting food in town. It’s clean, precise and strikes the right balance between comfort food and food that’s pushing forward. A delicious dish that reminds of the cooking of David Kinch at Manresa is a dashi flan with edamame, white sturgeon caviar and yuzu kosho. This is a dish that is playful, delicate and manages to balance numerous acidic and briny flavours in a most impressive manner.
A classic that’s for already years on the menu is the somewhat gimmicky looking dish of “caviar” on a layer of avocado combined with hazelnut crackers. The caviar is made of smoked sturgeon and is comfort food at its best with its pure and delicious flavors.
Pork belly is perhaps the best dish to be found on the menu. Certainly not the easiest piece of meat to cook, here he manages to produce some of Chicago’s most interesting food. He cooks it perfectly tender, juicy and so full of flavour, it is the kind of dish that makes every garnish look unnecessary; an absolutely delicious plate of food.
With dishes that play with the guest – at times comforting, at times challenging -Anthony Martin manages to produce some of Chicago’s most interesting food. Still young, he already displays how good he is, which will only let one guess as to how far he can push things. In a few years time, it would not be surprising at all, if he were to receive the highest honours from various food guides.