Oriole, Chicago, 11/16/18

entrance
entrance

Oriole is located on an alley that the Uber driver didn’t want to go down because he was sure that a 2 star Michelin restaurant wouldn’t be ‘down that little alley’.  However it was and worth walking those extra 20 feet to the subtly lit door.  Once inside there is a small waiting area where we were served a warmed spiced drink.  They actually sent us home with the herbs and recipe to recreate at home if desired.  After we had chatted with the hostess and checked out coats she opened what looked like an old elevator door and we were led into the nice dining room.  There were only about ten 2-top and two 4-top tables, so I wouldn’t call it large, but the tables were well spread out and good sized.  The lighting was lowered and the exposed brick walls were lined with bench seating equipped with pillows.  From the wood ceiling with exposed ductwork,  a number of  light fixtures hung that came in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some glass bricked windows, jazzy music in the background, an open kitchen, lots of candles, some  interesting art work and wood columns completed the decorative elements.  There was a definite hum in the room but no noise problem.  They have been here for 3 years and offer one tasting menu that is full of wonderful flavors for all guests.  Wine pairings are offered (2 levels as well as non-alcoholic) but we chose to order our own wines.  Pacing was great and portion control perfect.

sign on wall
sign on wall
welcome drink
welcome drink
door to restaurant
door to restaurant
drink
drink
kitchen
kitchen
interior
interior
interior
interior

The meal started with a nice warm cloth to clean your hands.

moist cloth for you
moist cloth for you
table set up
table set up
Frankie and the table flowers
Frankie and the table flowers
wines
wines

 

Golden Osetra Caviar was on top of cured kampachi tartar, dill sauce and saffron.  There was something that added a crispy texture below the caviar which was adorned with artfully positioned tiny flowers and saffron threads.  Everything in the dish blended wonderfully and it left a terrific aftertaste.  A great start.

Golden Osetra Caviar, cured hampachi, dill and saffron
Golden Osetra Caviar, cured kampachi, dill and saffron
closer
closer

 

Madai (fish) was topped with aged wasabi and truffle honey and served alongside Maine Sea Urchin with yuzu kosho, masago arare and smoked soy.  The fish was a “one bite” option and it was amazing, really excellent.  The sea urchin was topped with soy that had been aged 10 years.  Something in it added a little crunch to the excellent urchin.  The overall taste here was yummy.  The Maine urchin reminded me more of the Japanese ones, which I prefer, than the California ones.

Madai aged with fresh wasabi and truffle honey / Main Sea Urchin, yuzu kosho, magago arare and smoked soy
Madai aged with fresh wasabi and truffle honey / Main Sea Urchin, yuzu kosho, masago arare and smoked soy
closer
closer
closer
closer
guy and Frankie
Friendly staff member Erin and Frankie

 

The next course also combined 2 courses, Beausoleil Oyster with mangalica consommé, finger lime and borage and Jamón Mangalica with black walnut, egg yolk and quince.  The oyster was surrounded by the ham broth and topped with a few greens and dot of hot sauce.  The effect was wonderful with just the right spice to bring out the best in the oyster.   It was well paired with the ham that was wrapped around a Marcona almond cracker.  The cracker was totally buttery and crisp and highlighted with quince jam, which all went very well with the ham.  The combination of sweet and salty was spot on and I continued to enjoy its taste long after it was gone.  I loved the textures and flavors here.

Beausoleil Oyster, mangalica consommé, finger lime and borage / Jamón Mangalica, black walnut, egg yolk and quince
Beausoleil Oyster, mangalica consommé, finger lime and borage / Jamón Mangalica, black walnut, egg yolk and quince
closer
closer
closer
closer

 

Maine Lobster was in the form of shumai with red kuri squash and ginger.  The lovely little dumpling was in a broth where the red kuri squash had been roasted and then dehydrated for seasoning.  The beautifully poached lobster within was tender and delicious and was wonderful with the good broth.

Maine Lobster shumai with red kuri squash and ginger
Maine Lobster shumai with red kuri squash and ginger
closer
closer

 

Carabineros Prawn was served with Makrut lime, prawn head caramel and Vietnamese herbs.  The grilled prawn was from Spain and topped with lime bits that popped and herbs.  The shells and heads were turned into a caramel that was a terrific accompaniment.  Everything was perfectly prepared and worked into a great combination of flavors.  This dish was packed with taste.

Carabineros Prawn, makrut lime, prawn bead caramel and vietnamese herbs
Carabineros Prawn, Makrut lime, prawn head caramel and Vietnamese herbs
closer
closer
turned
turned
girl and Frankie
Great staff member Eden and Frankie

 

Hudson Valley Foie Gras was paired with Hudson Canyon scallop, huckleberry and smoked black pepper.  The foie gras was seared perfectly and some  macerated sweet huckleberries were in a tart crisp onion ring between it and the perfectly cooked scallop.  The berries blended well with both and all mixed together it became a flavor explosion in your mouth.  This was another great one.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Hudson canyon scallop, buckleberry and smoked black pepper
Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Hudson canyon scallop, buckleberry and smoked black pepper
closer
closer
other side
other side

 

Capellini was served with Alba truffle, puffed wheat and yeast beurre monté.  Some seasonings of caraway and tangerine lace added to the delicious pasta.  The citrus really accented the truffle and produced another fine combination.

Capellini, alba truffle, puffed wheat and yeast beurre monté
Capellini, alba truffle, puffed wheat and yeast beurre monté
closer
closer
Frankie called this a plant
Frankie called this a plant

 

Japanese A5 Wagyu was served with grilled Little Gem, shiso and genmai.  A reduction of beef juices was served alongside and a little on the salty side but if you moderated your consumption it was fine.  The Wagyu was terrific and the lettuce was a fun garnish to add crunch and another complimentary taste.  It was wonderful – both the beef and lettuce. A nice cool wet cloth came after the savories.

Japamese A5 Wagyu. grilled little gem, shiso and genmai
Japanese A5 Wagyu. grilled little gem, shiso and genmai
closer
closer
closer
closer
Frankie checked to see if any was for her
Frankie checked to see if any was for her
cloth to wipe after the meal
cloth to wipe after the meal

 

A palate cleanser was called “Sidecar” and contained cognac, orange and preserved cherry.  It was a lemon sorbet with cognac, coconut and orange foam under the cherries.  It was nice and refreshing.

Sidecar, cognac, orange and preserved cherry
Sidecar, cognac, orange and preserved cherry
turned
turned
Frankie found the fluffy hand towels
Frankie found the fluffy hand towels

 

Délice de Bourgogne was the sauce added to a soufflé with sesame and lemon.  The soufflé had lots of seeds but still came off with a smooth texture.  It was served in a cute little pan and quite tasty.

soufflé opening
soufflé opening
Délice de Bourgogne soufflé with sesame and lemon
Délice de Bourgogne soufflé with sesame and lemon
Frankie studied it
Frankie studied it
from the side
from the side
inside
inside

 

The mignardises were a variety of tasty things, apple fritter, dark chocolate bon bon, carrot petit four, sweet potato cheesecake and lemon-white chocolate bon bon.  The carrot petit four included some cinnamon, other spices and buttercream frosting.  It was very tasty.  The sweet potato cheesecake included some pretzel and toasted marshmallow.  It was a yummy one.  The apple fritter contained stewed apples with chili and maple powdered sugar.  They were nicely seasoned with a good crispy outside and a soft chewy inside.  The two bon bons were both good.  A wonderful end to a lovely meal.

Sweet potato cheesecake
Sweet potato cheesecake
inside
inside
Mignardises
Mignardises
carrot petit four
carrot petit four
apple fritter
apple fritter
inside
inside
lemon-white chocolate bon bon
lemon-white chocolate bon bon
dark chocolate bon bon
dark chocolate bon bon
turned
turned
insides
insides
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen tour
kitchen tour
interior
interior
IMG_1159
menu
last girl and Frankie
Kitchen tour guide Eryka and Frankie

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