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Number 84: Tasting Menu at a Three-Star Michelin Restaurant (Pt 2) and Number 17: Black Truffle

5 Apr

If you missed out on part one of my dinner at Alinea,
click here to catch up.  Otherwise, let’s get back into this!  I left off with course #8, which had Amy and me drinking beet juice out of a giant block of ice.  Bizarre.  Tasty, but bizarre. Continue reading


Number 84: Tasting Menu at a Three-Star Michelin Restaurant

4 Apr

Alright, it’s finally time to tell you all about the grand finale of this challenge!  This past Friday, my friend Amy and I celebrated my birthday dinner at Alinea, Chicago’s only three-star Michelin restaurant.  We had to make reservations three months in advance, and I can see why.  The restaurant is world-renowned and was even named the World’s Top Restaurant by Elite Traveler Magazine.  Holy jeez. Continue reading

Number 97: Lobster Thermidor

21 Mar

His name was Randy and he was a 1 1/2-lb. crustacean.  I first met him at Dorfler’s Meat Market when he was handed to me in styrofoam box lid filled with newspaper and seaweed.  On the way home, we discussed our childhoods, our hopes, our dreams.  We even talked about a possible trip to Sea World.  “Sometime next summer,” I assured him.  We became close friends during that 15-minute drive from the butcher shop to my apartment.  Then, after bringing him inside, I stabbed him in the head with a kitchen knife. Continue reading

Number 53: Abalone

18 Jan

There have been many times during this blogging journey that I’ve felt completely lost.  The time that I almost burnt my apartment down by trying to fry plantains, the time that I attempted to shuck raw oysters, the time that I wandered through Chinatown searching for durian…  But today topped them all.  I never even knew what abalone was until I started this challenge, and I certainly didn’t know how to find it, clean it, or prepare it. Continue reading

Number 72: Caviar and Blini

5 Jan

I desperately wanted to do this post on New Year’s Eve because – let’s face it – if you eat caviar at all, you eat it once a year and it’s on New Year’s Eve.  Unfortunately, the buckwheat flour necessary to make the blini proved to be quite elusive.  After trips to three different grocery stores, I finally made the brief but annoying drive to Whole Foods and picked some up there.  When it came to buying caviar, I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars.  Okay, I didn’t even want to spend ten dollars.  I bought this $6 capelin caviar from World Market, not having any idea what capelin even was.
Continue reading

Number 46: Fugu

29 Dec

I could have died last night.  No, seriously, I could have died.  Last night I had fugu, which is highly poisonous Japanese blowfish.  If prepared incorrectly, fugu can cause paralysis and eventual death by asphyxiation in the person who eats it. So why did I decide to play seafood Russian roulette?  For you.  Yes, you.  Ok, and a little for me. Continue reading

Number 8: Carp

12 Dec

I know what you’re thinking right now.  Those hideous, brown, bumpy sticks don’t look like fish.  And you’re right.  They’re quite possibly the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in my life and they look nothing like fish.  But, my friend, I assure you that you are looking at carp.  Well, smoked carp jerky, be precise. Continue reading