My husband and I were in Chicago for a few days. While he was at a business dinner, I had a great dinner with a girlfriend. The next night was Valentine's Day and we almost opted for a cozy room service evening. Going to Tru was the best decision that we ended up making 45 minutes before our reservation. To think we could have missed this evening makes us shake our heads. We had the most absolutely perfect and romantic evening. Three and half hours flew by so quickly. Yes, we've been to Paris, London, Italy, New York, New Orleans and our own Bay Area and more. Tru is solidly on the favorite list now.
Upon arrival, we were greeted courteously and had our coats taken before being escorted to a gorgeous dining room. Seats are placed far apart offering room for intimate conversation without hearing fellow diners.
Harrington, our main server and host for the evening, is very knowledgeable about the menu as well as charming and personable. He injected a very comfortable and informative presence to our evening. He made sure we were well taken care of throughout the evening.
We had a perfect beginning with caviar presented in abalone shells on a "coral reef" with all the accouterments and glasses of Rose champagne. Wonderful! Valentine's Day was a prix fixe eight course dinner. We ordered the wine pairing with our dinner which definitely enhanced the cuisine. We would do that again. The description of the wines were delightful. The food was brilliant; all eight courses and more.
The creativity was stellar. Not the insanity we have sometimes encountered with chefs trying to impress. These were genius pairings and combinations that complimented tastes, textures and teased and elevated the palate both in taste and visually. This was demonstrated immediately by our first course on the menu. My husband doesn't care for most seafood and loved the scallop ceviche. He realized that with the level of cuisine at Tru he could place his trust in the Chef to prepare courses that he would love regardless of his preconceived likes and dislikes. This proved true for the balance of our dinner! The foie gras course with lime and vanilla was stunning. Each course kept our expectations high. We were served a picnic, breakfast in bed (sublime soft scrambled eggs and lobster), poached salmon, rib eye and the most incredible piece of sous vide short rib that was a stand out from any other restaurant. Dessert was an apple sorbet that was so intensely flavored and had that cold freshness of winter. Paired with petite madelines, we felt our dinner was ending as successfully as it began. However, that was followed by an assortment of sweet delectable bites to follow. Feeling satiated and content, Harrington poured two different vintages of Madera to cap our evening coffee and tea.
The food is artfully presented, but it is by no means presented in a way that is overdone or distracting. The food is so fantastic that the presentation adds to the enjoyment. Tru understands whimsy, art and how to show case what is superbly prepared food. We eat with our eyes first. What is not to appreciate by being presented such beautiful courses that taste extraordinary? Don't worry about any negative comments. There are always a few. This restaurant would be hard to surpass for a special occasion, a romantic leisurely evening, impeccable service, beautiful ambiance and outstanding food. Everything is designed for creating a relaxing and aesthetic experience. It's the complete evening out.
There was no hint of obnoxious behavior from any of the multitude of staff. Sometimes it is the nature of a restaurant and it's staff. Other times, I often think how we present ourselves is what we often see. Just be yourself and you will find such a genuine attentive staff. Yes, this is a formal restaurant. Men wear jackets and women are dressed up. It will not have the feel of a more casual restaurant. You have sensitive service that is spot on, but not intrusive. It's expensive, but certainly you will expect that going in or pass.
My husband and I travel to Chicago from the Bay Area several times a year and plan to return to Tru Restaurant. Our compliments to the Chef and a big thank you to Harrington and all the wonderful people at Tru for making our evening so spectacular!
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