Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Gage Restaurant

I treated Ernie to a little celebration at The Gage for passing his Project Management Certification Exam last Saturday. He’s been studying diligently for several months so we took the moment to enjoy his achievements.

I made a reservation using Open Table which proves to be a pretty simple process and I’d recommend it if you prefer online reservations rather than calling in.

The décor of the restaurant is classy and simple with fine white linens, dim lit lights and dark furniture and very slippery floors. The waiters look like they are 50’s style paperboys with slicked comb-over hairdo’s. I suppose that our busboy was the only one who didn’t fit in. He had a mini-semi-mohawk where the hair was gelled up into the center line of his head but the hair wasn’t shaven down on the sides. I don’t know if that description even makes sense but I suppose it’s rather unimportant.

To start, we ordered the Mussels. This was the highlight of our meal! The menu says “vindaloo, toast”. The vindaloo is in reference for the delicious orange sauce that the mussels were served in. It tasted quite like the sauce on a chicken tiki masala but much thinner and seemingly healthier. The toast was this really long piece of bread they draped over the bowl of mussels. If you’re a glutoid, you probably want to ask for this on the side so the bread crumbs don’t fall into the bowl. It was inevitable – we drank the sauce with a spoon because it was simply so delicious.

For the main course, I had the caramelized lobster served on lemon quiona with basil and chili. It was a smaller portion (3 oz of lobster) but quite filling especially after the oysters. The lobster was fresh and tender. The quinoa had a little lemon zest. I’m not sure where thee chili comes into play because I didn’t really see it in the bowl – maybe it was a powder that they mixed into the quinoa. The best spoonfuls had a little caramelized lobster, a bite of quinoa and basil. This combination of flavors was the perfect savory and sweet bite.

For sides, we ordered Roasted Woodland Mushrooms and Crisp Potatoes with Brie. Both sides were served in small cast iron dishes. The mushrooms were extremely fresh and lightly roasted. The Crisp Potatoes were another highlight of our meal. The melted brie on Yukon potatoes was excellent. Be sure to eat them quickly because when the brie cools down, they’re not quite as delicious.

Ernie ordered the Door County Whitefish. It was pan-seared with cinnamon browned butter vinaigrette which gave it a slightly sweet flavor with the delicate whitefish. The fish was served on a bed of some mashed vegitable that we couldn’t place since it tasted lighter than potato, a hint of a butternut squash or maybe even pumpkin or yam. After asking the server we learned it was a pureed rutabaga. The sweetness of the cinnamon browned butter flowed into the pureed rutabaga and was a lovely compliment of flavors.

Even though were completely stuffed, we still went on to order the selection of ice cream. They serve three scoops in one bowl so of course we opted for three flavors. The homemade ice creams were well worth the calories. Today’s selection was strawberry (which looked more like a vanilla with fresh strawberry chunks), peanut butter caramel (whole on spoonfuls of yummy peanut butter) and dark Dutch chocolate that was so decadent and rich.

The Gage turned out to be the perfect place for a special meal.  However, I wouldn't go on any ole weekend since it is actually quite pricey.

The Gage
24 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago IL 60603
Tel: 312.372.4243

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