A quick trip to Chicago made for a stop for the fall menu at Stone Flower. This was more of a typical experience, as I dined with a full complement of other diners at the counter. They offer two tiers of wine pairings. As usual, there is no menu presented beforehand.
The first bite was a brand-new dish for the menu. It was a dehydrated banana log (wrapping on the outside) filled with Santa Barbara uni and ginger, with finger lime at the ends. It was topped off with whipped roasted bone marrow and oyster blossoms. This was a nice opener.
The next dish was skate wing cheek. It was lightly cooked and served with celery juice and curry leaf. Around it was a sauce made with smoked celery root purée, brown butter, smoked cream and a touch of buttermilk. This was garnished with alyssum flowers and snail caviar. The dish was full of delicate flavors and textures, with a small crunch from curry leaf on the sides.
This upcoming dish was paired with a 2015 Grand Cru Chablis, which I was able to taste. I thought it was the best Chablis I’d ever had.
The dish featured lightly poached sturgeon (still firm) served with a beurre montage sauce made with dashi instead of water. It was topped with a potato nest, a little osetra caviar, and dill. The dashi-based sauce provided a nice umami flavor to go with the moist fish, very different if it had just been the standard beurre montage sauce.
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