07/08/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I went here for one of my best friend's birthdays last year. My perspective might be slightly warped as I'd gone with a big group of professional cooks and had just spent the last few days before gorging on some of the best restaurants in New York City. But I must say I was totally and completely impressed with my whole L2O experience.
First of all, the decor is striking in its minimalist beauty. There was a simple palate of dark wood, grey, white and metallics. While we waited for the rest of our party to arrive, we enjoyed the lounge sipping on the wonderfully crafted cocktails. It was a little chilly for some of the girls, and the server brought out pashminas to keep them warm! What a nice touch. Once our party was complete, we moved into the dining room. They took our drinks on a tray and I wondered how they'd know who got which ones since some of us had dupes. As I'd predicted, they mixed up one set, but no big deal. It was just entertaining to see if they'd be able to keep them straight.
All of us being foodies, we'd already scoped out the menu online and we'd had a general idea of what we wanted to eat. And with the help of the sommelier, I decided on a wonderful Torrontes from Argentina. When it came to the food, we opted for the four-course prix fixe menu; and with a couple vegetarians in the party, we'd have a diverse selection of the menu on our table. I chose the Escolar, Salted Cod, Halibut and the Praline Souffle. Everything was beautifully plated, well cooked and borderline foodgasmic. I also remember enjoying the raw tuna and peekytoe crab; the warm octopus, diver scallops, and lobster bisque; the shabu-shabu, pork belly and smoked ribeye were also amazing. Oh, and I can't forget about how amazing the bread service was. Pretty much all of it was perfect. And the cheese plate, tea service and petits fours were also pretty fantastic.
I don't think I've had a better dining experience from top to bottom anywhere else in Chicago. Our service was pretty much top notch, the food was excellent, and it's always great to eat with a bunch of foodies. We spent half the night just taking pictures of the food. lol We all left remarkably full (I was pretty stuffed, actually) and very happy. And because we are all cooks, we got the opportunity to tour their amazingly beautiful kitchen. That was really a treat for food geeks like us. The server also had no problem splitting up our check, which was a nice touch. If I can scrounge up another $200 for dinner, I'd most certainly like to come back. Laurent Gras has created a gem in the crowded Chicago culinary landscape. This really is about as good as it gets.