Sprout has Sprung

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In January, Steve and I were SO excited to eat at Chef Dale Levinsky's restaurant Sprout. Dale has always been one of our favorite Top Chef competitors, from his fun and playful dishes to his fun and playful personality on the show. Needless to say, we loved our dinner.

Since my parents were up this past weekend to celebrate an early Christmas with us, it was a perfect excuse to go back to Sprout! Sadly, I forgot my camera so you'll have to make do with mouth watering descriptions and a few sub-par iPhone pictures. There was plenty of food p*rn on the plate, just no camera to capture it in its glory!

I started with the Egg first course: pork belly, truffle, frisee, potato. DIVINE. A perfectly poached each on a bed of greens, fries hidden underneath and tender, delicious pork belly on the side. A perfect start.

For my second course, I did the Lamb: white bean, anchovy, sausage. I was toying between this dish and the venison. As soon as my server said the lamb was prepared with duck fat, the decision was made.

The lamb (pictured below) was perfectly prepared, and all of the components worked well together. I realized after the fact that I'm almost positive this was the dish that Dale made for his season's finale, which Tom told him he needed to put on the menu at his (future) restaurant. I concur, Tom. This lamb was nothing short of amazing!

Of course, we all know that Dale (sadly) was eliminated from Top Chef All-Stars this last week. I've never yelled at the TV quite so much as I did when Dale was told to go pack his knives. The only "good" thing to come out of that elimination was Dale's veal dish (pictured below).

While the veal got Dale sent home because it was too sweet, the refined version that is now on the menu is hands down amazing. Steve ordered it and I (begrudgingly) ordered something else because I didn't want us to both try the same thing. And while, as I said above, my lamb was amazing, I just wanted to give this plate of veal a big hug. It's not listed on the menu online right now so I don't know all of the components, but I do know there's popcorn, kettle corn and peanuts on the plate, as well as a whole lot of deliciousness.

And finally, dessert. I'd seen that Dale had been working with vegetables a lot in his desserts, so I was eager to try the Corn: brioche, truffle, macadamia.

The corn bread pudding was wonderful, and the popcorn, corn, and gelato (ice cream?) were perfectly playful and delicious. It's nice to order a dessert that is interesting, tasty and fun without being a heavy and overloaded with sweetness.

I was so excited, as well, to finally get to meet Dale! Last time I chickened out, but this time I was lucky enough to get to meet Dale, shake his hand, and dorkily tell him I am a huge fan. And, of course, I didn't have a camera with me to capture the moment, doh!

It was great to see the changes in Sprout since our first visit: they've renovated/added on space and everything from the staff to the menu seemed just a little bit more playful, fun and reflective of Dale's style. The entire experience was even more amazing this time around.

Thanks to Dale and the Sprout team for a fabulous dinner!


Married In Chicago said...

Thanks for the review! A friend and I are planning a foodie date for January and Sprout is on our list of possible destinations.

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

Wow, those look delicious!! I'm out of the country, so I haven't yet seen the latest TC episodes. I'm bummed Dale got sent home though.

BigAppleNosh said...

That first course sounds AMAZING!!

Katie said...

I am so jealous - this sounds like a fantastic dinner indeed! And I agree; I was sad when Dale was eliminated too :(

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