Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Seems like I'm not the only one waiting to write about a February meal at Vie. Eat Chicago covers all the main points about Vie: the tinker-tinker-tinker they do in the kitchen ("hey let's make some sausage guys"); the effort to source local instead of talking about sourcing local, and the kind of cooking you cannot do at home (even if you tinkered and sourced). There is no more restaurant (or restaurateur) that I like around here than Vie (and Chef Virant).

But do I love it? I kinda do. I will go endlessly back to see what's around, what they are doing. I want pickled grapes and house made tasso. Vie appeals to all my sensibilities. It does not always appeal to my senses. On our February visit we had the same scallop and black rice dish mentioned by Eat Chicago. Like EC, my wife and I found the dish cooked well but tasting eh. For ages (I love reading the Vie menu) I was salivating over a brisket and bean dish. When I finally tried it, last winter, it was another eh, especially compared with brisket I had recently had in Central Texas (score one for cheap eats). I still remember one of the first things I had at Vie, a salsa made with fresh oregano and other herbs. How do we say...oh yea, eh. Maybe it's refinement when I'm looking for a bit more oomph. Why I prefer the Rolling Stones to the Beatles.

I will say this. There are things that are always (seem) delicious at Vie. Seek anything fried. They are mastering of the fry. Although I did not favor the brisket, I tend to like things coming off the wood-burning grill. And fish, I hate the fact that the restaurant I love most for its local-ness does best, things that are not local. So, make sense, I love them for being local but love best what's not local. Right?

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