Friday, May 30, 2008

Dinner at Custom House and Deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's, Chicago

After droping me off for my first day of Pierre Hermé class at the French Pastry School, my husband went back to the hotel for more sleeping. I guessed he was still tired after driving for about 14 hours 2 days ago. On the way, he decided to pick up a sandwich from Fox & Obel for his lunch, unfortunately he said that it was a disappointment. The store itself, however, was pretty good.

Fox & Obel: Gunthorp's ham and white cheddar (unwrapped)
Fox & Obel's Gunthorp's ham and white cheddar

Custom House: Exterior (another view)For dinner he went to Custom House, I remembered he made a reservation through Opentable after reading positive reviews about it. Here's what he had to say about his dinner.
The first thing you'd notice about the interior is how clean and open it was. It was located in the Blake hotel building, so you might occasionally see hotel guests dining in.
The waiter told him that they had just lifted the ban on foie gras, so they were offering the foie gras brulee on the menu again. Of course he ordered this, and he said it was amazingly good. Rich foie gras covered by a thin layer of torched sugar, and sprinkled with macademia nuts shavings. The combination of taste & texture was just perfect on the mini brioche toasts. This was his favorite.

Custom House: Foie gras brulee (another view)
Foie gras brulee

For the main entree he chose the bone in short rib with an extra side of potato gratin. The short rib came braised in a crock pot, with two horseradish cream puffs. The waiter recommended this, but my husband didn't find it special, skip unless you like braised ribs.
The side of potato gratin though, was really good. Thin slices of potatoes with rich butter and cream.

Custom House: Bone in short rib (close up) Custom House: Gratin
Bone in short rib and Gratin

For dessert, there were several nice choices from the menu, but they also offered a tasting dessert, which he went for. There were 4 components to this dish, with mixed results. The vanilla bavarian and beignet was really good, a little like panna cotta. The smores looked really nice, but tasted a little bitter. Lemon pound cake with candied ginger and vanilla ice cream was just average. The rhubarb jam shortbread cookies were surprisingly good. Overall a pretty good finish.

Custom House: Sweet tasting
Sweet tasting, clockwise from top left: Vanilla bavarian, beignet; Smores, toasted marshmallows, dark chocolate; Rhubarb jam shortbread cookies; Lemon pound cake, candied ginger, vanilla ice cream

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: ExteriorI read that Lou Malnati's and Gino's East have the best deep dish pizza in Chicago, since Lou Malnati's was located on the way to the French Pastry School I asked my husband to stop by there to buy a deep dish pizza before picking me up that night. The pizza was good, but personally both my husband and I still like the thin crust pizza more. Sorry Chicago, New York wins this one.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria: Deep dish cheese pizza - individual
Deep dish cheese pizza, individual size

What a nice way to end the night...


Fox & Obel
401 E. Illinois
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 410-7301

Custom House
500 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 523-0200

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
439 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 828-9800

1 comment:

Cakespy said...

Fox and Obel is like, the awesomest store ever! Sorry the sandwich wasn't as awesome. I can't wait to visit when I am in chicago next month!!!

Also, the desserts sound awesome-nice to be surprised by a simple dessert like the cookies! :-)