tastes like heaven

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Valentine's Day!

Last night I celebrated by being treated to what easily turned out to be the greatest meal of my life. It was so delicious, that is has to described before the flavors slip away.

Let's start by taking a look at the menu...
Course #1 
This was a great start to the meal. It was very light and refreshing and filled with really strong flavors. I especially enjoyed the sunflower sprouts. They tasted exactly like sunflower seeds. That was the start of my new love affair with micro-greens.

Course #2
Remember when I said that the chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon were the greatest thing I ever put in my mouth? Well I lied. This dish takes the cake. Apparently this is one of Bonsoiree's signature dishes and I can certainly see why. It's the little guy pictured at the bottom of the menu. The dish was so unbelievably warm and savory. I couldn't get enough of it. My only disappointment was that they didn't serve about 10 of them.

Course #3
This course was (appropriately enough) my third favorite dish of the night. It was amazing how much flavor can be produced by different varieties of one ingredient. They were a little slippery to grab with the metal chopsticks, but this course fit in perfectly with the others.

Course #4
I've always been sort of hit or miss with duck, but this preparation was certainly a win. The duck confit was sitting in the bowl of soup and complimented the flavors very well. The ratatouille was also prepared really well and the popcorn added a nice crunch and spice to the dish.

Course #5
Abalone was a new experience for me and man could you taste that smoke! It tasted like it had been smoked for 12 days as opposed to 12 hours, and I mean that in a good way. I was a little surprised by the texture. It almost reminded me of the texture of a mushroom. The menu says it was prepared with fresh cherries, but we received fresh plums with the dish. I don't know how the cherries would have tasted, but the plums were great, especially with the finger lime.

Course #6
Talk about yum! I'm a total carnivore and the wagyu beef totally got the job done. I had wagyu beef for the first time a few weeks back in Aspen and loved it then, but it was a little salty for my taste. Last night was perfect. I can't quite figure out why the peruvian potatoes were so good, but that was hands down my favorite part of the meal, after the motoyaki. A forkful of wagyu beef, potatoes and the honey pesto was total perfection. The honey stood out as a very welcomed addition to the course. As much as I love savory, it's nice to have just the right amount of sweet thrown in as well. The parsnip cake helped out with that too.

Course #7
Cheese has always been one of my favorite foods and the selection last night was very interesting. I wish I could remember the names, but they went way over my head. What can I say...the wine was starting to kick in! They included a peppercorn cheese, a creamy cows milk cheese, one comparable to parm and finally one made from goats milk. They were served with a currant jam that tasted just like raisins.

Course #8
Finally, came dessert. The chocolate truffle and green tea milkshake were delish, but I probably could have done without the cookie. It's not that I disliked it, I'm just not a huge dessert girl and ending with a cookie just didn't seem right. It did taste a little bit better dipped in the milkshake though :)

My Contribution
Bonsoiree is a BYOB restaurant, so I was in charge of selecting the wines. I was quite proud of my selections!

We started with Cakebread chardonnay, a recommendation from my sister. It was such a nice wine. I don't drink much white wine, but this was a perfect balance of being not too sweet and not too dry. It tasted fresh and went well with our first few courses. This bottle cost about $40.

For our second bottle, I selected Yangarra shiraz from Australia. I had this wine over the summer at Graham Elliot and remembered really loving it back then, so I wanted to try it again. I was impressed once again! The flavors were very strong and buttery and just really hit the spot after drinking the chardonnay. The Yangarra was very reasonably priced at under $20.
So are you drooling yet? The meal was incredibly amazing and the service was great as well. I am by no means a picky eater, but can't believe I made it through 8 courses without stumbling upon one thing that I did not love. I know two people that claim Bonsoiree as their favorite restaurant in Chicago and I think I might have to add myself to that list. What a great way to celebrate the holiday!

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