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Dinner at L2O – Part Three

2009/08/02

Here’s the third and final post about my dinner at L2O. A palate cleanser, dessert, and post-dessert plates will be followed up by some snaps of the kitchen. Part one on amuse and raw courses can be found here. Part two about the warm and main courses is here.

Meyer lemon and marshmallow sorbetto

Meyer lemon and marshmallow sorbetto

A pre-dessert palate cleanser of Meyer lemon and marshmallow sorbetto was delicious. Because Meyer lemons are slightly less acidic than regular lemons, it was refreshing and tangy without overwhelming the palate.

Action shot - Mascarpone, yuzu, raspberry, white chocolate

Action shot - Mascarpone, yuzu, raspberry, white chocolate

Mascarpone, yuzu, raspberry, white chocolate

Mascarpone, yuzu, raspberry, white chocolate

A very well quenelled mascarpone mousse had a “broth” of yuzu and raspberry poured table-side. While the presentation was beautiful, the acidity and sweetness of this dish was unharmonious to be point of being almost unbearable. What was odd (and interesting) was revisiting the yuzu broth after tasting my Chocolate Surprise. The unctuousness of the chocolate and caramel and peanut butter tempered the perception of sweetness resulting in a much more palatable dessert.

Chocolate ...

Chocolate ...

... Surprise!

... Surprise!

It looked like the monolith from Kubrick’s “2001 … A Space Odyssey,” when it was set down, but a very forceful crack into the thick, dark chocolate shell revealed layers of dark chocolate mousse, peanuts, caramel, and peanut butter. If you like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, multiply their tastiness by about a thousand and you’re getting close to how good this dessert was. It was not overly sweet, even with the caramel and all the chocolate.

Caramel, chocolate

Caramel, chocolate

I didn’t find this dish significantly different from the Chocolate Surprise. It was good, but it was a little “samey” for me.

Chocolate olive oil truffle

Chocolate olive oil truffle

Chocolate ganache

Chocolate ganache

Passionfruit marshmallow

Passionfruit marshmallow

A tasty treat for the occasion. Happy birthday to me! The truffle was followed up by a house-made passionfruit marshmallow and a slab of chocolate ganache.

Friends arranged for a tour of the kitchen post-dinner. I swear the kitchens are larger than the dining room! Prep, fish, pastry, and of course the main line. Connecting the receiving/prep kitchen and the main line is a hallway that has several wine fridges that contain some of their stock. The remainder of the cellar is downstairs. Unfortunately we just missed Chef Laurent by a few minutes as he had to take care of some ordering for the next day.

The line at L2O, post service

The line, post service

The line is well layed out to minimize the movement required by the cooks. Everything at their fingertips and plenty of work space.

Souffles in the oven at L2O

Souffles in the oven

The souffles look pretty darn good but I don’t regret my dessert choice!

The final stop was was the receiving/prep kitchen and what is the most ridiculously amazing spice closet I’ve seen. Anyone that has a labeling/organizing OCD issue would have been in heaven. Check it out:

Spice closet - left side

Spice closet - left side

Spice closet - right side

Spice closet - right side

What a meal! Even though there were a couple dishes I wasn’t blown away by, it was a very, very successful dinner. If you’re in Chicago (or planning to go), it would definitely be up at the top of the list of places to eat. A very special thanks to my good friends for celebrating my birthday with me. It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without them!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    2009/08/02 5:38 PM

    Yay! It was almost as fun to read this as it was to have this dinner with you! One question: where is the SLANTY Ramp?

  2. futronic permalink*
    2009/08/02 6:30 PM

    Shhh … if there’s one rule about SLANTY RAMP, it’s that you don’t talk about SLANTY RAMP. Same rule applies to “The Dance.”

    Besides, it’s way more fun to experience SLANTY RAMP in person. Somehow writing about it wouldn’t quite have the same effect.

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