He’s fun. He was beat by Hung (but barely). And now? He’s cooking a three course meal every Thursday @ Relax Lounge in Chicago. Holla! Every Thursday, Top Chef Season 3 final Dale Levitski takes over the back of Relax Lounge to cook a three course meal in a makeshift kitchen (two seatings, @ 7pm & 8:30pm). Seating and reservations are limited (read more about it here), but I managed to get in a few weeks ago with a small group of friends. The first thing I noticed were the drinks–there was an amazing bartender at Relax that night, and my table mates could not stop raving about his creations (one had jalapeno in it, and another had strawberry and passion fruit). The next thing I noticed was the awesome price–$30 for a three course meal made by one of my favorite contestants on Top Chef. Couldn’t be a better deal unless you threw the awesome Stephanie Izard in the mix! The first course was a Lyonnaise salad with bacon and poached egg. Any time the words bacon and bacon are involved, I am game.
Dale shook this salad up by piling crispy french fries underneath the bacon and egg goodness. This was a pleasant surprise, and helped soak up some of the egg yolk on the plate. I had only two complaints: 1)the salad, while tasty, was a bit heavy for an opener, but the bacon saved it, because I will eat anything with bacon, and 2)the plate was really a plank, a wooden board that did catch my messiness, but rather, let it drip off for all the world to see.
The next course was steak “frites”. The “frites” were fried onion strings, another weakness of mine.
This was a good dish, certainly tasty. I loved the onion strings and would take them over fries any day of the week. However, much like the first dish, this one felt a bit heavy. I believe we ate there in the beginning of June, which in Chicago was still a bit chilly, around a high of 60 daily. So it is possible that this menu was in response to the chilly summer, but still…I felt like a plain steak and frites would not be as heavy as this dish. The last dish was a spice apple carrot surprise.
Now, it was pretty dark in the bar, so I am not sure, but I think those were either apples or peaches on top. The entire dish tasted like a fruit and cream topped with streusel sort of thing, with the pound cake at the bottom. Same complaints as before–delicious, but really heavy. It didn’t stop me from eating the entire thing, as with every other course. In the end, I think it is a great deal for the meal that was presented. It didn’t tastes as seasonal as I would have liked it, but that could have been because Chicago doesn’t have normal seasons. I look forward to seeing what else Dale can do! And hey, why not have Stephanie join you one night, Dale? PLEASE??! ~LTG! ************************* Dinners with Dale Thursday, 7 & 8:30 seatings 1450 W. Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 666-6006 ************************* Other people who have written about Dinner with Dale from “The Internets” ElizaBites The Chicagoist