It has been a loooong couple of weeks here at Leena Eats, so it was high time for a gals night. Nothing makes me feel better than a night out with my bitches. Rules for being one of my bitches: 1. You must be awesome (no exceptions here) 2. You must like food so much, people sometimes give you weird looks 3. You must own stock in bacon OR have a great love for 80s tv shows. Preferably both. We started off our evening at Provenance Wine & Cheese shop in Lincoln Square. It’s an adorable little place with a great cheese selection and surprisingly diverse wine selection, at least for my humble needs. We found a few great bottles for under $15, including the bottle shown above. It was a 2008 Kungfu Girl Washington State Riesling, originally created to eat with sushi. We started off the night with this bottle, and it was the perfect balance–not too sweet, not too dry, and light as can be. And I’m 90% sure this was only $15 USD. We also grabbed this bottle, which the shop keeper assured us would go well with lighter dishes as well as strong meat dishes like lamb. Since we planned on putting some hurting on that Browntrout menu, this was perfect.
After that, we moseyed on down to a new restaurant in North Center called Browntrout, a local, sustainable, seasonal restaurant that has only been open for a month or so. They don’t have their liquor license yet, so it is currently BYOB, which rocks. To go with our Kungfu Girl Riesling, we started a bit lighter with mussels and stuffed Amish chicken thigh. The mussels were awesome–even better than The Hopleaf. It had HUGE chunks of bacon in it, which made the broth the mussels steamed in even more delicious to scoop up with a piece of bread. The mussels were also quite large.
The Amish chicken thighs–although not dressed up plain clothing and riding horses–were also really delicious. I believe it was stuffed old school style with some chicken forcemeat and pistachio, and the chicken had the crispiest skin I have seen in a long time–almost like chicken bacon. And that is a concept I can get behind. Doesn’t everyone deserve to eat some type of bacon? What about the Jews?!
Our main courses were a bit heavier, but ranged from fish to lamb. We started with sturgeon that I believe came with mushrooms (wasn’t on the menu, was a special). I fricken heart sturgeon so much, I could it eat it every week. This dish was no exception. If you hate fish, try some sturgeon. And thank me later.
I prefer to be thanked with salted caramels. Or cash. We also tried the burger, made with Tallgrass grass-fed beef, topped with cheddar and the best damn bacon I have seriously ever tasted. If anyone from Browntrout is reading this, GIVE UP YOUR BACON SOURCE! This was the same bacon from the mussels, only more thin and crisp, perfect with the juicy burger.
It also came with a housemade ketchup and aioli, and these thin, crispy waffle-cut chips that were insanely good. I thought I had given my heart to Southport Grocery and Cafe’s burger, but this bitch was wrong. Browntrout makes my meat heart happy. So happy, I went back the next night and had the burger for dinner again. Then my meat heart told me if I ate anymore red meat, I’d have a meat heart attack, so I chilled a bit.
Finally, we got the lamb sirloin. I told the waitress to have the chef cook it however it tasted best, and it came back a bit more rare than I usually like, but it still tasted juicy and delicious, not tough at all to chew like some rare meat can get.
In the end, for four people to share two small plates and three large plates, the total came to $89 USD, whick rocked. My only complaint about Browntrout is that it won’t remain a BYOB forever, which is a shame considering it’s proximity to great shops like Provenance and Fine Wine Brokers. The service was attentive and the food was delicious, and they’ve only been open a month. I look forward to many more meals at Browntrout. ~LTG! ***************************** Provenance 2312 W. Leland Ave. Chicago, IL 60625 773-784-2314 Browntrout 4111 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60613 773-472-4111 http://www.browntroutchicago.com/