Friday, October 3, 2008
Chicago 2008: Duchamp
I had the opportunity to sample Michael Taus' new spot, Duchamp, in the old Meritage space in Bucktown/Wicker Park. On this first visit, my dining companions were two newlyweds celebrating their return to fine Chicago cuisine from their honeymoon, so we sampled a range of the items from the menu.
The intimate space is laid out with communal tables, and the decor is warm and modern at the same time. Small candles and dishes of various types of salt line the tables, lending to a subdued but convivial atmosphere.
The wine list was interesting, with a selection of affordable wines from every corner of the globe. We ordered a wine none of us had ever tried before at our server's suggestion, a 2004 Saint Emilion, Chateau des Laurets. The wine was good with earthy undertones, and relatively inexpensive.
We started with a lobster & mushroom pizza, which was a tasty, thin crust and flavorful mushrooms and sauce.
For a main dish, I had the bouillabaisse, which was decent, with a light browth including bok choy and mushroom, and generous portions of sea bass, mussels and rock shrimp.
The newlyweds tried the pork shoulder and the "steak and eggs". The pork was served with a puttanesca sauce, and lacked flavor - tasting a bit like wet tomatoes. The Duchamp version of "Steak & Eggs" was excellent, with grilled skirt steak and a parmesan–smoked bacon quiche & roasted shallot sauce
A fun new spot with solid, savory dishes that are perfect as Chicago's cold weather blows in.....