Ceres' Table--Restaurant Week: Part II

February 26, 2012

For the finale to this year's Chicago Restaurant Week, the BF and I trekked north to Ceres' Table, a modern American restaurant in the Uptown neighborhood. We were excited to try this place, especially because they offered the $33 three-course pre-fixe dinner option, but allowed a choice of anything off of their regular menu!

The restaurant is minimalistic in design but had a very loud and enegertic feel. We were seated in the middle of the dining room which afforded me the opportunity to check out what everyone else was ordering. I managed to snap some photos of our courses with my iPhone camera, so apologies for the lack of quality. Let's get to the food already!

There were about 10 or so options for appetizers and then another 10 choices for entrees, so it was a difficult decision for sure! For his appetizer, the BF went with a gnocchi dish prepared in an ultra creamy gorgonzola sauce (alfredo-like) and topped with a generous portion of chopped truffles. One bite of this was enough for me; it was extremely rich and delicious!

Gnocchi with gorgonzola and truffles
I had read several reviews of Ceres' Table and the majority of them said to try the risotto balls. Without a second thought, I ordered them and they were probably my favorite part of the meal (each course was amazing though!). Three large fried risotto balls sat atop a light tomato sauce and were filled with braised goat meat and taleggio cheese. The cheese was perfectly melted when you cut into the ball and the braised meat was to die for. So much flavor packed into those delicious bites!

Fried risotto balls with braised goat, saffron and taleggio cheese
For the main course I chose something I would not normally order, as well as something I had never tried before. The wagyu beef cheek was braised and served on top of a disc of eggplant parmiggiana. The italian influence was a delicious pairing with the beef's tender and hearty flavors. The eggplant was garlic-y and at first, I thought I was eating garlic bread! Definitely a good choice! I didn't even need a knife to cut into the meat.

Braised wagyu beef cheek with eggplant parmiggiana, riccota, tomato sauce, basil
The BF also went with a meat dish, the lamb blade chop. This bone-in entree also was served with a heaping portion of (spicy!) horseradish mashed potatoes and garlic-y green beans. I tried a bite and it was delish! Well, not as delish as my entree!

Grilled bone-in lamb blade chop with horseradish mashed potatoes, glazed green beans, hazelnuts & mint
Last, but not least, we had our choice of several homemade desserts. Chocolate is my weakness so I had my eye on the chocolate crème brûlée. Normally, I would probably never order crème brûlée, but the addition of chocolate made it sound quite interesting. The BF also chose this chocolate decadence for his dessert.

After the first bite, I was hooked. The rich custard was very light and airy in texture, similar to a chocolate mousse, and the caramelized sugar layer on top added a nice crunch. As if the dessert didn't have enough chocolate, it was topped with a homemade chocolate chip biscotti that was hand-dipped in chocolate. The chocolate was high quality but the biscotti wasn't as good as the chocolate chip mandel bread I made a little while ago.

Overall, our meal was delicious from start to finish. We had the opportunity to try a wide assortment of items off of the menu and I think it really says something about the restaurant's food when every single item is delicious. Chicago Restaurant Week may be over but fortunately, Ceres' Table will be offering their three-course $33 option until March 3, 2012. If you're looking for a casual and flavorful dining experience, head to Ceres' Table.
You're bound to try something amazing!
Chocolate crème brûlée with homemade chocolate-dipped biscotti

Ceres' Table gets 4.5 stars for their innovative menu with an Italian influence, delicious food and their fantastic Restaurant Week option!

Ceres' Table
4882 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640

Ceres' Table on Urbanspoon

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