Spring Has Sprung

11 Jul

Last night my husband and I were able to sneak away from the baby (who was in good hands with grandparents) and have a date. These dates where it’s just the two of us are few and far between, so when we have the opportunity, I make sure we go somewhere perfect. Last night was no exception at Spring.

Spring is a pioneer. Among Chicago’s extensive roster of chef-driven restaurants, Spring is certainly one of the few that has led the bunch. Their attention to detail, in both service and product, is a standard by which all restaurants should aspire (many probably do but don’t come close).

As a wanna-be New Englander (since my husband is and my mom grew up out east, I kind of latch on to their roots), I am obsessed with delicious seafood and shellfish. Finding decent seafood in Chicago isn’t always easy, but when you come across it, or at least when I do, I pounce. Such was the case when I saw the Kusshi oysters, which we ordered to start. They were outstanding. Not a bit of grit, deliciously sweet and paired with wassabi and sea salt.

The next course was tuna tartare for me and my husband has the short rib dumplings. The tuna was very good, however the texture within the combination left something to be desired. Perhaps if there was a radish or something to add a crunch it would have been better. But good just the same. When my husband took a bite of the short rib dumpling he exclaimed: “THAT’s how you do barbecue!” The meat inside the dumpling was excellent and well flavored. A good combination of land and sea.

We also had the crispy pork belly and the lemongrass coconut soup. These were compliments of the chef and were a delightful course to our meal. The pork belly was flaky and succulent. The soup had a shrimp dumpling in it and somehow the shrimp wasn’t over cooked and had perfect texture.

For the main course, I had the seared Maine scallops and my husband had the Australian Barramundi. Like I said, when given the opportunity for delicious seafood, I’m not going to pass it up. The scallops were served over ox tail with steamed bok choi. The trifecta of all three elements together was amazing. The melt of the scallop, the string and tender beef and the crisp green was a perfect marriage of flavors. My husband’s dish came with a lobster gnocchi which was a well thought out starch to compliment the fish.

Then it was time for dessert, and though I struggled, I managed to find room for a few bites. Or the whole thing. I had the lime pana cotta and my husband had the white chocolate dome (which he may have ordered simply to say out loud). Both were sweet but light enough to not overshadow the previous courses or leave us in a complete state of comatose.

This was a treat of a meal and I highly recommend visiting Spring if you are seeking stellar food and wonderful service. Thank you to Mary, our server. It was a delight!

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