Oriole (Chicago, IL)

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Phenomenal.  Astounding.  First-Class.  Your Favorite Curse Word.  Positive Words that have yet to be created.  Graduation.  The Judge throwing out your speeding ticket, because the cop didn’t show to contest your reckless driving.  Those feelings and emotions I just described?  Multiply them by two and you’ll understand how I feel about Oriole.  Usually, I start a review off with some kind of message that correlates basic human interaction to make sure you’re paying attention to what I write, but today, this is serious.

Oriole, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant, located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and led by Executive Chef & Owner Noah Sandoval.  This restaurant earned its coveted stars within in its first year of opening and also was named best new Chicago restaurant by Chicago magazine.  An interior that breeds sophistication, seats 28, and has an open kitchen.  The restaurant can be a bit challenging to find, but when you find it you’ll understand why.  When you walk in, you are welcomed with a specialty drink, and a beautiful demonstration of what can be called an old elevator shaft opening to your table.

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Interior Where You’re Greeted With A Specialty Drink
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Interior
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Owner & Chef Noah Sandoval

The restaurant is pre-fixed only, consisting of about 13 dishes, but you’re able to get an idea of what’s being served by looking on their website a day or two before.  I’ll start the review by highlighting some starter dishes.  Golden Osetra Caviar, Aged Hamachi & Maine Sea Urchin, Beausoleil Oyster and Jamon Mangalica were a few of my beginning dishes for the evening.  The Golden Osetra Caviar was nothing short of spectacular.  It was creamy, delicate, and light in flavor.  The saltiness of the Caviar worked well with the Lemon Beurre Blanc sauce that they spoon table side for you on the side of your dish.  The Aged Hamachi & Maine Sea Urchin were moist and flavorful Nigiri Rolls.  The Sea Urchin had a creaminess to it with a slight ocean flavor to it, and the Hamachi was meaty and buttery.  It was topped with fresh wasabi that added a bit of spiciness to it that correlated well with the smooth texture of the fish.

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Golden Osetra Caviar
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Aged Hamachi & Sea Urchin

The next few dishes consisted of Beausoleil Oyster, Jamon Mangalica, Spiny Lobster, and Carabineros Prawn.  The Oyster consisted of managalica consomme, finger lime and borage.  It had a citrus flavor but combined with the freshness of the oyster liquor.  The Oyster was meaty and unbelievable.  The Jamon Mangalica consisted of black walnut, egg yolk, and quince.  Think of a beautifully baked piece of breadstick topped with flavors of egg yolk and a tropical fruit flavor.  Mix that together with the earthiness of the walnut and you have a dish that makes you consider what kind of food have you been eaten all your life.  The Spiny Lobster and Carabineros Prawn were two of the most creative dishes that I’ve had for the evening.  The Spiny Lobster was presented in a broth and looked to be stuffed inside of a delicate dumpling.  The broth was salty, fragrant, and infused with flavors that’ll blow your mind.  The Prawn consisted of makrut lime, prawn bead caramel, and Vietnamese herbs.  This dish was rich, savory, and a bit zesty.  A beautifully presented plate that has the consistency of flavoring and the overall description of one that could end hate in the world if it were to be tasted.

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Beausoleil Oyster & Jamon Mangalica
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Carabineros Prawn
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Carabineros Prawn

The next few dishes consisted of Halibut, Hudson Valley Foi Gras, and Japanese A5 Wagyu.  The Halibut consisted of Bok Choy, Fermented Rice, and Genmai.  A beautifully meaty piece of Halibut that was slightly poached than topped with the leafy flavor of the bok choy and the Japanese Rice that has a slight taste of a green tea.  This was the only dish that I can’t give a true description to because I honestly don’t remember chewing it.  It was moist, mellow, and one of the best fish dishes I’ve experienced in my life.  The consistency with each bite and texture were off the charts.  The next dish was the Hudson Valley Foie Gras.  It consisted of Budson Canyon Scallop, Buckleberry, and Smoked Black Berry.  The piece of Foie Gras was the best I’ve ever had.  It was creamy, fatty, and had a smokey flavor to it.  The sweetness of the berries worked well with the fattiness of the Foie Gras and the saltiness flavor of the Scallop.  There are so many words that I can use to describe how well this dish was, but until you try it for yourself you’ll truly never know.

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Halibut
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Hudson Valley Foie Gras

The last savory dish of the evening was the Japanese A5 Wagyu.  It was accompanied with Nichols Farm Carrots, Furikake, and seaweed hollandaise.  What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?  Now, imagine that feeling when you’ve eaten a dish.  Multiply that feeling by 10 and it still wouldn’t be half as good as this dish.  As soon as I took one bite, the Wagyu melted on my tongue and I subsequently shed tears, because I didn’t know what I did to deserve to be treated this well.  The dry seasoning of the Furikake and Seaweed Hollandaise to go along with the Farm Carrot balanced the dish perfectly.  A perfect savory and a bit of sweetness to go along with the meaty buttery flavor of the Wagyu.  I’ve had Wagyu before, well atleast I thought I did, until I tried this dish.  Now every piece of Wagyu I’ve ever had I’m looking at with trust issues because the standard was set at Oriole.

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Wagyu

Finally, the two desserts were presented.  Kombucha and Delice De Bourgogne were the two final plates of the evening.  The Kombucha consisted of Lime and Green Papaya.  Think of an avocado ice cream with a fermented, slightly alcoholic, sweetened green tea drink that’s been transformed into an ice cream.  The Delice De Bourgogne is a Souffle. A light milk cheese flavor with a crusty exterior and a soft and creamy inside.  Cheese if often served as a dessert in some countries, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to taste this dish as a dessert.  It was a wonderful way to complete my evening.

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Kombucha
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Delice De Bourgogne

Overall, this restaurant is a stop what you’re doing right now and book reservations as soon as you can.  I never say that I have a favorite restaurant, because “you’re next restaurant is your best restaurant”, but if someone stuck an invisible gun to my torso than I wouldn’t have a problem giving them a seventy five minute spill about why this is the best restaurant I’ve ever been to.  The service was impeccable from beginning to end they are humbly serving you with a smile on their face.  Chef Noah and team has set the standard on what I believe fine dining is and should be.

OVERALL RATING : FIRST CLASS EXPERIENCE

 

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