Monday, April 4, 2011

longman & eagle

{eat . sleep .whiskey}

that's the first thing i saw when i walked up to longman & eagle on sunday evening for dinner. that and their signature ampersand ("&")


longman & eagle accepts no reservations meant that i had to beat the crowd to get a table. ryan and i ended up getting there at about 6:30 pm thinking it would be perfectly fine but i underestimated how popular this restaurant was. our wait ended up being about 45 minutes to an hour. the first time i heard about this place was from our friend/ex-boss, james months ago who said he loved the food at this place. the media/press certainly agreed and raved about it by naming them as "best new restaurant" by chicago reader, "best new gastropub" by timeout chicago, one of the "best new restaurants in america" awarded by esquire and the latest is the coveted "michelin one star recipient" just to name a few.

clad in wooden panels both on the ceiling and the floor, its decor leaned towards vintage simplicity with all the fixings that gave it a gastrotavern feel. there was a bar on the right as we entered the restaurant where one could order drinks while waiting to be seated. the dimly lit dining area is contrasted by the bright kitchen at the end of the bar. there were more dining room past the kitchen but i didn't check it out.




they have a huge selection of beers and cocktails - actually even more than their food menu selections which by the way is seasonal so their menu changes frequently. our feast included three small plates, an entree and a dessert.


and ryan got a beer since it was too good to pass. he was checking out the menu for a good ten minutes while we were waiting for our table and he ended up with a three floyds: robert the bruce ($) which ryan liked quite a bit. the beer is described as a bold Scottish ale with a complex malty body derived from roasted and crystal malts balanced with just the right combination of hops. this ale pours a deep ruby color, has a sweet malty nose with layered caramel and roasted notes and a full body. robust yet smooth, robert the bruce is a malt lover’s delight.




small plates | duck confit salad . endives . fried shallots . honey champagne vinaigrette . ($12)


this dish was the day's special which was a salad topped with shredded duck confit, sliced red bell peppers, fried shallot rings with a side of slices of green apple and dressed with a subtle-y sweet vinaigrette. while it tasted great, the stems of the greens were really too long and it made eating messy with stems hanging out from the mouth which made me felt like a rabbit munching on some greens. lol. however, the stems had a vinegar-y flavor which was oddly kinda nice and the fried shallot were very crispy that added a great texture to the dish. the confit was delicious too. overall, the salad was tasty.

small plates | chanterelle agnolotti . veal heart . black truffle . huckleberries . brussel sprouts . ($12)


when i read the veal heart on the list of ingredients, i wasn't too sure if i'd want to try it. but boy, oh boy it was the best decision we made that night. it was uber-yummylicious-finger-licking good. hands down best dish of the night. the smooth and tasty veal heart mousse in the agnolotti was paired with the earthiness of the black truffle and chanterelle and slightly sweetened by the huckleberries. the one small complaint, if any, was the huckleberries could have been cooked down a lil more. regardless though, it was soo awesome. nom nom nommmm! totally recommended dish. even the waitress said that this was her favorite dish from longman&eagle.

small plates | seared maine scallops . braised oxtail . black truffle gnocchi . celery root . butternut squash . fontina fonduta . ($12)


yeah, there it goes again - my weakness for scallops. but i have to say that the chef did a fantastic job searing the scallops. now this is what i called seared scallops and it's probably the best sear on scallops that we've ever had so far. while the scallops were perfectly cooked and seasoned, the gnocchi was not that great. i love the truffle flavor (another soft spot of mine) in it but it was a tad starchy and not as fluffy as the ones we've had at spring restaurant. ryan was a lil disappointed by that. the oxtail had a nice subtle sweetness but it was borderline almost dry. the pickled onions were great contrast of the other flavors on the plate.

entree | grilled berkshire pork chop . head on prawns . hush puppies . bacon braised swiss chard . black pepper shrimp sauce ($25)



the entree serving size is pretty huge. a thick slab of pork chop grilled (with nice grill marks) upon braised swiss chard and topped with what i have to say would be the highlight of the dish : the head on prawns. when i had my first bite of the prawn, i was taken aback by the intense flavor. it was grilled to perfection and full of shrimp flavor. i savored every bite of it and somehow it reminded me of good boiled crawfish (which ryan disagreed). ryan thought the pork might have been overdone a hair but i thought it tasted rather good. i suppose it could have been a tad moister. the braised swiss chard reminded me of a braised green in bbq sauce which was delish. the hush puppies were good in my book but ryan thought it was just alright since he's tried more hush puppies than me.

dessert | warm gruyere donuts . "blis" maple syrup . rasped parmesan . roasted hazelnut . whipped citrus goat cheese .


okay, by this time we were stuffed and we even had the pork chops to go. but i couldn't resist looking at the dessert menu. i was just going to look at it and have it at that (i promise!) but...then i saw this dessert and being a curious cat and i wanted to try this cos it sounded so different and interesting. don't think i've ever had cheesy desserts before (except for cheesecakes but that's different) so i was wondering how this was gonna fare. it was so yummy and suprisingly light. it had the savoriness and light cheese meltiness in the donut which had a nice crispy shell of a donut which was complimented by the maple syrup. it's the balance of sweet and savory coming into play.


think the one that surprised us the most was the whipped citrus goat cheese. it had a good lemon-y airiness which we didn't expect - almost reminded me of the cheesecake that i've made. this dessert was a superb light treat that was creative with textures and flavor notes that was more than a pleasant surprise.

on top of it all, we loved the service here. the waitstaff were really friendly and the maitre'd even asked us if we enjoyed our dinner as we left the restaurant.

taken from their website

ryan and i tried a lot of restaurants that weekend and i have to admit our experience at longman & eagle was one of our favorites. longman & eagle promises flavorful and creative dishes at reasonable prices. on top of that, ample selection of beer to boot :)

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others


Longman & Eagle on Urbanspoon

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