gaztro-wagon was one of pioneers of food trucks established in chicago - serving delicious fine dining food on the go. but with the burst of food trucks in the chicago area, matt maroni (the founder of gaztro-wagon) has decided to go on hiatus till april.
on the flip side, there is still some good news for those who craves for his creations - the upscale sit down restaurant he opened late last year, morso where he just recently decided to transition to a consulting role at the restaurant. i've always missed my chance at trying gaztro-wagon food which i've heard praises from a few of my co-workers. so when i read that chef matt opened a restaurant, it was quickly added to my wishlist.
the dining area is located on the first floor where as the second floor is the lounge. the dining area was really narrow and i would probably have appreciated a little bit more space. decor was minimalist and although i have no problem with that (in fact, i like minimalist), i thought it could have used a bit more of something.
i was having a difficult moment deciding between two dishes - lobster or wild boar belly while xy had his mind made up even before he set food into the restaurant. lol
they started us out with what i would consider one of the highlights of our meal : complimentary bread basket (more like jar) with honey truffle butter.
slightly sweet from the honey and some flakes of salt flavors the butter beautifully with very mild earthiness of the truffle (i wouldn't mind a stronger truffle presence). the different types of bread offered different textural experiences from crunchy to crumbly which paired very well with the butter. yum!
shellfish :: lobster | gnocchi . leeks. fennel . chilli oil ($24)
i guess you could say i am in the search for delicious gnocchi - and these were pretty good. it was almost like a crunchy leek & fennel salad with cloud-like gnocchi then topped off with perfectly cooked lobster that imparted natural sweetness to the whole dish. then ever so slightly, you get the heat from the chilli oil on the back of the tongue - which was great because it didn't mask the delicate flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.
game :: roasted antelope | anaheim chile . cumin squash puree . red wine ($24)
xy wanted to try this antelope no matter what since he's never had it before. it's rather risky with something like antelope which is very lean piece of meat. even though it was probably cooked to rare it was still quite chewy and tough. was it the fault of execution? honestly, i don't know - probably not though. xy commented that it was too tough for his liking which i concurred. (oh, i thought it was gamey too but not in a bad way)
morso has unexpected and delicious combination of flavors - i personally would not have ever combined chilli oil with delicate lobster. one thing though, i am still confused in which direction of flavors morso is trying to achieve. regardless, if the rest of the dishes were anything like the bread and lobster (the antelope not so much) , i would like to return and try more of their creations.
disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.