June 09, 2005

Charlie Trotter's

The first time I went to Charlie Trotter's, the restaurant blew me away. I sat at the justifiably-famed kitchen table, and everything exceeded my (admittedly gourmet-virgin) expectations. Some things were literally awe-some, as in they actually filled me with awe. Eating at Charlie Trotter's for the second time was a risky endeavor -- when you know what to expect, there's just so much more to lose.

Tonight, I went back to Trotter's. It was a different experience.

This time, I sat in the first-floor dining room right off the entry. This time, I wasn't nearly as naive as I'd been the first time I ate there; I'd eaten at Everest a few weeks before, and at Spring only two nights ago. Both of those meals had been fantastic, but I clearly remembered that Trotter's had been, if only subtlely, at a higher level. This time I was sharing dinner with someone whom I'd regaled with stories about how great Trotter's was, and I was actually a bit nervous that the place wouldn't live up to my memories of it. "Come on, Trotter's," I thought, "show me I wasn't wrong! Come through for me!"

And it did. The food, the service, the wine, and the non-alcoholic beverages were every bit as good as I had hoped they would be. It wasn't the same amazing experience as I'd had the first time, when everything was new and surprising. This amazing experience was of a different flavor entirely. There's something enormously gratifying about not being disappointed. It's even better when someone who has chosen to trust your stories about how great the place is, and has gone in with high expectations of her own, is not disappointed either.

Charlie Trotter's impressed me the first time around. Tonight, the restaurant earned my trust.

Posted by Carey at June 9, 2005 11:59 PM

Working in Chicago this summer? I went to law school there (Northwestern). Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there (and didn't once law school was done).

Posted by: Len Cleavelin at June 10, 2005 12:51 PM

I'm dying to try "Moto" but have to put it on my "To Do" list... the reviews are FAB!!

Sound like you enjoyed Trotter's (duck liver pate disputes not withstanding. LOL)

Posted by: Karen at June 11, 2005 03:43 PM

Yeah, I'm eating at Tru later this summer, so I'm trying to sidestep the whole foie gras controversy for the moment.

But after I'm done sampling the restaurants, I'm siding with Trotter on the foie gras issue (and trying to stay agnostic on the Rick Tramonto intellence issue). LOL...

Posted by: Carey at June 12, 2005 12:58 PM