After celebrating my mom’s birthday last week at home with a lamb roast, we decided that one night was simply not enough celebrating.
We’re a merry bunch.
My mother’s requests for her dinner out were as follows:
-Someplace new to her
Naturally, I charged myself with the task of finding a dining establishment that fit the criteria.
Luckily, there was a Groupon for a restaurant on Southport called Deleece a few days before our planned dinner which simplified the decision-making process a bit. (I’m a sucker for a deal, even if I’m leaving the majority of the bill paying to someone else **cough, thank you, Dad, cough**)
My sister and I were the first to arrive because I made her take the el with me. Warning: street parking on Southport is difficult on weekend evenings. They have valet if you need to drive, but the restaurant is accessible by the brown line as well as a few bus lines.
We all ordered a drink (Ketel One dirty martini for me – I was seriously due for one) and then struggled to pick our meals.
The menu is not too big, but everything on it sounded phenomenal.
The good news is that when you have 5 family members (my mom’s sister was in town from LA to help us celebrate) at dinner, odds are that there will be a lot of sharing going on.
My dad started with an arugula salad and my aunt chose the calamari appetizer. Honestly, and I’m not just saying this, it was some of the best calamari I’ve ever had. It is soaked overnight in buttermilk to tenderize it and the spicy dipping sauce on the side was fantastic.
I went with the onion tart (caramelized onions, goat cheese and pistachios) and my sister had the lobster bisque.
And my mom chose the crab salad tower. If you are a fan of real chunks of crab, you will LOVE this salad. Delicious.
I stopped taking pictures.
I blame the martini. Or the fact that I was too busy stuffing my face.
Here’s a rundown of our entrees:
– Dad went with the scallops. They were highly recommended and did not disappoint.
– Aunt Marilyn chose the duck breast and she said it was very good.
– My sister had the lamb shank special, which was served over horseradish mashed potatoes. You could definitely feel the kick from the horseradish in those potatoes (I stole a few bites) and the lamb was falling off the bone- yum.
– Mom had the salmon with black rice. The fish was prepared perfectly and the black rice was delicious.
– I had the steak frites with a wine and mushroom sauce. The meat was incredibly tender and flavorful (and the sauce was a perfect pairing) and the frites … oh, the frites. The were duck fat truffle fries. I don’t think I need to say anything else.
Needless to say, we all pretty much licked our plates clean.
And then ordered dessert. (One must always order dessert regardless of one’s level of fullness at a birthday dinner)
My aunt, sister and I split the chocolate trio. One element of it was a chocolate stout gelato. I’m not much of an ice cream person, but I can actually see myself polishing off a pint of that stuff in under 10 minutes were the opportunity ever to present itself.
This was a memorable meal.
I feel very fortunate to live in a city that is home to so many great restaurants, but recognize that it is easy to become somewhat jaded with respect to the dining scene.
This restaurant does it right. The attention to detail – in the food, presentation and service – was really something special. I will definitely be back.