Moto, Chicago – September 21, 2012

http://www.motorestaurant.com/

So since I’m up this late (and basically doing nothing), I decided that it would be a good idea to post a culinary experience from the past. My family has visited some great restaurants that surely deserve to be blogged about! Right now, I’m still thinking about Moto - when I visited Chicago in September . This restaurant was one of the most impressive I’ve been to so far (if not the most). The vibe is very chill, but also maintains intimacy, class, and formality. The service is the most outstanding! They are always prepared to take your plates away, all at precisely the same time. Instead of having one server bring multiple plates, there is an individual for everyone – so that everything is perfectly timed. There is no long – or even medium - wait for the next dish either. Everything is quick, and the staff are very knowledgeable and inviting. It’s was a truly exeptional experience that I’d be thrilled to re-visit.

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Something special about this restaurant is that there is no à la carte. It’s mandatory that you try their delicious,  15-course tasting menu.

Your meal literally starts with an edible menu. You get a little idea of what’s to come within the next few hours. It’s really cool!

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The next course was named BLANC de blanc

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This was very tasty. As you can tell by it’s name, the dish was very white and divine looking. It was subtle but still complex tasting, and the mahi mahi (fish) added a nice pop of flavor among the more bland vegetables. Some of the things it included: a heart of palm purée – which looked like a scallop, coconut rice, and some sort of white flower. By the first bite, you could tell that Moto was going to be one of the best dinners you’ve ever had.

NIGHTSHADES

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The next dish got it’s name because each of these jelly looking cubes are actually molecular versions of nightshade vegetables (tomato, squash, pepper, etc.) They were each bursting with their respective flavors. Yum!

RIVER

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This was fascinating! If you guessed that this next item is fish, you are correct. It’s like a replica of a river, complete with “seaweed”, river rocks, and caviar! The fish was fresh, and it even came with a cracker and a lemon macaroon. I will never forget this scrumptious creation.

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STICKS & stones

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So this was a play on literal sticks and stones. I think the carrots were freeze dried to give a hard, toffee but crunchy like texture. Complete with pear purée, I didn’t exactly enjoy it because the vegetables got stuck in my teeth. Overall, the taste was good. Very creative. I even like how they used a real stone as the plate.

CRAB cone

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Another unique creation! This cone was actually made using uni, and the king crab was inside the cone. How creative is that? The uni taste was very strong, and went superb with the crab. There is even corn and bacon that really accents the flavor, along with a delicious fluffy cream. The cone really did taste like uni, and was the opposite of dense. So good. I’ll always remember this.

FALLEN log

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So this was duck on literally – again – a log. It tasted just the way duck should – it was cooked well. It also incorporated more “natural” ingredients like berries and nuts.

FRENCH press

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So this looks like a coffee filter, right? Well it really isn’t. It is in fact, interlaced mushrooms and duck in ground pumpernickel. This was my least favourite dish; I didn’t like it much at all. I mean, the mushrooms and duck were good and tasty but the pumpernickel didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the super grainy texture, and I didn’t fancy the taste either.

BACON4

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This dish incorporates the intruiging method of aromatics. In the first picture, you see a wooden platform with rosemary and garlic. This is lit up, and the aromas should create a good base to bring out the tastes of the dish to come (second picture). This second dish incorporates 4 different parts of a pig – hence the name of bacon squared. Delicious!

TOSTADA

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What you see next is an avocado, but is it really? No! It’s rather, a molecular version! I later realized that when you mash everything together, it creates a guacamole. The outer shell turned out to be chocolate. Tostada is defined as a Mexican deep-fried tortilla topped with a seasoned mixture of beans, ground meat, and vegetables. This was a really cool interpretation of that. The “tortilla” was used as a chip, the beef was wagyu, and the little assortment on the bottom left (second picture) were strips of lime, and “dip n dot” sour cream. Amazing! I loved this dish a lot.

GREEK lamb

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Next, we got to try 5 different parts of lamb. They were all very tasty. And how can you not appreciate that thoughtful presentation!?

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Now here comes the imaginative dessert!

COFFEE service

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Coffee anyone? Not exactly. The “coffee” turned out to be a mixture of creamy gelatine. The texture was cool and sweet but not-too-sweet. The “sugar cubes” are marshmallows, and the “cream” is some sort of foam.

PARADISE

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A citrusy coconut flavor is what comes within this exotic coconut shell. Very light but tasty. The flower looking thing on top had such an interesting sticky (but not) texture. Sour but also sweet like passionfruit – hard to describe!

PUMPKIN  patch

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Second-to last dessert, it looks like a mini pumpkin patch! Of course, it was yummy. It even came with an edible mini dessert menu. Cool!

BAKING 101

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Soo to finish off the amazing meal, just one more mind-blowing addition: a little baking lesson. Each ingredient is a sugary molecular replica that tastes great. There is even a handmade card depicting the necessary steps to successfully create your very own delicious cookie dough!

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And look at this spectacular molecular egg (made from variations of vanilla, and liquid nitrogen):

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And voilà! My finished product:

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It was truly so tasty, and definitely the first time I’ve ever seen something so interactive like this.

Plus, they even gave us a mini menu to take home, so that you’ll never forget this unbelievable meal.

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So now you can tell what a great restaurant Moto is. Their molecular gastronomy creations are incredible, and I’m so delighted to be able to have this experience. It’s obvious that they put a lot of effort and thought into all their dishes. How could you not appreciate any of it? It’s all mouthwatering, and looking back makes me C R A V E for more. Besides the fact that they already have one Michelin Star, I give this restaurant a well deserved rating of 10/10.

(are you looking for even more? Check out these cool Youtube videos! Have fun)

See more at:
Moto on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Moto, Chicago – September 21, 2012

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