Ringing in 2012!

2 Jan

Yesterday I was a tad bit hungover, so I saved my NYE recap post for today.  New Year’s day is for recovery, after all!

On Saturday night, Nick and I went to the New Year’s celebration at Sprout, whose chef is Dale Levitsky…yet another Top Chef alum.  (I’d like to say a big thank you to Bravo for introducing me to so many amazing Chicago chefs!!).  Anyway.  We actually made reservations for Sprout before even knowing that they were doing a special prix fixe event for NYE, so we were excited to find out that we would be enjoying a 10-course 1-seating special dinner!

Of course, we checked out the menu ahead of time online, so our mouths were watering by the time we got in the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lucked out, and were seated in the “front patio” area of the restaurant, which is actually fully enclosed and heated.  I love the atmosphere in this room, and was psyched with our table placement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as we were seated, we were handed a champagne cocktail to kick off the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cocktail included champagne, a sugar cube, a few drops of absinthe, some herbs and lemon zest.  Nick’s eyes lit up when he heard that there was absinthe in this drink!  He loves him some absinthe 😉  I was pretty excited too, as I’ve lately been into reading about 1920’s Paris.  Between the absinthe and the classic French music that was playing overhead, I felt like I could’ve been dining with Ernest Hemingway himself.

We managed to get a horrible picture of the two of us before starting dinner.  Luckily, Sprout placed disposable cameras on the tables and we had several pictures taken with these.  Hopefully a good one will pop up on their Facebook page soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we finished our champagne, which went straight to my head, the food started coming out!  We opted to do the wine pairing as well, and had a pretty full glass of wine paired with each course.  Everything was really delicious, and the wines were fantastic.

One of the coolest parts of the evening was that, since it was a single-seating event, the chef and somellier both said a few words about each course right before we dug in.  I loved this personal touch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time we reached dessert, I’d had several glasses of wine and was working my way through my second glass of champagne.  I was feeling pretty good and made what I thought was a pretty darn accurate comparison between our dessert and a Jersey Mall staple…jelly rings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(source)

Honestly, the chocolate mouse paired with the raspberry jellies really did remind me of jelly rings.  This dessert was far better, though, and I ate every.single.bite.

This was such a fun experience for New Years Eve, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for unique, lower-key plans!

Happy 2012!

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