The Zodiac Room

November 03 2006 - 9:51 PM

After a late morning of shopping for wedding dresses my friend and I decided to girl it up for lunch at The Zodiac Room on the 4th floor of Neiman Marcus.  Walking into the dining room the atmosphere was very calm and comforting, the perfect place to sit and chat. Models twirled around the room as we dinned, displaying the new fall lines.  It definitely felt like something out of a movie.

The moment we sat down we were served The Zodiac tradition of hot chicken consomme and soft, warm popovers with strawberry butter.  Everything started out so perfectly that I was excited to hit the menu and see what else was in store.  Everything sounded delicious, with a nice variety of salads, sandwiches and heartier entrees to choose from.  I was torn between their signature NM chicken salad, served with a cold Mandarin orange souffle, or the duck confit strudel salad.  I decided to go with the duck since it seemed more unusual. 

The salad was presented beautifully with two duck confit stuffed strudels placed on top of a green salad with goat cheese, endives and a pomegranate dressing.  I took a bite of the salad and was pleased.  Then, I took a bite of the strudel and was not impressed.  The duck was tough, chewy and overly salted.  My friend ordered a turkey and Bree sandwich so there wasn’t much for us to compare.  Pushing my salad aside I happily left room for desert. 

We ordered a banana bread pudding with ice cream and Carmel sauce.  I took one bite of the banana bread and it was like a mouth full of salt.  The waiter said they have been serving it all week and no one has said anything.  He took it back to the kitchen and sure enough the chef agreed that it was too salty.  We then ordered a poached pear in Chartreuse with a corn bread crust served warm with ice cream and fresh whipped cream.  I took one bite of whipped cream and again, a mouth full of salt.  The corn bread crust tasted like salt as well.  The waiter took the second failed desert away and asked us if we’d like to try a third but it seamed pointless.  I was surprised that he didn’t insist or offer something on the house.  If I’ve learned anything from those reality TV cooking shows it’s that you don’t send the food out without tasting it first, which obviously wasn’t happening that day at The Zodiac.

Neiman Marcus – 737 N. Michigan Ave. 4th Floor

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