A coupon for one free entree for the price of another is too good to resist, and it’s for our local favorite wine bar, so of course we had to use it. Cru is a River North wine bar not really known for their food. The atmosphere is cozy, like a living room, but it seems they went a little overboard on the Tuscan look. Most of the people inside were not eating, so we felt like we were taking a bit of a chance. Fortunately we weren’t disappointed…
We split a "beet salad", which was more like a salad of greens,
mango-ginger stilton cheese (excellent grouping), walnuts, red wine
vinagrette, and, oh yeah..beets. The salad was very good, not heavy,
but could possibly use just a wee bit more vinagrette.
For the entrees I had crusted lamb chops cooked perfectly
medium-rare in a delicious sauce. A tad salty, overall, very well
cooked. It was served with potatoes and asparagus, and the asparagus
was tender and sauteed perfectly. Their butternut squash ravioli was
out of this world…outstanding, very very good, and it was served with
goat cheese and a sort of brown sugar sauce. The ravioli was paired
with an excellent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and the lamb with a
below-average Chateauneuf-du-Pape that tasted as if the bottle was
either kept too warm or had been open a few days.
For dessert we had a French cheese plate with blue d’auvergne (a
salty firm French blue that was very good), a savory brie that was had
a also very good (important for me–a lot of bries are bland), and a
third earthy moderately aged cheese called fleur du maquis.
We had the dessert flight accompanying it–I had the port and she
had the dessert flight. For Ports I had three wines–the first of
which was a forgettable Warre’s Warrior, followed by a truly excellent
Quinto du Noval 10-year Tawny port, and a 20-year aged port that was
also good, but the Quinto took the cake.
The dessert flight was comprised of a Gruener Veltliner eiswine that
was very good, a Helyos French wine that was just okay, and the overall
winner, the Malvira. We’ve had Malvira once before and it is now a
favorite discovery. It is lightly fizzy and not too heavy, sweet but
not overwhelming. Delicious, just right. The service was excellent
as well – very knowledgeable and offered good pairing recommendations,
attentive but not pushy.
Being a wine bar, Cru will do well moving forward, though they also seem to hold a lot of promise in the food category.
888 N. Wabash