Longman & Eagle – Comfort Food on the Hottest Day of the Year

August 02 2010 - 3:51 PM

Nathanatlongman A steamy hot day has never instilled in me a hunger for platefuls of meat and glasses of whiskey. But maybe that will change. It was, as the title suggested, a hot night– in the nineties even though it was raining. I have been so overdue to checkout Longman & Eagle that I agreed to go. I further broke tradition and went to a popular restaurant on a Friday night. This meant suffering through a wait of over an hour at the bar which would have been better if I were up for more drinking. The cocktail menu was very nice and the bourbon and whiskey selection was extensive. The bartender, Nathan, mixed a couple of dark and stormys and also chatted up the new Maker’s 46 and a couple other options (Cabin Still). This made the wait seem shorter.

In a very loud back room we ordered, and received, duck rillettes where the mustard lived up to the meat and Ricotta gnuddi, a word that makes small children giggle, which were more delicate than I expected and though good, didn’t compete with the rillettes.
Next came the English pea agnolotti – truffle butter was cheating as the pea filled raviolis were sweet and creamy-rich on their own.

Seared scallops with a fava succotash in a sweet sea urchin and lobster broth was maybe the best
thing I’ve had in a long time. It had a nice complicated sweetness
between the broth and the scallop. Especially considering the time of
year and the heat I’m not surprised I liked that dish so much.

Which
made it all the more odd to order and relish the pork belly for
dessert. While I was expecting a fluffy pork belly, I got porchetta, more of a leaner roast pork belly served over risotto with a black garlic puree. It was delicious. It was huge. I remember DeNiro in Casino counting blueberries in mufins. 

He would have insisted on cutting it in half before serving it. It was enough to split in half. We couldn’t finish it. While it was not the belly I expected, it did fulfill the vision and inspection of a porchetta from a few months back at the Chelsea Market in NY. This tasted as good as that one looked.

Everything was wonderful. I was surprised, I hate to say it. Maybe my expectations were lower because of the heat or the crowd. Maybe I’m secretly getting sick of the return to artisanal gastro-meaty-goodness, English, The Gage, Publican, Avec, Girl & the Goat, etc. But in reality I always seem to be happiest after those meals. This was exactly the case with Longman. My only regret was not getting the bottle of Forlorn Hope to go with dinner. But not only can I do that next time, the weather’s bound to turn cooler and that’s when I need all the comfort food I can find.

Longman & Eagle
2657 N. Kedzie
773-276-7110

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