It’s been a long winter semester in Ann Arbor, marked, alas, by a handful of mediocre restaurant outings. And so, a political science conference seemed only too good a reason to end what had become a five-month drought of meals in Michelin-starred restaurants.
While I don’t normally gravitate toward seafood-centric restaurants–in large part due to underwhelming experiences at Le Bernardin in New York and at Providence in Los Angeles–I went ahead and inaugurated my Chicago travels at L2O, and I couldn’t have been happier with the decision.
Friendliness flowed from every member of the service team, from the kind hostess, who sat me at a Brobdingnagian four-top, to my captain, who sought my approval after every one of the dozen-plus courses. And that then gets us to Chef Kirkley’s tasting menu; it’s a contest of indulgences that monotonically builds in intensity, culminating in a foie gras-impregnated quail that was an overmastering pleasure to eat. It’s clear why the restaurant was recently awarded four stars from the Tribune, and I hope it’s also clear why I intend to return on my next jaunt to Chicago.
Highlights: seafood dumpling, crispy striped bass, foie-stuffed lobster, foie-stuffed quail