Thursday, January 20, 2011


Executive Chef & Owner is Shin Thompson, who is born in Honolulu & raised in U.S. and Japan. Bonsoiree is his "Underground Movement" in Logan Square. On Saturdays, only those subscribed to the mailing list has an invitation to book a table & enjoy their exclusive menu. It only accomodates 26 guests at a time, and is BYOB. Cuisine is Japanese / French.

Winter Menu 2011 8 Courses for $85

1. Rabbit/Gnocchi/Sage/Tomato
Very exciting start to our meal. Very tender rabbit, creamy soft gnocchi, and overall great flavors. I can eat a full plate of this dish.
2. Porcini Mushroom Bisque/Umami/"Bread n' Butter"/Crispy Beets/Asparagus Slaw
The bisque is good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Brad n Butter was definitely interesting.
3. Oil Poached Baby Octopus/Lobster Takoyaki/Kabayaki/Winter Melon/Japanese Pickles
note: Kabayaki 蒲焼 is a dish of seafood (usually unagi (eel)) filleted, boned, dipped in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce before broiling on a grill.
The Bob liked the octopus, but I wasn't a big fan. Neither of us were fans of the takoyaki, but it might be because we really love the traditional takoyaki, and don't like this version (which seems to be very similar, but doesn't match its caliber. I'd be more intrigued if it was a different take on it).

4. Scallop-Crab Motoyaki/Scallion Crisp/Carrot
note: Motoyaki is a style of cooking, involving baked food topped with a mayonnaise-based sauce served in an oyster shell.
The first bite of this was good, then it got overly creamy and heavy. Then again, I've never been a big fan of motoyaki.
5. Barramundi/Buttermilk & Thyme/Blood Orange Polenta/Date and Parsnip Chutney/Chipotle-Shochu drizzle
note: Barramundi is also known as Asian Seabass (Chinese: 尖吻鱸)
Fish was very delicious and silky, really nice, light flavors. We also enjoyed the polenta.
6. Oxtail & Marrow Sauce/Venison Sous Vide/Winter Root Vegetables/Crunchy Soba Spaetzle
note: Venison = deer meat / Sous Vide = French method of using vacuum tight plastic bags to seal food, and place it in a bath water for a long time, aiming to maintain integrity of the ingredient (72 hours is not unusual)
Spaetzle is a type of egg noodle that's of soft texture
Nice flavors - the Bob really liked the oxtail & marrow sauce. Venison was tender, steak-like.. nice contrast from the soft, sauce-deepened oxtail.

7. Cheesecake Bite/Malted Milk/Crystalized Spearmint/Preserved Strawberry
We enjoyed the cheesecake, and thought the crystalized spearmint & preserved strawberry were interesting.
8. Carmelized Brioche/Macademia Butter Macaroon/Rasberry-Red Pepper Jelly/Melted Banana Brulee/Choolate "Chips"
The Bob really, really disliked this dish. Whether eaten separately or altogether, it was just super sweet. And the Red Pepper Jelly was just bizarre (in a not-very-delicious way).

Espresso ending was good ($5)
Overall, good service, clean space, extraordinary presentation, good food. A bit costly, so BYOB is definitely helpful. (P.S. on this occasion, we also got $25 off via Groupon)

Reference: Wikipedia on all "Notes".

2728 W. Armitage

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