Last week (April 26, in fact) was my wife and my seventh anniversary. I still can’t believe she’s put up with me for this long! As has become our tradition, we took a trip to celebrate instead of exchanging gifts. We wanted to go to Napa Valley, but the IRS thought we should pay our tax bill instead. So we took a shorter trip to Brown County, Indiana (post to come soon). We then went up to Indianapolis to visit my niece and her husband, then off to Chicago to see my brother.
My brother, Robert, has been going nuts lately. A few years ago, he started a carpentry company called Mode Carpentry, and is starting to see a lot of success doing something he loves and is really good at doing. But that wasn’t enough for him. He’s now also part owner of a Logan Square gastropub called Longman & Eagle. It’s a neighborhood tavern that is becoming known for its whiskey selection. With eight shelves in the bar, six of them have whiskeys, and they even offer flights of whiskeys.
Longman & Eagle also was lucky enough to get a great chef, Jared Wentworth. Jared was very nice, and, after you see the menu selections we had, obviously a little nuts. But I mean that only in a good way. We (wife, Robert and I) ate for about 3 hours, enjoying every bite.
We started with an amuse bouche with house-smoked salmon and a simple selection of house cured olives. What happened after that is now something of a blur; I wish I’d taken notes, but I’ll do my best to recall the evening’s food.
Then we had pork cheek with a poached quail egg, which was very tender and really a bit decadent, with the egg yolk adding a richness that was really nicely done.
The next plate out was seared scallops with oxtail meat and gnocchi. The gnocchi was incredibly tender, and the flavors were great. I’d never had oxtail meat on its own, but I like it!
Something else new to me, and to Jared, the chef, was beef belly and, I think, sauteed ramps. Yeah, I love pork belly, but I didn’t know what to expected with the beef belly. It reminded me a bit of short ribs, so I think it was a big success.
The veal breast was incredible, with pulled pork ravioli and roasted radishes, along with a bit of hollandaise.
My wife had pork belly with morel mushrooms and pea risotto. The pork belly was good, but I would have loved a bowl of those morels!
Dessert was just stupidly fun… French toast with a poached apple, topped with bacon, yes bacon, ice cream!
I can’t believe I almost left out two other dishes. Meatballs are a simple starter, served with creamy polenta. I was told that this sells like mad, and, after trying them, it’s easy to see why. A new item to the menu, though, which should also sell really well is buffalo frog legs, served with house-made whipped bleu cheese dressing. Yum!
I left one dish out because it was so good I had to leave it for the end. If you go to Longman & Eagle and don’t try this, I will hunt you down myself… Beef bone marrow, with an onion relish, served with great grainy bread. This is like beef butter, and it’s just too good to imagine. Just get to L&E and have some!
Was the meal we had at Longman & Eagle the best ever? In some ways, yes. It was great to spend a few hours with Robert and to see that he’s doing well. I don’t get to see him much, unfortunately, but I like the guy. I also go to finally meet his girlfriend, Susan, even if just for a few minutes. I also go to see examples of his work, from Longman & Eagle to a new taco restaurant in town, and some things at his carpentry shop. In that way, it was one of the best meals I’ve had (coupled with the food). The food was great… I’ve had dishes by chefs that I could say were better, but everything was great, and the menu is really, really fun. The place is a great neighborhood tavern, and I’d go back even if Robert wasn’t part of the place.