4 Taste Chicago Reviews
Sep 03, 2006
I think I have found my favorite restaurant in the world!
Hard to imagine that with my varying tastes, discerning taste buds, and high expectations, I would find a favorite in the meat packing district of Chicago.
Though there is a second location, this particular one was worth a visit just for the dark and gothic décor. Candlelight, brick walls, gauzy curtains of purple and brown, waxen mannequins embracing in the dark, the Czech waitress with long black hair and attire, industrial gothic furnishings…
The three of us felt as though we had walked into a private club of sorts, as we were the only patrons, on a Saturday night. The foreboding sign on the façade of the building, 4 Taste, smelled of a blood thirsty coven of vampires, using this establishment as a ruse for luring innocents. Okay, overactive imagination aside, it was a clever way of advertising what we were to discover on the menu within.
Everything on the menu is an appetizer. All items are $9.95, hot or cold selections, but exceedingly well prepared, cooked, and presented. I am a fan of the four and five star eating establishments that serve smaller portions, but are cooked to perfection and always have unique combinations and flavors. This is that place, but one is not paying $30-70 for a piece of grilled meat with gorgeous garnishes and superior sous selections. This is the place of my fantasies, where everything looks so wonderfully delicious, and I can sample at least four of the dishes without succumbing to overstuffed malaise. That night we feasted like tycoons and oil barons; lingered there for hours sipping Shiraz and Johannisberg Riesling.
So, without further ado, in order to do this brilliantly crafted restaurant the justice it merits, here is the list of choices we greedily devoured, as well as the list from the second location, the second night.
Assorted Cheese Platter (at least five varieties of cheese, including gorgonzola and brie, grapes, thin apple slices, and crostini.
Roasted New Zealand Baby Lamb Chops with sautéed grapes and redwine reduction
Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean Chipotle Cream and Cumin Oil
Grilled free range Australian beef tenderloin with caramelized onions and Dijon cream
grilled calamari, canolini beans, tomato basil and balsamic reduction
Mississippi Quail, Yukon gold potato hash, fried quail egg, and black pepper molasses sauce
Grilled ribeye with green peppercorn cream over garlic mash potatoes
escargot with garlic parsley and butter
Grilled ostrich with hollandaise sauce, sautéed green beans and a petit salad
apple stuffed ravioli with smoked chicken, sun dried tomato, walnuts, and cream
Oh, to think back on the experience now, I can taste it all.
All choices, except the ravioli, were phenomenal. Each dish so unique in its flavors, a great opportunity for trying things I had never had. My two absolute favorite selections were the tenderloin and ostrich, though all the meats were flavorful, juicy, and grilled to perfection. The ribeye was overcooked, but the peppercorn cream really made up for it. The escargot were better than any I have ever had, the garlic and parsley completely absorbing the usual gritty, earthy taste.
I had never had calamari in the fashion this was prepared. Thin strips, nearly looking like miniature bear claws, charbroiled, paired with the balsamic reduction gave the taste of this fairly bland sea creature an exciting twist.
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Nov 06, 2006
Please see hannajax's review for wonderfully complete details on this one-of-a-kind jewel. However, I just wanted to add my personal observations. Jacqueline isn't exaggerating when she says 4Taste is one of the world's best establishments!
The place claims on its website to be Chicago's first and original appetizer lounge, but it is SO much more!
Without a doubt, 4Taste has the most eclectic and appealing menu I have ever seen! Remarkably, the food is even better than I imagined or hoped for. I was privileged to partake of:
1) Grilled free range Australian beef tenderloin with caramelized onions & Dijon cream.
2) Roasted New Zealand baby lamb chops with sautéed grapes and red wine reduction.
The food is a bargain! I have never seen comparable quality fare (taste, aroma and plating) for less than $50 per person. For $20, I enjoyed two scrumptious masterpieces and took home memories that will last... until I return to this enchanting eatery on my next trip to Chicago!
Ambience, aroma and appetizers...aah! 4Taste is 4Me :-D
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