tending to inspire awe 
usually because of elevated quality 
or transcendent excellence

Our favorite beginning…
Spiegelau Champagne Saucer

Spiegelau, my new favorite stemware. 
Elegant. Brilliant. Gorgeous.

Attention to detail. 
Butter dish. It glows?

Bread & Butter
All made in-house.

Smoked Salmon, Earl Grey, Ginger Noodle

Shimaaji, Red Miso, Radish, Soy Salt
Shimaaji is one of the chef’s favorite fish. It is a young yellowtail with a high fat content and a mild sweet flavor.

In addition to falling in love with the stemware, we were also smitten with the dinnerware. German artisan Stefanie Hering founded Hering Berlin “The Language of Porcelain” in 1992. She works with the purest form of porcelain called bisque. Hering Berlin is porcelain of extreme volume, some of the pieces have a stacked look (see photo above), some with rims of great width and at the same time very thin. Laurent Gras chose Hering Berlin pattern “Puls” for the gorgeous way it frames the food. 

The Raw fish courses are genius, but if that is not your cup of tea, not to worry, you can begin with this lovely salad. The menu is divided into three groups, Raw, Warm, and Main. There is also a tasting menu. 

So, the occasion was my birthday, and my brother and sister-in-law treated me to this over-the-top dinner at  Laurent Gras’ fabulous L2O restaurant located in the Belden Stratford Hotel in Chicago. The room was stunning, the service impeccable, and the food was everything you’ve heard, and more. I read an article in Food & Wine a while ago, they joked that the French-born chef’s name translates to “Fat Larry” and that he was an avid cyclist who says, “Cooking is also and endurance sport…” 

Chablis Premier Cru Monts Mains 2002 from the domaine of Francois Raveneau epitomizes Chablis’ steely magnificence. One of the few producers to neither fine nor filter the wines, this wine is an elegant reflection of the terrior. We were fortunate to enjoy this extraordinarily complex, sophisticated wine with our first courses. A special thanks to sommelier Chantelle Pabros.

Escolar Jamon, Espelette

Pappardelle, Morel, Asparagus, Parmesan

Diver Scallop, Sauvignon Blanc, Passionfruit-Vanilla

Pork Belly, Truffle, Potato

Smoked Ribeye, Black “Mole,” Olive, Bok Choy

Was I dreaming?

14 thoughts on “L2O”

  1. Hi Lori,

    I love the posts you do when you go to a restaurant, it’s like I am there (I wish I was). You have no idea how much of a champagne and sparkling wine freak I am. Loved the Speigelau. Happy Birthday!


  2. My God…this is an absolute dream restaurant…menu…experience. Thanks for temporarily transporting me to fabulous!

  3. What a fabulous meal! Next time we’re in Chicago we will be going to Alinea but i’m putting L20 on the list for our future visits!

  4. oh, my! That looks phenomenal! For your sake, I hope it wasn’t a dream… and you have the pictures to prove it.

  5. Fine dining of higher degree! The Souffle’ and the surroundings…like being invited by the Pope for dinner. Wonderfull !

  6. What an amazing looking meal. Hoping to pay a visit soon.
    And what is up with that souffle? Never seen such a perfect rise like that anywhere.

  7. Beautiful photos. I well remember the elegant Beldon Stratford from my years living in Chicago-I lived a coule of blocks North of it.

  8. Wow – very classy. I guess my egg and turkey bacon dinner doesn’t compare.

    Happy belated birthday! Your brother seems like a good guy.

  9. Belated Happy Birthday! What a truly wonderful meal you had. The pork belly, truffle, and potato sounds heavenly.

  10. Happy belated birthday, Lori Lynn!
    I am glad that the food and surroundings were fit for this Birthday Queen.

    Wonderful that Spiegelau has made inroads in the USA. You do know that they are now part of the Riedel group? (I spent my childhood not too far from the original Riedel glass manufacturing plant in Schneegattern, Austria.)

  11. Your presentation is always so elegant! You’re as talented as a photographer as you are a chef!

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