Monday, May 5, 2008

Sola

Somehow I missed the memo that the forecast went from being 50 to being 75 for today so I am a tad overdressed. dammit.

Well, I wasn't planning on writing about this but since Dad sort of called me out on it I figgered what the heck? At least now I have a topic for today. I'm too brain-dead to come up with one on my own this morning anyway. (Late band practice last night)

Mrs. H had been recommending Sola to me for months now but I kept dragging my feet on it. I think partly because I was getting it mixed up with another, similarly named restaurant that is located nearby and partly because the LTHForum reaction was mixed with a side of "meh". But I'm really glad I went because it was a truly enjoyable meal and a fantastic deal for the price point.

The room is very warm, yet clean and modern and....soft somehow. I adored the chairs and would love to have them in my own house someday (If I were to re-do my dining room in a modern way), they were very simple but surprisingly comfortable. Dad, Husband and I concurred that it is not really a "date" spot (not romantic enough) but a wonderful place to come with an established partner or with friends or business associates for great, relaxed food.

The price point here is $25-$35 per entree, and in Chicago at least there is a wide variety of what you will get at that level. For me, when I am spending what is likely to turn out around $60-$70 per person with drinks- I want the whole thing to be amazing. Anything less makes you feel like you just wasted your money. (Such as a birthday dinner I once had)

Absolutely everything we had at Sola was delicious. Not a bummer in the bunch amongst the three of us (dessert was lackluster but it hardly counts). The bread basket included some really delicious herby-peppery cracker bread, along with a more traditional baguette/french slice (sour?) and some pretzel rolls (I make better ones). We shared 3 apps:

-artichoke fritters, which was basically a marinated artichoke dipped in the lightest of cornmeal batters and fried perfectly, served with two delicious sauces, one of which had truffle oil that you could really taste! (As Dad pointed out, many times you can order something that says it has truffle in it and not be able to taste it)

-a scrumptious seaweed salad, which tasted like a more complex, grown-up version of the kind you can get at the sushi place.

- quail, served two ways with many accoutrement. I just remember the part I had was salty-delicious and it had caramelized tiny onions.

We didn't share mains, but we each cleaned our plates. I had the special: perfectly cooked black cod (crispy, salty skin) served over a lobster risotto. Everything was delicious and well-balanced. None of us felt overstuffed at the end of the meal. we even decided to split a plate of cookies at the end.

So I definitely pass on the recommendation to you. Go and check Sola out soon!

4 comments:

Dad said...

And for the Lakeview Coffee in spirit, I would point out that the wine list was also very reasonable and most selections were under $40. We had a 2001 Rioja Reserva from Spain for $39.

alexis said...

I need to start writing about the resto's I go to again. I read about these and get so jealous! :)

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

Sounds like a nice place. I was walking on Southport yesterday and saw a place that I thought was called Sola that looked like a bar and it seemed odd to me that you would go there for dinner! And I guess you didn't.

I like the date vs. non-date evaluation. That's information I can use!!!

Erin said...

OMG artichoke fritters! Sounds like an amazing meal; nice that your Dad comes to visit so often!