Moto (Updated Listing): Playful Presentations, Serious Food

Homaro Cantu still hasn’t lost his sense of childlike wonder when it comes to the kitchen.

Prawn melon course at Moto   Photo: Amy Stallard

Culinary techie Homaro Cantu continues to tinker with—and overturn—the staid conventions of fine dining with a rare combination of cooking skill and childlike experimentation. Expect him to fill his seasonal 14-course tasting menus with shape-shifting oddities such as shriveled freeze-dried grapes in a rich and milky gazpacho, braised bison with chilies pulverized into pixie-like dust to mimic an arid Southwestern landscape, and olive oil foams set next to emulsified olive jellies and braised octopus for a tongue-in-cheek take on a traditional seafood platter. Cantu creates playful presentations at will, but don’t underestimate his skill in showcasing traditional flavors in new forms that makes his food odysseys worthwhile. Request a secluded high-backed banquette to maximize the element of surprise, and indulge in wine pairings to take the experience to another level.  

Dishes We Liked: (All are part of a prix fixe menu.) Corn Suspension: bites of quail suspended over corn chowder; Spice Trade: goat presentations served with smoked eggplant purée; Picnic: cheese creations on red-checked napkins; Tree Trunk: maple syrup over sweetbreads, bacon, pancakes, and egg yolks; Baking 101: DIY peach pie with grapefruit juice.

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6 months ago
Posted by cbegel

Food For Thought: Sixteen Restaurant at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

What a culinary experience! The current menu was designed by a brilliantly creative up-and-coming artist names Laurea Lapp. Based on the specifications set forth by Chef Lents, the menu offers two options, a blue line (20 courses) and a red line (10 courses). Each course is manageably portioned and artfully plated. The well-educated team of servers and managers narrate the history of Chicago with eloquence. Themes such as the Chicago Fire, the World's Fair, and other historically inspired themes thrill diners and their guests. Although a prix fixe menu is available, choosing this option would certainly diminish the dining experience and disappoint your guests. Highlights include the fermented onion, langoustine, and osetra caviar course, the beef and oyster tartare topped with a quail egg that is uniquely served upon a block of ice, and a cheese course option that is designed distinctively for each respective diner's tastes and accompanied by a printed card to assist in navigation of the cheese plate. Chef Lents and his culinary team expertly execute an exceedingly ambitious menu. Truly, an experience that is inspired by "a taste of the good life!"

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