Charlie Trotter's: Innovative Cuisine in the Windy City
While most top chefs boast degrees from the traditional powerhouses of the culinary world, Charlie Trotter is an exception. The chef of the Chicago restaurant that bears his name never had a former education in the world of food---but that hasn't stopped him from turning his eatery into a Luxist nominee in the best domestic fine dining category.
Charlie Trotter became a foodie in college after learning a few cooking tips from his roommate. Fascinated by the culinary arts, he took a year off from earning his degree in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus to read every book he could, including a ton of tomes on cooking. After graduation, he went into the catering business, eventually deciding that he wanted to run his own restaurant.
Gallery: Charlie Trotter's
Trotter opened his eponymous eatery in 1987, with his late father, Bob, as a partner. In the intervening years, Charlie Trotter's has blossomed into one of the finest restaurants in the country, developing relationships with Midwestern farmers in order to ensure the freshest ingredients are available at every meal. The menu changes nearly every day, but recent highlights include yellowfin tuna sashimi with English cucumber and Rashiri kombu, as well as Meiwa kumquats with frozen meringue and cured black olives.
Prix fixe options range from the $135 Vegetable Menu to the $225 Kitchen Table Menu, where no walls separate the guests from the cooks. For those who'd prefer to enjoy Trotter's delights from the comfort of their own home, Trotter's To Go offers all manner of gourmet take-home foods. Reservations for the restaurant can be made by calling (773) 248-6228.
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