redo: going for the goal and the like

9 Jan



Let me just put it out there, I did not achieve my goal of blogging about 12 new restaurants in 2012, though I tried valiantly very hard tried. And had a delicious time doing it.

But the great thing about life is that sometimes you get a redo at things you missed before, and since this is my blog and my life, I feel like this is one of those times that is ripe for a redo.

So that said, [insert trumpet fanfare here] [and some clapping] [because clapping is neat] for 2013, I’m going to go for it again, and blog about 12 (+1) (because this is ’13, and I like symmetry) new restaurants, just for you. So now, when you’re wondering, “Where should we go for food?” you can next think, “TO THE MCPOLISH!” and rush to your computer or your smartphone see what I have to say. (Wait, are you saying you don’t do this already?) I promise to be honest, and of course, these opinions are just my own, no one has paid me to say anything one way or the other about these places. Whether you go and check them out yourself, and find yourself in agreement or disagreement with me is entirely up to you. (Though if you do go to any of these places, you’ll let me know what you think, won’t you? Because I’d love to hear it!)

And on that note, I’d like to start 2013’s tour of food with a trip outside the city of Chicago, heading out 290 to the west. Join me won’t you?

Going for the Goal 2013

Number One: Gaetano’s

(Photos courtesy of my brother-in-law, husband of Sister #2.)

In October, Sister #1 had a birthday, and my brother-in-law was all, hey, let’s celebrate! And my other sisters and I were all, hey, we like to party. And by party we mean eat excessive amounts of food with a cocktail or two thrown in for good measure.

Which is how we found ourselves settling in for a feast at Gaetano’s, with a  waiter who looked like a cross between John Belushi and Chris Noth, and who told us to (not that it took much) to go big or go home, and go for the full course tasting menu And seeing as how Swede and I had driven an hour to get there AND I was wearing my swanky suede boots AND I’d curled my hair, well. I was not about to deprive the restaurant of the wonder of our presence or our tastebuds.


The Amount of Food. I’m always a little wary of tasting menus, because I’m worried they’ll end up being like tapas restaurants, where I shell out a lot of dough and leave still hungry at the end of the night. This worry is really for naught at Gaetano’s. There was so much food that at the end of the night I think my stomach had essentially decided that there was no more room at the inn and started storing food in my feet, and possibly my ears, for later metabolizing.

Beef Ragu

The Presentation. Just because food is pretty doesn’t mean it tastes good. (I’m looking at you, fondant. And you, too, sno-cones.) Gaetano’s does not have this problem in the least. While the dessert was both delicious to eat and sweet to view (tiramisu in a flower pot—adorable), the plating of the appetizers alone got my mouth watering: chunks of melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella topped with thin slices of prosciutto were both elegant and delicious. Escargot wrapped in pasta sheets proudly stood in stout little columns. Wild boar ragu and cut rigatone tangled together, fighting a glorious and beautiful battle to be the first to catch your eye and your tastebuds. It looked good, it tasted even better, and now I have to unbutton my pants just remembering it all.


The Food Itself. Hgggmmnhhslllrrissgghhhhhh….. I don’t….I just….it’s so good. So, so good.


The Restaurant Space. Listen, I’m not a small person. And when I am having all the food, I would like a lot of the space. And the tables in the main room of Gaetano’s, well, they are not so much on the space. Since there were six of us dining we had a corner booth, but we were still pretty packed in, which meant a lot of staff squeezing by, and somewhat feeling like you’re on top of one another.

The Bar. Swede and I got to the restaurant before the rest of our party, so we did what we usually do, which is take a seat at the bar and order a cocktail. The bar was a bit unfortunate, IMHO. The seats were too low so you kind of felt like Edith Ann reaching up to the bar, and when I asked for a gimlet the bartender had to think a minute. (Come on, people! A gimlet! It’s not that hard!) They apparently didn’t have Rose’s Lime juice on hand, so while it was nice to get fresh lime juice and a gimlet-like concoction, I was more than a little baffled that ordering a gimlet was such a process involving consternation.

While those two things are not awesome, the goods far outweigh the bads. So: On a scale of one to go? Holy Mary Mother of God, WHY ARE YOU STILL SITTING THERE? YOU SHOULD BE STUFFING YOUR FACE AT THIS PLACE RIGHT NOW.

One down, 12 more to go.

Happy eating, my friends.


4 Responses to “redo: going for the goal and the like”

  1. Steph January 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

    Wait. Did you just say that sno-cones don’t live up to their presentation? Well, my friend, we need to go to Louisiana together and have a snowBALL and you will see that it not only lives up to its presentation, its presentation doesn’t even do its taste justice. Whaa?

    (Just noticed this is the second time my comments here started with, “wait.”)

    [That’s probably because you write so conversationally]

    {And I feel like we were just sitting here chatting}

    (And I was drinking wine, and you a gimlet)

    Good times.

    • mollystrz January 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

      This may be my most favorite comment EVER.


      Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be chatting with you with wine and a gimlet!

      Also, YES on the snowballs. I am ready and willing to change my mind on this one!


  1. going for the goal 2013: how is it april, and this is only #2? | - April 10, 2013

    […] seating. As with Gaetano’s, MSCM’s tables seemed really squashed together to me. Is this becoming a “thing” in […]

  2. 2013 and 2014: the years of the list (like that’s different from any other year) | - January 1, 2014

    […] = Actual number of restaurants and bars I blogged about this year in an effort to fulfill my Going for the Goal 2013. Instead of 13, like I’d set myself up to do. […]

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