Anna and I have been trying to catch up for a while now but hadn’t been able to get our schedules to line up until this weekend. I asked her if she wanted to grab a bite at Longman & Eagle, a place I’d heard good things about from Lauren and Cinnamon. I’d been warned about a possible wait so we tried to get over there as early as possible on Friday. We arrived just before 7, barely beating the dinner rush.
We kicked the night off with some stiff drinks. Anna got a gin fizz and I got a Manhattan. Longman bills itself as a gastropub so we were a bit surprised when a server came out with an eggplant and olive amuse bouche. It was a delicious, if not odd complement to my very strong drink. Anna, like me, isn’t terribly picky and shares my love of variety so we agreed to share four small plates instead of each going for a single entree. (You can get a sense of Longman and Eagle’s menu here. Our server told us that two small plates roughly equal one entree, a claim that I’m not entirely sure I agree with.) We got a good mix of things:
- Kobe meatballs, creamy polenta, parsley pesto, fonduta
- Ricotta gnudi, porcini marmalade, crispy sage, and aerated Parmesan
- Potato agnolotti, escargots, wild mushrooms, bordelaise sauce, cured foie gras
- Fried Ipswich clam bellies, celery root rémoulade, toasted brioche, mâche
Everything was quite good (interesting textural and flavor combos) although nothing arrived to the table as hot as I would like it. (I’m somewhat particular about the temperature of my food. I prefer to eat things hot, not warm.) We wrapped up with a dessert of poached apple, brioche french toast, and bacon ice cream (yes, you read that right, bacon ice cream). The bacon ice cream was very smoky and the bacon flavor was much more pronounced than in bacon desserts I’ve tried at other restaurants. I loved it, but of course, you know how much I love me some bacon.
All in all, a fun, fun night catching up with Anna. The food was interesting and good. But I can’t put my finger on it…I came home feeling a bit unsatisfied. I’ve done small plates at plenty of other restaurants. I get that portions are smaller, but I left with a gnawing, dull hunger–an irritating inconvenience after having just paid a $70 dinner bill. (We contemplated ordering another plate or two but there wasn’t much else of interest to us–the menu is fairly small–and we didn’t feel like spending anymore money.) I may go back to try the sandwiches or entrees but I’ll make sure not to be too hungry beforehand.
Longman & Eagle: 2657 N. Kedzie Ave.