Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicago q

Trying to write a blog post while on a ski trip with the guys is probably foolish. But I have many to write and don't want to get behind. Erica and I went back to q for dinner with one of her old colleagues. I enjoyed my first visit, though the ribs we ordered was my least favorite part. This time around we stayed away from ribs and tried new items. It was a good call as I like the q experience that much more after round 2. As other people have mentioned, an "elegant bbq" place is a perfect compliment to our existing bbq and other "meat" focused venues. The concept is good and well executed, reminding me of walking into a southern country club.

The meal started very well with the table setting in-house pickles and chips. I enjoy a little bourbon with my q and they have quite a selection. They also recently started bourbon flights, a great way to taste some different styles. The presentation of their single glass pours was fantastic. They come on a tray with sides of ice cubes and distilled water, so you can choose the right amount of either.

We ordered one of their salads to start, but were surprised to see chicken wings and hush puppies also show up. They came compliments of the chef, a very nice chef :) I'm not a huge hush puppie guy, but these were good. I also liked the bbq chicken wings, the only dish they serve with the sauce already on the meat. The salad was a bit off, mostly in the dressing/seasoning. It tasted too salty and the dressing was a tad strong for me.

Since I didn't love the ribs last time, I played it safe with a pulled chicken and pork combo plate. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed my bbq. They serve three types of sauce on the side - regular, spicy and a vingear based bbq. I love the spicy and went through a few servings on my meat and fries. We also ordered a side of mac and cheese for the table that did not last long.

Our tasty meal finished with a surprise visit to our table by Chef Lee Ann Whippen. She chatted with us about her experience and what brought her to Chicago. We learned a few of her tricks of the trade and even let us take a peak in the kitchen and see her smokers. It was a fun way to end the night and the extra personal touch makes a difference in the dining experience.

My first Chicago q experience was good, but my second was even better. I love the concept of upscale bbq dining when you want the best of both worlds (bbq but going out for a nice meal). The execution is spot on, and there's something for everyone on the menu to enjoy the fruits of Chef Wippen's talents.

P.S. Don't forget to check out the bourbon list and bourbon flights available. Some info from their press release:

Chicago q, the city’s newest hot spot for upscale barbecue is also the city’s headquarters for rare and exclusive bourbons, rye whiskeys and whiskey.  Featured among the 20 bourbons on the list are the recently highest-rated by Wine & Spirits Elijah Crain 18-year old and Parker Heritage Golden Heritage.  Chicagoans can try both, along with Evan Williams Vintage 2000, for only $22 as part of the Single Barrel Flight. Other rare libations to sample include the award-winning Rittenhouse, WhistlePig and Sazerac Rye. 

Chicago Q on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. But bummer the ribs were no good the first time around as that's one item I'd definitely expect to represent at a BBQ place?

    Intrigued by the bourbon list. Love bourbon!



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