Goosefoot is the creation of Chef Chris Nugent, whose last two jobs included Betise in Wilmette and the venerable Les Nomades downtown.
"My wife and I saw the property, it looked like a great property and after seven years at Les Nomades I thought it was time to venture out on our own here," Nugent said.
Every night, Nugent offers an ambitious eight-course tasting menu for $90.
"It's a market-driven restaurant and you know Goosefoot is a plant family, and Goosefoot basically represents us going down to the market," he said.
Recently, that meant a soup, with braised chestnuts and mushrooms. "There's a little treasure in the bottom of this dish," he said. The soup is pureed into a silky-smooth texture, via an immersion blender, and topped with a frothy-milky truffle foam. Tiny quails are roasted to perfection, set over a shallow pool of spiced lentils, embedded with both Asian and Mediterranean ingredients.
"You have a little pickled ginger, a little cumin, olive oil, balsamic. And it really pops in your mouth really add that nice spark and then the fresh apple salad over the top, it's beautiful," said Nugent.
A cumin-scented carrot puree joins other root vegetables on a plate with fennel puree. "Two dots there just to kind of add a little contrast to the flavor," Nugent said.
Maitake mushrooms and caramelized pearl onions serve as an earthy companion to the perfectly-cooked beef tenderloin, which gets a final garnish of micro greens.
There are typically two dessert courses. In addition to a chocolate puck paired with orange cream, mulled wine and chocolate dipped sea beans, Nugent also offers a creative take on pumpkin, using the Cinderella variety, then fortifying it with a coffee cream sauce and drops of mandarin gel.
"The flavor of it is just amazing. Its unique texture, has that red flesh inside, it's a little bit drier than the regular pumpkin," he said.
The set price or $90 might seem high at first - it is - but when you consider you can bring your own beverages and not pay a corkage fee, or the standard high markup, the amount of money you could potentially save makes a difference.
"Everybody is bringing their own bottle or bottles, which is funny cause some people come in with bags of wine which is interesting. But I had to actually go out and a few more decanters," said Nugent.
No lunch at Goosefoot, just dinner. There's usually a few more treats than just the stated eight courses -- in the way of a small bite or two before and after the meal.
2656 West Lawrence Avenue