Trenchermen offers 'technique-driven' fare

September 22, 2012 1:44:53 PM PDT
Chicago natives and brothers - Michael and Patrick Sheerin - have very distinctive styles. Michael's worked in New York, studying molecular, modernist technique. While Patrick's been focusing on farm-to-table here in town, their first-ever collaboration - Trenchermen, in a Wicker Park space that once was a bath house - pulls from both of their backgrounds. They call it "technique-driven" food, but it's also global.

"We both come from French backgrounds, but I think we veer towards global products, global ingredients kind of strike us as really interesting and we're kind of fascinated with it," said Michael Sheerin.

That might mean a dollop of garlic, shallots and crushed red pepper dresses thinly-shaved carrots, that are also topped with lime salt. A schmear of black garlic serves as the base for the carrots, but then comes seared sweetbreads with a hint of Japan, in the form of nori, or seaweed.

Patrick removes slow-roasted sea trout, then envelops it in a black sesame and olive crust; the Middle Eastern theme continues on the plate with lemon balm-scented green garbanzos.. plus roasted beets and tiny dollops of sumac gel, as well as small chicharrons of fried trout skin.

"We love all the areas of Chicago. Korean food and black garlic. Patel's up on Devon - you walk in there and all those amazing fresh spices and herbs and things you've never seen before, so it was really easy to get inspired by those," said Patrick Sheering.

Devon inspiration arrives at dessert too. A plate of Indian spices is used to infuse the coffee-flavored cake with smoked meringue and chai ice cream.. all accented by thin sheets of fried chocolate. Even the cocktails take a global cue.. Ranging from pineapple-infused mezcal and fresh citrus (think Mexico), or a Swedish-inspired malort. Like any dish they create, they first consider a range of combinations.

"The way we look at it is, what is it, exactly, the flavor profile. Is it salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and then we kind of dissect it further from there and see how we can integrate it or meld it with other flavors," said Michael.

And that multicultural theme weaves its way into nearly every plate here at Trenchermen, so it's not necessarily an ethnic restaurant, per se, but there are global influences all over the menu.

The restaurant recently started serving Sunday brunch as well.

Trenchermen
2039 W. North Ave.
(773) 661-1540
http://trenchermen.com/


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