Monday, July 19, 2010

Kith & Kin

Grandma Hackknife has been agitating to see her grandkids for a while, so we chose this past weekend to have her come down to the commissary and spend some quality time with them. This enabled Mrs. Hackknife and me to sneak into the city for a nice adult dinner on Saturday night. Our original plan was to visit Purple Pig (the city's latest homage to all things pig parts prepped in an Italian fashion); however, this plan was thwarted by the shutdown of Michigan Avenue due to filming for Transformers 3 pretty much right outside their front door, so we fell back to Plan B: Kith & Kin. K&K is a relatively new restaurant located in Lincoln Park, mere steps away from the Hackknife ancestral homestead at 2119 N. Racine. Unfortunately, no valet was available and the usual dearth of legal, non-permit street parking in the neighborhood was exacerbated by the annual Sheffield Garden Walk this weekend, forcing us to drop the car about 4 blocks away (I'm sure the ancestors had a much easier time finding spots on Racine for the Model T back in the day).

Feeling a bit frazzled, we arrived about 10 minutes late for our 6:15 reservation, but we needn't have worried as the place was less than half full, populated mostly with bar patrons. The decor was upscale, but most of the diners (and the servers, for that matter) had sort of a hipster fashion vibe going on, meaning we were a bit overdressed. After pre-meal drinks (martini for the missus, a capirinha for me), we chose two appetizers, or what they call "crocks": a duroc pork creton (which is a spread w/spices, similar to a rillette) and a brandade de morue (another spread, this time w/salt cod, olive oil, and potato). These were both served w/tasty crostini and both were delicious to the bottom of the crocks. Our entrees were equally good, with Mrs. Hackknife ordering a baseball steak (American Wagyu, very nice) slathered with anchovy butter on a bed of chickory and me choosing a bowl of orzo mixed with shrimp, dill, okra, and veal heart confit. Now, this was my first experience eating heart of any type, not to mention one from a baby cow, but I've been trying to be open-minded about organ meats as I continue to listen to Anthony Bourdain extol their virtues. Looking at the strips of heart in the dish, I expected them to have a squishy consistency, but they were actually firm and tender, with a flavor and texture not unlike pot roast (not bad, actually).

We were both too full to indulge in dessert or cheeses this time, but I suspect we'll be back to K&K before too long.

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