Kelly the Culinarian: Visiting FourteenSixteen in La Grange

Monday, November 7, 2016

Visiting FourteenSixteen in La Grange

We're settling into our new neighborhood nicely, but haven't really found a hang out yet. At our old place, we had our favorite haunts and watering holes. Now, onto bigger and better locales! When I was invited to visit 1416 in downtown La Grange, I was excited to shop a new potential meeting place. While they wined and dined us, all opinions are my own.

The location and vibe of this place is great. It's within walking distance of the La Grange train station. The decor is firmly downtown industrial chic, featuring lots of exposed vintage lightbulbs and soft lighting befitting a first date or business luncheon. What really sets this place apart is the rooftop deck. It's partially covered and amply heated, which means even in Illinois, it's probably an option 10 months out of the year. The view is lovely and the string lights are adorable.

A menu offering at FourteenSixteen that I feel is lacking in other suburban destinations is a stellar cocktail menu. Their cocktails are available on tap, are beautifully garnished and served in appropriate glassware. The attention to detail when it comes to cocktails is unparalleled.

The Sixteen
The Fourteen

After our first round of cocktails, we moved onto appetizers. There's quite a bit to choose from, but we enjoyed the cauliflower sliders and mushrooms five ways first. The mushroom bruschetta features mushrooms pickled, roasted, grilled, candied, confit and charred with cheddar cheese and a drizzle of balsamic. I enjoyed the cauliflower immensely as well - all vegetables are better roasted.

The star of the appetizer course and perhaps the entire evening was this delicious scallop number. It was served atop a toasted goat cheese polenta, which was subtly flavored and a great juxtaposition against the tender and flaky scallop. It also had pickled jalapeno and fresh greens on top, which added flavor without any off putting heat.

Before we moved into more food, we paused for cocktails. Don't worry, these are tasting sized.

The pisco picante had fresh cilantro on top, which was a bit unexpected, and the Cortez was a refreshing mid-meal break.

But back to the eats - 1416 serves up some of the best homemade pasta I've ever had. This tagliatelle toss with lamb ragu was so tasty and fresh that it made us both wish they offered more sauces with this pasta.

But the steak. The steak, my friends, is where it's at. These are wet-aged for 10 days and lovingly woodfired to perfection. We got the filet and everything on the plate was beyond perfection. The steak had an amazing crust of perfectly tuned herbs and spices. The meat yielded to pressure from a fork and melted in your mouth. The potatoes were excellent and the green beans cooked to the precise level of doneness. It was everything I want in a steak.

We also tried the halibut dish, and it was a damn good piece of fish. Very tender and sweet.

Before desserts, more cocktails.

The tradewinds and the angel's share, my personal favorite. I'm only slightly weirded out that my drink contained egg whites, but it looked so elegant and timeless and tasted so heavenly that I soon forgot what caused the foam.

Onto desserts, my favorite part of any meal. We were torn which way to go here - I heard great things about the apple crostada, as well as the flourless chocolate cake, but the chocolate bomb was new and intriguing. So we went for a trifecta.

I'll tell you this - the chocolate cake is like fudge and brownie had a baby. It's dense and decadent and must be shared lest you risk diabetic shock.

The chocolate bomb was a healthy portion of ice cream ensconced in a chocolate globe that sat atop fruit and orange marmalade. It was served with warm caramel tableside and was a darn cool presentation.

That crostada though. It's flaky pastry fashioned around roasted apples with sea salt caramel ice cream on top. Of course, no apple pie facsimile is complete without a caramel drizzle.

A huge thank you to 1416 and the amazing staff who prepared our meal, complete with incredible wine pairings. It was a wonderful evening at a location I hope to make my local destination. Until next time!

1 comment:

Maggie W said...

I love cocktails with egg white! Although you can't let them sit too long ... if they get room temp, it's not as good.