Delicious food, and lots of it, can be a clandestine form of torture. Masquerading as risotto studded with sweet, piquant black garlic, roasted cauliflower with pepperoncini, capers and bacon, buttermilk fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes, perfectly seared scallops with chive and rape pesto or, the most deceiving food trickery of all—or just for one dinner— goat cheese chive biscuits, food can really, truly be torture. Refusing endlessly enticing, savory tastes that just keep coming, course after course is impossible, it’s an offense not just to the chef but also to anyone who eats, ever. So, at the end of any meal, you’re stuffed. Turgid bellies that poke out when they normally fall flat. And that incredible feeling of pain, when there is just too much food a little stomach can handle. It’s cruel, gluttonous torture, through and through.
Thank god for the digestive track then, for the intestine, the bladder, the bile, the liver kidneys and yes, even the colon. Because for all the self-induced pain of a over-stuffed belly, a couple hours, a nap and a little bit of sleepy time tea later you’re stomach is emptied and ready to feast again. And with the option of Goat Cheese Biscuits with Caramelized Onions on the table, you’d better be ready to eat.
Chicago restaurant Table 52 sets diners up for a filling, stuffing, piglet-mimicking meal. The renovated coach building downtown, complete with striped green wallpaper, broken crystal chandeliers and sloping ceilings creates a hazy, comforting atmosphere, all the better to feed you with, my dear. The food is the oxymoronic ‘Southern Upscale’ cuisine, which really is everything you’d ever wanted to eat but-know-it’s-not-good-for-you presented in perfectly cooked, over-sized portions. Bacon, cheese, cream, eggs and meat run wild. But you can’t, and really shouldn’t stop eating.
Before you even attempt to tackle the menu, a cast-iron pan of goat cheese biscuits are turned out onto the table. Yes, buttery, flaky biscuits loaded with huge chunks of goat cheese. Good for you, and good for your stomach. Not a week later, I had to have them again. You have to have them too.
Recipe on the following page.