2/14/2013 10:00:00 AM

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Stout Braised Lamb at The Bedford


With executive chef Mark Steuer cooking up a storm of low country boils and shrimp 'n' grits down the street at Carriage House, The Bedford required a new head honcho. Enter chef de cuisine Mike Galen, who spent time opening Rootstock Wine Bar and cooking at Three Aces before taking over the kitchen in Wicker Park.

Last night, he previewed new menu items that will roll out in the next few weeks. The meal included a charcuterie board overseen by Steuer and pan-roasted halibut with meyer lemon aïoli and romesco sauce. Our favorite dish was a stout braised lamb shoulder, cooked for two and a half hours until it was fall-apart tender. Galen served it with leek spaetzle and roasted carrots. The meat was topped with a watercress salad garnished with egg yolk shavings.

How does one shave an egg yolk? We are glad someone asked, because this was one of the most inventive components of the meal. The yolk was cured in salt until it achieved the consistency of a dense gummy candy before being grated over the salad. Because we are endlessly curious food writers, we asked to see the egg in its pre-grated form. We were presented with a bright orange sphere. It was easily cut into and has the flavor of a very salty egg.

If salt-cured egg yolk are any indication of what other creative creations Galen has up his sleeve, the new offerings will be well received in restaurant and bar known solely for the converted bank vault used as a lounge. In addition to the menu, The Bedford will launch new weekly specials as well as a Wednesday night Jazz series.

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