Strawberry Mochi

lula cafe farm dinner 3rdarm

Etta and I went for the Monday night farm dinner on April 8, 2013. We go for one every half year or so- our last was in the late August sun on the patio. Today’s dinner was on the first Monday that it actually felt like spring with the weather in the sixties. Early spring light streamed into the dining room- we arrived for our 6:30 pm reservation on the heels of a matinee showing of Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.

lula cafe monday night farm dinner 3rdarm chicago

Lula Cafe has an elegance from small details such as the ambient sound system, hand crafted menus, and intensely citrusy woodsy handsoap in the washroom. I ordered a limonata and Etta got Pipeworks’ Flower Child, a tart Berliner style weisse. At four percent alcohol by volume it was a sessionable companion to the farm food, which started with a custard in a small mason jar.

lula cafe chicago 3rdarm

Creamy rich and warm ricotta and duck egg custard concealed white asparagus, morels and lovage, all enhanced with cardamom oil. The couple next to us, advanced in years, were Lula whales, greeted between each course by chefs, management and other servers. They cleaned their plates. Etta couldn’t clean her plate because we’d had greasy gringas al pastor at L’ Patron tacos before the film. The main course was pork shoulder braised with green olives, first of the season ramps, baby turnips, herbed gnocchi, floral lavender aioli, swimming in rich jus. The waiter asked the older couple how they liked their mains- I thought I heard the gentleman, who was midchew, reply, “Edible.” He had said, “Incredible,” but his mouth was full.

pipeworks brewing flower child chicago 3rdarm

Dessert is my favorite part of Lula Cafe and tonight did nothing to change that. Spring ice creams- rhubard sorbet and lime granita, were bright in flavor yet creamy in the mouth. Basil two ways brought tart pops to my tongue, toothsome strawberry mochi was like the best fruit roll up, crumbly streusel balls balanced the sweet of white chocolate with a savory touch of salt.

1 thought on “Strawberry Mochi”

  1. You say life is a dream where we can’t say what we mean
    Maybe just some roadside scene that we’re driving past
    There’s no telling where we’ll be in a day or in a week
    And there’s no promises of peace or of happiness

    Well is this why you cling to every little thing
    And polverize and derrange all your senses
    Maybe life is a song but you’re scared to song along
    Until the very ending

    Oh, it’s time to let go of everything we used to know
    Ideas that strengthen who we’ve been
    It’s time to cut ties that won’t ever free our minds
    From the chains and shackles that they’re in

    Oh, tell me what good is saying that you’re free
    In a dark and storming sea
    You’re chained to your history, you’re surely sinking fast
    You say that you know that the good Lord’s in control
    He’s gonna bless and keep your tired and oh so restless soul
    But at the end of the day when every price has been paid
    You’re gonna rise and sit beside him on some old seat of gold
    And won’t you tell me why you live like you’re afraid to die
    You’ll die like you’re afraid to go

    Oh, it’s time to let go of everything we used to know
    Ideas that strengthen who we’ve been
    It’s time to cut ties that won’t ever free our minds
    From chains and shackles that they’re in
    From the chains and shackles that they’re in

    Well life is a dream ’cause we’re all walking in our sleep
    You could see us stand in lines like we’re dead upon our feet
    And we build our house of cards and then we wait for it to fall
    Always forget how strange it is just to be alive at all

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