A decision last year by James Beard Award-winning chef Rick Tramonto to leave Tru in Chicago could have spelled big trouble for one of America's premier fine dining standards. But tucked away in the kitchen for the last few years has been the tremendously talented Anthony Martin, and Tru has not skipped a beat. A look at his resume explains why.
Before working with Tramonto, Martin toiled four years under Guenter Seeger at the chef's eponymous Atlanta restaurant. From there he went on to join the team that opened chef Alex Stratta's restaurant — Alex's — at the Wynn Resort and Casino in Last Vegas. He then assumed the role of executive sous chef at the celebrated Joël Robuchon in the MGM Grand in Vegas. Finally, working under Tramonto at Tru, Martin secured his place as a major talent.
Martin performs in rarified air, so it was only natural that he maintain the altitude of Tru's progressive French cuisine. And what an altitude it is. Guests at Tru can opt for a three-course prix-fixe menu, though most seek out Tru for its pre-set tasting menus that range from six ($110) to nine courses ($145). And if money is no object, one can add on luxury items such as a tasting of sturgeon caviars ($280), whole-roasted La Belle Farms foie gras ($145) and Australian wagyu beef (3 oz $65; 5 oz $95).
With fine dining prices like that, Martin has to deliver, and that he does with items such as dashi flan, Scottish salmon and Duroc pork belly. He's performed so well, the Chicago Tribune declared Martin its 2010 Chef of the Year. Tribune reviewer Phil Vettel wrote, “Now full credit is going to this master technician, who crafts plates so visually stunning that it seems crude to disturb their perfection for something so prosaic as eating.” Wow! Martin has arrived.
— Michael Sanson