Located at the Park Hyatt in Gold Coast, NoMI has a great view of the Chicago Water Tower and Michigan Avenue. Their lunch is one of the better deals of Restaurant Week (three courses for only $22, which is the typical price of their lunch entrees), and even better, they offer lunch during the weekend.
Lunch starts with two warm pretzel rolls and butter. Rolls are soft, with a pronounced pretzel taste; butter is whipped and spreadable. Unfortunately, they’re followed almost immediately by the first course, which hardly gave me any time to enjoy them.
For my first course, I chose the leek and mussel bisque, which is poured table-side. The bisque is perfectly smooth, with a thin yet creamy consistency. It has an interesting, slightly acidic taste. The croutons are light and crisp, and they give the soup a little texture, along with the diced apple, smoky bacon, and two very tender mussels.
For my next course, I chose the skatewing. The fish is slightly salty, with almost crisp edges and skate’s sweetness and crab-like texture. The presentation is beautiful, with the celery root puree rippled to mimic the skate. Celery also makes an appearance in the form of celery leaes and cooked celery stalk. The bourbon cherries perhaps wouldn’t be out of place on a sundae, but unlike the marshmallow at The Lobby, I think the cherries mostly work in this dish. The dish as a whole tends a bit sweet, but it’s interesting, and I like the crispy crunch of the celery and the softer crunch of the marcona almonds.
For dessert, I decided to go with the plated dessert, the mont blanc – the other option being a selection of cookies and candies. The mont blanc is small, with two drops of caramel sauce, four tiny chocolate chip-size meringues, and a ribbon of chestnut mousse. There’s chocolate cake on bottom, and the smooth milk chocolate on top has caramel notes. It’s not excessively sweet, but it’s definitely sweet enough to be a little one-note. Still, the lightness of the mousseline is nice. Overall, it’s a little boring but well-executed.
Overall, the the dishes are beautifully plated. The starting bisque is delicious and interesting. The skate is also very tasty but not as memorable, and the dessert is forgettable. The lunch is an excellent deal for Restaurant Week, but I don’t know that I’ll return for the regular menu.
NoMI Kitchen – 800 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Theatres Nearby: Lookingglass Theatre is just across Michigan Avenue. NoMI is two blocks away from the Chicago Red Line station, so it’s just a few stops away from the Steppenwolf Theatre to the north and to the south, the Goodman Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and the Bank of America Theatre. The 66 bus will also take you from NoMI directly to Navy Pier for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in about fifteen minutes.