Chicago Restaurant Week 2016: NoMI Kitchen (Lunch)

NoMi RW16

NoMI Kitchen at the Park Hyatt offers a three-course lunch for $22 during Restaurant Week, which is a terrific deal – compared to their regular menu prices, it’s similar to getting a first course and dessert for free. Compared to my previous lunches for Restaurant Week 2015 and Chef’s Week 2015, my main course fell a bit short, but the dessert was distinctly better. The service was also more attentive.  Continue reading

Review: NoMI Kitchen (Chicago Chef’s Week 2015)

Lunch is often the best value for Restaurant Week and Chef’s Week – three courses for $22 – and NoMI’s lunch is no exception. Unfortunately, NoMI’s Chef’s Week offerings seem more half-hearted than my Restaurant Week experience. Also, service is distant, splashing water on my table without ever noticing, and dessert seems like an afterthought. Continue reading

Chicago Restaurant Week 2015: NoMi Kitchen (Lunch)

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.

NoMi 1

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Chicago Restaurant Week 2015: Bistronomic

Bistronomic

I first went to Bistronomic a few years ago, before going to an American Chamber Opera performance, so I took note when I saw Phil Vettel’s review of their Restaurant Week offerings. Because the James Beard Awards are being hosted in Chicago for the first time this year, Bistronomic has taken their inspiration for their Restaurant Week menu from The Essential James Beard Cookbook. I visited for their three-course lunch, offered for $22.   Continue reading

Chicago Restaurant Week 2015: The Lobby

The Lobby

I experienced The Lobby at the Peninsula for the first time last year during Restaurant Week. They turned my head with the special touches – the incredible porcini soup amuse bouche, the bread service, the mignardises, the individual pound cake with the check – and the elegant surroundings. Since that first visit, I’ve returned maybe half a dozen times, unfortunately with somewhat mixed results.

After Chef Lee Wolen left, The Lobby made radical changes to the menu, largely simplifying to something closer to a more standard hotel restaurant than a fine dining destination. Judging by this year’s Restaurant Week offerings, they have also eliminated much of what I loved about the restaurant – no amuse, no mignardises, no individual pound cake as a little goodbye. Those are small touches, I know, but they really added to the luxurious, pampering atmosphere (and they were delicious, frankly more memorable than some of the proper dishes). That said, the Restaurant Week menu is also offered at a lower price point this year ($33 for three courses, instead of the $44 last year).   Continue reading

Restaurant Week 2014: Cafe Spiaggia

Cafe Spiaggia Restaurant Week menu

Cafe Spiaggia Restaurant Week menu

Although I’ve never been to the full Spiaggia restaurant, its younger sibling restaurant Cafe Spiaggia is my go-to Italian restaurant in Chicago. The food is always well-executed, and of the half dozen-plus times I’ve visited, I’ve never had a bad dish there.  Continue reading