800 S. Michigan Ave.
Finding urban sophistication and comfort cooking in the same
spot is no easy feat, but sometimes that's just what a family needs
to keep everyone satisfied. It's also the goal of Jared Case,
Tribute's new executive chef and the father of a new baby.
"Right after getting this job, my family took a driving tour
through the south and was inspired by the down-home cooking," he
He aims to combine these authentic flavors with the elegance and
sensibility of the restaurant's Michigan Avenue location. The
deliciously rich "Lobster Mac n Cheese" is one example of that
We also enjoyed tangy "Dry Rub Ribs," "Pete's Fried Chicken" and
"Shrimp & Grits." While these dishes may not sound elegant,
their beauty is found in the details. Perfectly crisp lettuce
accompanies the ribs to balance their spicy kick. (My 9-year-old is
still raving about those.) In my "Shrimp & Grits," I found
peeled grape tomatoes, which added a nice touch of acidity.
Admittedly, the Essex Hotel restaurant may not seem an obvious
family destination. But with brunch, lunch and dinner options and a
very reasonably priced children's menu, Tribute makes for a fun and
fancy day or evening out.
We all appreciated the sleek setting and beautiful views. My
sons were impressed by the selection of Filbert's sodas. And
afterward, with full stomachs, we walked through Grant Park.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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