Ditch the Kids' pick for a hot date in a frigid month
Monday, January 23, 2012
This month's destination is a place your husband would've taken you while you were dating in order to score some major points and secure the top spot on your speed dial.
Jon and I visited the newly renovated NoMi Kitchen restaurant, housed in the stunning Park Hyatt Hotel in downtown Chicago. A special elevator zipped us directly to NoMi's tranquilly hip entrance. The vibe is comfortably chic, a mix of NYC cool esthetic and Midwestern sensibility. We were seated at what was clearly the best table in the house
(as I came to find out later, there's a three-month wait list for it)-an intimate perch in front of floor-to-ceiling windows, with the majestic Water Tower illuminated directly in front of us and the bustle of Michigan Avenue down below.
Then began a culinary experience that evoked more "oh my gosh, this is insanely good"s than I've uttered in a very long time.
The sommelier cheerfully helped us pair our food orders with just the right vino, and our delightful waiter directed us to some of his favorite dishes.
We tried six-yes six!-appetizers, two of which our waiter threw in because he said we "just HAD to try them," including mushroom soup topped with goat cheese, yellow fin tuna "poke" with macadamia nuts, foie gras with pickled blueberries and candied pecans, and oxtail raviolo.
The flavors in Chef Ryan LaRoche's menu are incredibly creative and pure bliss for the taste buds. We decided to share the skate fish, which swam in a bowl of creamy sauce with roasted Brussel sprouts and thin potatoes alongside.
Since there is always room for dessert, we split the warm beignet with banana ice cream. Another "oh my gosh!" moment. Also noteworthy is the long list of local farms LaRoche taps for the freshest seasonal ingredients.
So if you're looking to "get lucky" this Valentine's Day, pick up the phone, call NoMi and offer your firstborn for that table I told you about.