D ining P retty
giddy city in the
Shall we dine big and bold or quiet but playful? And
let’s not forget breakfast and lunch. BY ETHEL HAMMER
Dining pretty in Chicago is as easy as sliding into silk,
thanks to glittering establishments that have opened since the 2011 National
Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show. A host of Chicago chefs
go effusive and playful as studied explorations of exquisite food fly the coop.
BIG, EXTROVERTED EXPERIENCES
Once upon a time, elite Americans pretended they were
French. Now, enjoy a famous French chef pretending to be
American. At least, that’s our take on BLT American Brasserie,
the brainchild of renowned French chef Laurent Tourondel.
With a few changes by Chicago designer Jordan Mozer, BLT
American Brasserie revives the environment of the former
Brasserie Ruhlmann, wafting you into cafe society with dark
wood, classy palm trees and a stunning art deco frieze over the bar.
While some pseudo-sophisticates bemoaned the plethora of
choices, we ordered amply, asked our waiter to bring everything to
the table at once, and were as happy as clams. Going American
means lots of burgers, barbecued hickory-smoked baby back
ribs and pizzas, as well as sandwiches and salads. Plus, fries and
blooming onions. And don’t forget our ubiquitous love of sushi
and our endless lust for seafood. Could all these choices be a
French chef’s nod to our gotta-have-it-all mindset? After all,
we are the roving global nation, n’est-ce pas Besides, doesn’t
everyone in your family want to eat something totally different?
Still, if BLT American Brasserie imagines it is going classic
American football party with its gooey spinach/mushroom/
fontina cheese dip, sorry, guys. This one is way, way better.