When I first moved to Chicago ten years a go, the hot spot to have cocktails and dinner was One Sixty Blue. It had decent food, a nice crowd and of course it was owned by Michael Jordan. Just the mention of MJ’s association with the restaurant had folks pulling up to valet park their rides. However over time, like many other restaurants in the city, One Sixty Blue lost its luster. Most guests didn’t perceive the concept as a once or twice a week place to dine, but as a special occasion place to have an expensive meal. Well fast forward a decade later, as the new Executive Chef Michael McDonald is attempting to change their image.
McDonald, a former Charlie Trotter restaurant Executive Chef, created a new menu that will allow his guests to think of One Sixty Blue often. Very often. In-fact, Michael the basketball player sampled Michael the chef’s cuisine and gave the ultimate approval. No doubt that MJ’s high regards of McDonald’s creations made him feel like a champion also. He is attempting to blend vibrant seasonal flavors with modern traditions.
Signature dishes include Potato Leek Soup, Blue Crab Ravioli, Wagyu Short Rib, and Creamy White Grits. The menu has many “starter plates”, “side plates” and “main plates” options, but the daily five-course tasting menu is a must. Appropriately titled “Dinner with Michael”, Chef McDonald prepares an exceptional array of courses to suit your palate complete with wine pairings. He also prints and presents a copy of the five courses that were selected for you. A nice touch for guests, especially for those who often try to relay their dining experiences to friends.
Main plates are priced between $19 and $35, making it more affordable to dine versus previous years. One Sixty Blue has a nice wine selection and a specialty cocktail list that borders on traditional twists. Although they’re located at the end of restaurant row in in the West Loop, their new menu could help diners remember that MJ’s joint is still a gem.
One Sixty Blue is located at 1400 West Randoph St. Chicago, IL. (312) 850-0303. www.onesixtyblue.com
Watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net to check out the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.