Sooo many restaurants to try and sooo little time to try them. In-fact, most of us get so caught up going to the same restaurants week after week that we forget about the fine dining options that the city has to offer. One particular example is Aria, located in the Fairmont Hotel. The New World Asian restaurant offers a contemporary twist on conventional dining. Chef de cuisine Ronnie Aleman prepared a meal that was memorable and that deserves to be revisited.
Aria’s culinary team brings a diverse ethnic influence to the menu. From the start of their “amuse” to their “dessert flight” the cuisine boasted flavors and spices that prompted an eagerness to take the next bite and to try another course. The following menu items is a guide to Aria’s New World Asian experience.
“aria spiced” grilled shrimp, sweet summer watermelon, cilantro basil cucumber broth
Hot and sour baked rock shrimp, sweet and sour chili glaze
Spicy citrus calamari, lime zest, scallion
Shrimp and pork potstickers, ponzu
Aria “sushi poppers” (created by Ronnie Aleman)
Organic Heirloom Tomatoes, sherry marinated shallots, English cucumbers, brioche croutons, extra virgin olive oil, organic green and opal basil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Soy and mirin glazed Black Cod, organic pea puree, sugar snap peas, hon shemedji mushrooms, organic pea tendrils
Wagyu strip steak, butter glazed organic carrots, summer baby squash, wild mushroom demi glace
“Banana Split” sorbet: banana, strawberry, chocolate, pineapple sorbets
Take Five:chocolate cheesecake, savory pretzel crust, peanut butter ganache, caramel sauce
Banana Bread Flan: spicy oaxacan sorbet, candied walnuts, banana bread tuille
Ambiance and service at Aria is what to be expected from a fine dining environment. The service is attentive, detailed and knowledgeable. The rich colors of the restaurant makes it a comfortable and warm place to dine with friends or a significant other. The Aria Bar is an upbeat diversion from the main dining area and is highlighted by an illuminated sushi bar. Communal style tables make it easy to share dishes or meet new friends. It’s a perfect place to meet for sake or a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. In 2008 Aria’s Bar received an award for “Chicago’s Best Date Spot”.
Aria is on the ground level of the Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus Dr. For more information visit www.ariachicago.com. To get an inside look and a review of the newest and best restaurants in Chicago check out Fete Select TV on www.efete.net.