Posts Tagged ‘fine dining’

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

After a disappointing experience at the grand opening of the new restaurant Epic, in the downtown River North area of Chicago, I was a little hesitant to return for dinner.  The event that evening was far too crowded and a little unorganized that left me pondering the concept of the new hot spot.  I didn’t know whether they it was a club or a restaurant, so I decided to go back and check it out, after receiving a sincere message from their Maitre De.

Upon arrival, I again had the same thoughts.  Is this a club or a restaurant? But as soon as we were seated in the main dining area, the concept became very clear.  The downstairs bar area provides more of a lounge atmosphere with hip music, couches and hi top bar seating.   The upstairs space is where the feasting takes place.  The entire place is massive complete with four levels, including a rooftop terrace.  Epic’s design is simple and straightforward.  The architecture has a loft like appearance with elements of exposed brick, steel and concrete.  It didn’t wow me, but it got my attention.

Epic’s dinner menu is filled with beef, chicken, pork and fish entrées.  Seafood items plaster most of the appetizer section and they have a nice selection of salads and side dishes to choose from.  Since I’m a connoisseur of lamb shanks, I opted for the “Spiced Lamb Shank” entrée.   Our waiter assured me that their lamb shank would be right up there with the best that I’ve had.  Well, I wouldn’t necessarily give it those props, but it was definitely tender and succulent.  The combination of spices complemented the shank and the lamb jus was pungently flavorful without sweetness.  My dinner guests enjoyed the “Chilean Sea Bass” and “Salt Crusted Market Fish For Two” entrées.  The presentations for both dishes were done well.  The “Brussels Sprouts” side dish prepared with bacon, honey and chestnuts tempted my taste buds.  The sweet and savory combination helped me forget that I was eating brussels sprouts for a moment, but sprouts are sprouts.

Dinner was capped with dessert.  The “Chocolate” and “Pumpkin & White Chocolate” desserts were sampled.  The former consisted of flourless cake, mousse and hot fudge, and the latter was made with toasted white chocolate cake, roasted pumpkin ice cream and chestnut caramel.  Both desserts were solid, but didn’t have me licking the plate.  The service started off a little slow, but picked up as the dinner progressed.  The atmosphere was festive, which helped the cocktails to flow more readily, although, I wouldn’t recommend Epic for a quiet evening at dinner.  Expect to drop $50 per person on dinner before getting your keys back from the valet and be prepared to hang out for after dinner cocktails in the downstairs bar area.  Overall Epic’s cuisine was solid with a good atmosphere and decent service.  My final “Tru” rating is TTt.

   To view my “Tru” rating system for Epic visit www.efete.net/blog.html.


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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

A trip to Italy may not be on your travel agenda in the near future, especially with the state of the economy. However, thanks to a new River North Italian hot spot, you can experience Venice right here in Chicago.

Ristorante Prosecco (710 N. Wells St.) is a chic yet unpretentious white tablecloth restaurant in the heart of the River North gallery district. Prosecco offers sophisticated, regional comfort foods from Italy’s 20 regions, as well as the largest selection of Italian sparkling wine in Chicago. The interior of the restaurant was designed based on the beauty of Venice and the soft color of a glass of prosecco.

Read the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Been to Sixteen yet?  Have you checked out Rebar?  Well if you haven’t, you may want to check these two new hot spots out this weekend.  Sixteen is the new fine dining restaurant in the Trump International Hotel & Tower.  Located on the 16th floor, Sixteen touts itself as ” a world class dining desitination”.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting an inside look at this restaurant and was impressed with Executive Chef Frank Brunacci’s daily changing menu, the vibe and service that they provided.

Phillip Posch, Director of Food and Beverage says that they are attempting to avoid a pretentious atmosphere, but want to attract a hip down to earth crowd.  They want diners to feel luxurious but “with a sense of modernity and dynamism”.  The modern American cuisine has been getting good reviews and the views are spectacular.  Upon completion, the Trump International Hotel & Tower will be the second largest building in Chicago.  Guests will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Chicago’s famous skyline, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Rebar is Trump’s hip new lounge on the Mezzanine level of the hotel.  Managed by Michael Frank, Rebar offers a vibrant, social atmosphere with picturesque views.  This lounge has been getting a lot of buzz, since more and more Chicagoans discovered the new hot spot.  Just like other lounge concepts in the city, Rebar boasts bottle service for those that want to reserve a table with friends.  They also have creative drink concepts which include a punch bowl concoction that goes for $215.  Be ready to share that with friends.  Check out Sixteen on our Fete Select TV segment below or log onto www.efete.net to view our other Fete Select TV featured hot spots.

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