Monday, 16 February 2015

Blackbird - Chicago

I love that Chicago has a free zoo open year round! Even though it was freezing, we went to go check it out. It was rather empty, but it was nice! No crowds to fight and no yelling & screaming children.
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So cute!!!
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Patagonian Cavy, Pygmy Hippo, Giraffe (sticking out his tongue!)

Blackbird has won a few James Beard Awards.
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Maybe I should have done a bit more research before picking the restaurant. It seemed a little pretentious with most of the customers all business formal eating the prix fixe meals and here we were wearing double layers of leggings and jeans and hoodies ready to brace for the cold walk through Lincoln Park Zoo after. 
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Prix Fixe Menu and Bread
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Roasted Cauliflower with almond yogurt, grapefruit, hazelnut, chives and red streak
It's a beautiful mix of colours, flavours, textures on a plate, but I couldn't help thinking - that's it??
This is the start of the three course meal and it was a few pieces of charred cauliflower, tiny slivers of tangy ruby red grapefruit and yogurt.

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Dry-aged beef tartare with smoked mushrooms, crispy grains, dried tomatoes, and cress
Probably a way better choice of appetizer - less white space on the plate compared to the cauliflower (and I always thought vegetarian dishes got larger portions since vegetables are usually a lot cheaper than meat). The tartare was nice and there was good texture with the crispy grains.

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Hanger Steak with smoked potato fingerling, charred cabbage, sour cream and black garlic
The hanger steak was nice...portion sizes were a bit tiny again. Lots of charring of food here with charred cabbage.

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Faroe Islands Salmon with apple cider-miso glaze, sunchokes, rapini and chamomile vinaigrette
A decent lunch sized portion of salmon! The apple cider-miso glaze and chamomile vinaigrette were pretty interesting, but I almost felt like the flavours were competing with each other rather than complementing each other.

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Bourbon gooey butter cake with whipped goat cheese, caramelized strudel, pumpkin pie, pecans and sorghum
This looked really cool. I couldn't really eat it because the whipped goat cheese was way too overpowering for me. Another case where there's a lot of competing flavours with the pumpkin, pecans, strudel, butter cake - but in this case, the whipped goat cheese overpowered it all.

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brownie sundae with chocolate ice cream, amarena cherries, smoked oat crunch and whipped cream
Tiny! I probably didn't really appreciate the nuances of the smoked oat crunch or amarena cherry - but the rich dark chocolate ice cream was good.

Overall: As out of towners, we had some issues locating the restaurant since it was further away from the Loop and there's no bus service there - so we walked. The service was okay, we found the presentation of the food lovely and the food was decent, but we didn't really get value for money for the $25 prix fixe meal.

Website: http://blackbirdrestaurant.com/
Blackbird on Urbanspoon

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