6.30.2009

Park Grillin' It

Last week, I had a business dinner at the the Park Grill in Millennium Park. The restaurant, situated in the shadow of the famous reflective Cloudgate sculpture (better known as The Bean), cooks a contemporary American cuisine, and offers indoor and outdoor dining. Because of the humidity, which had carried over into the early evening, we opted for the indoor experience.

The decor inside is very traditional and expected - deep wood and warm colors in a large space arranged around an unlit fireplace. Basically, it looks like a nice restaurant - nothing too exciting there. But then again, I tend to gravitate towards flashy! But let's move on to the important part here...the food.

The meal began with a hearty bread basket, served with creamy unsalted butter with an olive tapendade accompaniment. The two together, although I wouldn't automatically think to pair them, was delicious. The butter cut some of the salt out of the olive salad and I think I ate way too much of this, before my meal actually arrived.

Hummus. It can be so...bland. But just look at this plate! It was not only pretty but had some real substance behind all of its good looks. Topped with a hint of cayenne, it even had a little bit of a bite. A favorite for The City Veg.

Another beauty here - this was a beet salad with candied walnuts, watercress, and a goat cheese dressing that was really more like a foam. Ever since Marcel's season of Top Chef, I've been anti-foam, but this actually worked with all of the other textures on the plate. Sidenote: I used to absolutely despise beets. Now I love them. Discuss amongst yourselves.

We also ordered the Kobe burger, which you can see at the top of this post, and I'm told by my meat-devouring dining companion that it was quite good, along with a side of roasted mushrooms and onions. The dinner was good but overall, pretty standard. It's the perfect place for a business dinner in fact, and a post-dinner stroll around Millennium Park, can not be beat.

Tangent alert:
While perusing the offerings at Park Grill, I noticed a small logo at the bottom of the menu: "Produce Provided By Midwest Foods". I was intrigued. I looked them up and found a really well done web site with the tag line of "supplying the freshest produce to the finest kitchens". Not knowing much about produce distribution, it's a fun web site to click around on. Check it out. You can even see the "special" produce that is in season right now - which includes Pea Tendrils, Patty Pan Squash, Thai Eggplant, Mangosteens, Passion Fruit and more.

3 comments:

carbomb said...

Henceforth, I will only call it Millwnnium Park. Well played, Ms. Shannon.

Shannon Darling Dearest said...

Damn it! Fixed...you're going to have to keep the spirit of Millwnnium alive all by yourself.

dapeen said...

FOAM PARTY!