1301 N State Pkwy
(between Goethe St & Banks St)
Chicago, IL 60610
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Gold Coast
Chicago has really developed into a foodie city in the last couple of years! I remember when I last went in 2007, the good restaurants that were recommended by the tour books consist of steakhouses and Italian restaurants. How the food world has evolved – nowadays, the choices are so diverse. There is also a celebrity chefs culture developing in the city. It’s so great!
On my recent trip, my fellow foodie colleague suggested that we dine at the newly renovated Pump Room. It’s located inside the also renovated Public Hotel. The decor is very modern and chic, in black and white. Inside the restaurant, there are a lot of lanterns hanging over the dining area, which make it really cozy. Even though the tables are close by each other, you can hardly hear the conversations of the nearby tables. Maybe it’s the fact that the restaurant recently reopened, service is emphasized – waiters/waitresses kept coming by to fill up on our water, and even the manager came by to check on us.
For starters, we chose the roast carrot and avocado salad. The carrot was nice and tender, and naturally sweet. It was a good combination with sprouts and avocado. I want to learn how to roast carrots like this! $8
We also went for the pretzel dusted calamari, which come with 2 dipping sauces (mustard aioli and marinara). The calamari was nice and crunchy, and the sauces complimented the squid. $8
For my entree, I chose the Lake Superior whitefish with red bliss potatoes and spinach. The fish was actually pretty big. The skin was crispy while the rest of the fish sat poached in the juices. Yum! $18
My fellow foodie selected the grilled salmon salad. He said the salmon was perfectly done (not flaky and the center was still slightly raw) and juicy. $15
At this point, we were both so stuffed. But, when the waitress brought the dessert menu around, we decided to take a look and ended up ordering this: creme fraiche cheesecake with roasted figs and concord grape sorbet. It’s the most fancy cheesecake I’ve ever seen! The roasted figs and the tart grape sorbet brought a nice balance to the creaminess of the cheesecake. It was the perfect ending to a really great meal! $7
Thanks JA for recommending this restaurant and for being so patient while I take the food pictures!!! 🙂