Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

[Chicago] Blackbird

619 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60606
Neighborhood: Near West Side


Blackbird is owned by the same owners of Avec, The Publican, Violet Hour and Big Star.  It’s located right next to Avec.  I heard it’s very difficult to snag a dinner reservation, if not booked a few weeks in advance, so I settled for a lunch reservation instead.

The restaurant is very bright and airy.  Be warned, portions are a bit small, even for me!

I can’t say enough about the nice foodies I’ve met in Chicago.  While sitting at the counter for lunch, I met fellow foodie Jerome, who suggested that I read Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential. Great read for any foodie or for anyone who’s curious about the restaurant industry. Thanks for the recommendation Jerome!


Avec has a great prix fixe menu for $22.  I wasn’t really sure what to order, so I placed myself in the chef’s care and went with the prix fixe menu.


Appetizer:  charred baby sepia with green tomatoes, blueberries, chamomile almonds and cynar.  The grilled squid/octopus on top of the blueberries and almonds almost seem like you’re eating breakfast cereal.  Interesting combo and really good!


Entree:  wood-grilled sturgeon with chanterelles, kohirabi, plums, thai poppy jam and brown butter fish sauce.  The fish was perfectly cooked, but I couldn’t really taste the plums or thai poppy jam.


Dessert: bittersweet chocolate cremeux with cashews, butternut squash and bergamot.  Dessert was pretty interesting with the butternut squash.  The chocolate cremeux was creamy without being overwhelmingly chocolatey.  Nice presentation!


And that wraps up my Chicago eats!



[Chicago] Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

60 E Grand Ave
(between Wabash Ave & Rush St)
Chicago, IL 60611

I found Joe’s due to its high ratings on Yelp.  It’s located just a block away from Mag Mile.  So for you shopaholics out there, this is a great place to stop by after your shopping sprees.  🙂
The original Joe’s is in Miami, hence the stone crabs, with the second outpost in Chicago.  There is also a third location in Las Vegas, located at Caesar’s Palace.  The inside of the restaurant is like a high-end steak house.  Service is impeccable and fast.

I went for lunch, since the lunch special “Joe’s Classics” seems like the best way to sample a little of everything.  There are two “Joe’s Classics”, one features the filet mignon and the other features the stone crab.  Since the restaurant is known for the stone crab, that’s the one I ordered.  For $25.95, it includes a cup of soup, 5 stone crab claws (cold), hashed browns, cole slaw and key lime pie.  It’s a really great price for lunch, considering how much food you’d get.


First the restaurant starts you off with a variety of bread, which are all really good!


The cup of soup – I think it’s crab bisque, excellent flavor.


The stone crab claws!!!  The claws are already cracked for your enjoyment.  The crab itself is pretty sweet and juicy, good enough to eat without any sauces.


The hashed browns (more like scalloped potatoes) come in a separate plate and is pretty tasty too.


This was an interesting take on cole slaw – more tangy than normal versions but went really well with the meal.  Mix it all together before you eat!


Finally, the dessert – the key lime pie is as good as the Yelpers said!