Oh what can I say.
Fine dining. At it’s Chicago best.
I only dined for lunch however, that experience only foreshadows what an amazing dinner experience is available at Sixteen.
Upon driving up (we took the valet parking) we were greeted with excellence and professionalism. That professionalism didn’t stop at the hostess nor the waiter and support staff.
Their menus are constantly changing and we were presented with a menu of a few sandwiches, salads and entrees. Also was the option of a prix fixe (pronounced prefix) menu. If you’re unaware of what that is, it’s a menu that includes a multiple course meal with preselected appetizers, dessert and a couple of choices for entrees started by a non-alcoholic dessert which was a raspberry spritzer. That day’s entrees were a skirt steak salad and fish of the day, salmon. Appetizer was either risotto or clam chowder and the dessert was a lemon cake with ice cream.
Average price for lunch is about $25, $7 for soups, $8 for dessert and $32 for the prix fixe menu. It’s true fine dining meaning portions meet that expectation but so do presentation, flavor and quality of ingredients. I ordered the prix fixe with the soup and salmon.
The spritzer was very tasty and cleansed the palate nicely. It was fizzy with a pop of lemon and raspberry with a beautiful raspberry floating around inside. The soup balanced, well seasoned and neatly presented. My only concern was the lack of clams in the clam chowder but either way it tasted excellent nonetheless.
The salmon came and I remembered where I was eating (small size) but it looked beautiful. The salmon was served with spinach and quinoa, a grain like “vegetable”. The salmon was perfectly cooked throughout, seared on the outside, delightfully left moist in the middle, and left with it’s light salmon flavor in tact and present. Neither the spinach nor the quinoa took away from the salmon.
Dessert was good. A nice sweet, but tangy and tart lemon cake decorated with white chocolate shavings and a sugar crisp. The meal was wrapped up with a choice of coffee or tea. The English breakfast tea was amazing, served whole leaf with honey on the side.
I have to say that this is the second best place I’ve eaten at, the first being Mesa Grill in NYC. The reason Mesa gets betters marks is because it’s a little more well rounded as far as service and menu go. It’s just a little more comfortable too and less ritzy. But make no mistake, Sixteen is still an exerience.