Right after our first meal at Avec, we walked a couple of doors down to Blackbird, a one-Michelin star restaurant which, like Avec, had an extensive beverage menu.

The ambience here was upscale casual, the crowd lively and boisterous, the music playlist fantastic (at least for my generation).

Since this was our second meal, we opted out of the tasting menu ($130; $200 with additional wine pairings) and instead ordered a few dishes to share. What stood out to me the most were the endive salad ($14) and the burnt toast ice cream. The salad came in a playful presentation of an edible woven basket and contained crispy potatoes, pancetta, and a lovely poached egg. It was a feast for both the eyes and the belly.

As for the dessert, I know burnt toast has been a thing lately, but I’m personally not a fan of the taste. However, the ice cream was subtle and tasted more like rich coffee.

My favorite entree was the aged roasted duck breast ($40) accompanied by potatoes, spring onion, and lavender; it took me to Provence in spring.

The food was excellent and creative, the cocktails thoughtful, the experience nostalgic. It’s not cheap, though, so you can get a Blackbird sampling by going for the three-course prix fixe menu at lunch ($25).

Blackbird
619 W. Randolph St. (At N. Deplanes St.)
Chicago, IL 60661
Ph. +1 312 715-0708

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