Olive oil cake
*** (3 stars)
This is another good restaurant defeated by its interior design, where no consideration was given to acoustics. You can’t seat 160 people in a glass and tile box and end up with anything but cacaphony. They’ve even put carpet on the undersides of the table to try to fix what shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.
Some work is needed at the front desk, which is staffed by at least three people. Not sure why it takes a five-minute conversation to decide upon a table when you have a reservation and the restaurant is 1/3 empty.
The food is quite good. The best dishes we had were all raw fish: the Shima Aji Crud, Madai Snapper Aguachile, and the marinated ahi tuna, which was listed under pitas because it was served with one (although probably unnecessarily).
The Harry’s Berries Strawberries and mushroom pizza were also very good.
The Whole Roasted Dusk was an interesting dish, but not a completely successful one. It included, thick who slices of very rare and not particularly tender duck, plus duck sausages served in a tureen with greens and beans and baked covered with pita dough. An odd presentation, and the greens turned out to be the best flavor in the mix.
The highlights of dessert were all the ice cream flavors, including Green Chartreuse served ala cart, the creme fraiche ice cream served with the olive oil cake, and the ice creams in the huckleberry sundae.
There’s a nice list of wines by the bottle at reasonable prices. Food pricing also seems very reasonable, although it should be noted that everything except the duck was really a small serving.
Service was fine, but not exactly enthusiastic. Our waiter seemed like he’d put in an all-nighter, and it was only 6:30.
I would certainly go back for all the raw fish plates that were the highlight, but only if the restaurant was half full. Otherwise the noise level is simply unacceptable.
Pacific Standard Time
141 W Erie St
Chicago, IL 60654