Going to experience a tasting menu at a restaurant is a food-lover’s dream, especially if your idea of fine dining is ordering guacamole at Chipotle. What’s an even more unique experience is dining with fellow food lovers. No longer are you the weird one who is photographing your food before consumption.
Adamus (10 S. Wabash) is in Chicago’s loop and is housed inside the Silversmith Hotel. They invited Chicago Food Bloggers to sample their fall offerings. Joining area food bloggers was akin to being one of the judges on Top Chef.
Arugula and goat cheese? You have my attention.
The restaurant features a round bar near the street and several booths along the rectangular dining space. The lines were clean and the booths looked inviting for those looking to enjoy not being in their hotel room. Our long table dissected the space in between the booths on the perimeter.
The night started with some of Adamus’ fine cocktails. I started with the classic cocktail that all bachelors should sample: Sidecar (Cointreau, Hennessey VS, Fresh Lemon, Fresh Orange). I followed that with another classic, Old Fashioned (Whiskey Barrel Bitters, Simple Syrup, Jim Beam Black). My night ended, I think, with their Bourbon Punch (PAMA Pomegranite, Makers 46, Fresh Lemon and Orange). This dinner was on a weeknight and I was to report to the office the following day. Their drinks are strong and get the job done, whether you are celebrating or drinking off the day at the office.
Our dinner was a few weeks back. That space in time allows for the stronger dishes and memories of them to rise to the top. The Chef joined us from the kitchen to announce the dishes and answer any questions. Adamus was incredibly generous and eager to share what the Chef Erazo had planned for the coming months.
The night started with an array of their appetizers. This included beef empanadas with two dipping sauces.
The second course was a white asparagus bisque with chunk lobster and morel mushrooms. These dinners serve as opportunities to try things I wouldn’t normally order. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a white asparagus as it’s seldom an ingredient served on a tortilla. The soup was sweet and luckily for me, my girlfriend has an allergy to shellfish so I got to enjoy her soup in addition to my own. The soup was paired with an arugula salad with goat cheese and pears. The salad was obscenely delicious and unlike your traditional salad. It could easily double as a dessert with the sweetness of the cheese and pears.
Our next appetizer was a garlic-laden flatbread, scattered with pancetta, wilted baby spinach, shaved Parmesan and truffle cream. The crust was good but the raw garlic flavor was overpowering. That’s a sentiment I rarely express as a staunch garlic stencher. Others at the table commented on the garlic punch. If the garlic were roasted or just not as abundant, the flatbread would have been a hit.
All the dishes and drinks led up to this fine showing from Chef Erazo and his team. Certain dishes are simply upsetting and make me wonder “Why can’t I cook ____ like that?” In this case, that dish was the pork tenderloin. It was perfectly season, moist and everything pork tenderloin should be. I asked the chef the secret to cooking the pork.
We use a citrus brine and let it soak overnight.
But how much citrus? What citrus? Is it a citrus cocktail? My guess would be orange and lemon.
The other entree was bronzed walleye pike. Other than shellfish, I never cook fish. The presentation of this dish was beautiful. The sauce was tasty and the fish was cooked well. This may be another one of those dishes that seems effortless, but when I attempt to cook it at home the fish would come out dry.
The Adamus team rebounded extremely well after the flatbread pizza with stellar main course offerings. But they had one more course.
I am not a huge sweets person, but they crushed dessert with a pumpkin cheesecake and s’mors creme bruelee. My fellow diners ooh’d and ahh’d when the desserts came out. They quickly reached for their phones to take gratuitous close-ups of the sucrose creations.
The meal ramped from dish-to-dish leading to the diabetic promised land that is dessert. The s’mors dish was upsettingly good with sticky marshmallows, crunchy graham crackers and an ideal chocolate ratio.
As with all restaurants, some dishes are better than others. Letting my initial impressions digest for a bit assisted in adding perspective to what I recalled. Even looking at the pictures made me long for some of the dishes.
Huge thanks to the folks at Adamus and Chicago Food Bloggers for the invitation to eat like a 14th century king. Also, huge tip of the chef hat to Chef Erazo and his team. I attempt to have dinner parties for a few friends and stress out trying to make everything well and delivered on time. They delivered a great feast of apps, salads, entrees and desserts while explaining each dish.
Now back to my kitchen to try to replicate their creations.