Blueberry Bucket List
With blueberry season at its apex, it's high time to binge on anti-oxidants. Which of course makes bingeing that much more accpetable. The tart, juicy berries are on menus all over Chicago. Here's where to eat and drink blueberries this season:
(Blueberry pie a la Big Jones)
Beatrix: One of the standout juices at Beatrix, a restaurant with a penchant for freshness and wholesome cookery, is the Blue Boost. This aptly dubbed libation contains a luscious medley of blueberries, white grapes, and basil. You can feel good about sucking down the whole thing in three minutes flat. Blueberries also lend a hand to the enriching three-grain salad. Along with arugula and chicken, the salad contains freekeh, millet, and red quinoa adjoined by sweet blueberries and Grana Padano cheese.
Bistronomic: The Gold Coast's preeminent modern French bistro just got a menu update. Rounding out its newly concepted menu format, wherein dishes are divvied into plates small, medium, large and shareable, the restaurant is serving blueberries alongside duck. Berries and duck go together like peanut butter and jelly, so the combo of Moulard duck breast with blueberry puree, summer corn, and cherry sauce is a natural (and delicious) one.
The Monarch: Corn and blueberries are seasonal BFF, juxtaposing one another's innate sweetness nicely. The duo join forces on The Monarch's new dessert menu, under the direction of new chef Peter Coenen. The corn creme brulee with blueberry compote and rosemary shortbread is sweet summery simplicity at its finest.
Tre Soldi: Blueberry pie is quintessential summer dining. But how about an Italian rendition? Get to Tre Soldi to partake in their blueberry crostata, a baked tart a la blueberry pie. But better because there's almond filling, salted caramel, and vanilla gelato involved.
Black Dog Gelato: I wait literally all year for Black Dog Gelato to roll out its signature blueberry flavor: blueberry French toast. It sounds a little wonky for a gelato flavor, but if there's anything this gelato shop does well it's seasonal whimsy. Case in point their decadent summer berry flavor made with maple syrup, sweet spices, and blueberries all rolled into one breakfast-flavored scoop.
Acadia: Acadia's new pastry chef Ji Yoon wastes no time updating the dessert menu with vivacious summer flavors. Of note is her new elote-inspired dessert. Because when was the last time you had a dessert inspired by Mexican street food? This stunner features sweet corn mousse, blueberries, and caramel.
The Boarding House: Sometimes you just crave a big ol' plate of warm, gooey bread pudding. Even better when that craving leads you to The Boarding House for their new blueberry goat cheese bread pudding a la mode.
Big Jones: And sometimes, you just crave a slice of classic American blueberry pie. Big Jones does a stellar version with their flaky, rich crust sandwiching local blueberry filling.
- Matt Kirouac