Adorn - Chicago
Adorn at the Four Seasons is a lively new restaurant from James Beard award-winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer, serving exceptional food and full of surprises.
It used to be that hotel restaurants were considered more places of convenience than destinations; Adorn confirms that at the Four Seasons, you can enjoy inventive and delicious food that can stand on its own and merit a special trip, even if you’re not staying at Chicago’s Four Seasons, one of the world’s finest hotels.
The Adorn menu begins with a few surprises. Case in point: Bread and Edible Candle Service features aged beef suet, a seeded cracker and house pita. Eating fat was once considered, let’s just say, not cool. With the evolution of American tastes, however, and the ready acceptance of straight-out fat as an appetizer, we have the Italians to thank for introducing us to strutto, or beef fat, which is also called tallow (and in the not-so-distant past, it was used to make candles; get it?). It’s delicious. And Sawyer even includes a recipe for this dish on the restaurant website (we thank him for that, though we recommend you have him render the fat and serve it to you; it’s a lot easier that way).
Another surprising dish is the Truffle Poutine. Poutine, the French fries in cheesy gravy favored by Canadians, especially in Quebec, is here dressed up with the world’s most highly valued fungus, a clever mingling of fancy and everyday foods. This big platter of deliciousness is a lot to tackle as a first course, so you might want to enjoy it as a side, and like the Bread and Edible Candle Service, this dish is Kosher.
Lest you think that dining at Adorn is going to be an off-the-wall experience, Sawyer pulls you back with some comfort foods that you’ve probably had many times, but perhaps never so expertly prepared. For those who prefer the gifts of the sea, there’s halibut, baked in salt (the better to draw out moisture and concentrate flavors), served with Hollandaise, pickled mustard seed, pureed potatoes and asparagus, gluten free and, yes, Kosher (a theme that’s pulled through many of these dishes).
Even the humble hamburger gets high treatment at Sawyer’s Adorn. The Dry Aged Prime Beef Burger is topped with the traditional American cheese, adorned (ha!) with bacon and *secret sauce,* presented on a potato bun. And yes, French fries do come with that (and they’re labeled as “proper fries,” so they get a lot more attention than this simple and customary side usually receives).
If you’re having a fancier dinner with friends or business associates, you may want a piece of meat that will pair perfectly with a selection from Adorn’s extensive wine list. In that case, you may prefer to go with the Classic Filet in a red wine Bordelaise, served on a painted plate (we’re not exactly sure what that is, so let it be a surprise).