FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar - Chicago
In the landmark architectural gem, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar is the new restaurant in the building, and it’s serving food inspired by Midwestern farmers and purveyors.
Executive Chef Leonard Ventura explains “The idea behind FireLake is to create that comforting feeling of sitting around a campfire and eating delicious, yet simply prepared, food, but with all of the amenities of a cosmopolitan restaurant.” That campfire feeling is helped along by an on-site smoker, the sweet smells of which you’ll notice after taking just a few steps into the dining room. The smoker burns cherry, maple, apple and mesquite woods, used on a rotating basis, turning out such deliciousness as 24-hour slow-cooked brisket, wings, sausage, bacon and mesquite-smoked ribs.
The signature dishes at FireLake include Hunter Crusted Filet Mignon (8 oz of Revier Ranch all-natural beef, butternut squash potato gratin, grilled broccolini, crispy onions, and essence of Pinot Noir), Pan-Roasted Salmon (with lemon-kalamata risotto, and smoked tomato-fennel jam), High Plains Buffalo Burger (with caramelized onions, smokehouse bacon, AmaBlu cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, mustard-mayo, on a brioche bun), Spit-Roasted Prime Rib (hand-carved slow roasted beef, cattleman’s au jus, and two sides) and House-made Smoked Sausage (with caramelized onion and pepper, spicy tomato sauce).
FireLake’s smoker and rotisserie turn out excellent meats and fish, but FireLake also puts out some excellent vegetarian options. For those who prefer lighter, vegetable forward options, you can start with Roasted Cauliflower Bisque and Charred Roasted Corn Salad, both available in smaller and larger portions, in case you want to make a whole meal of either. For entrees, veggie choices include Shrimp and Lobster Salad on a brioche bun with house-made chips (you want these!) and Rotisserie Vegetable Pasta.
There is an admirable assortment of cocktails, with standouts like Lake Front Views (Pierre Ferrand 1840, Mathilde Peche, honey, Angostura bitters, and lemon) and The Cold Cut (Few cold brew bourbon, amaro Averna, Giffard orgeat, angostura, and lemon).
For dessert, there are lots of choices, but we’d go with the Chocolate Bomb (flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache).
During weekend brunch service, FireLake offers items like Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast, FireLake Lox Platter…and bottomless Mimosas or bottomless House Bloody Marys.