Restaurant Week 2013: Blackbird and Carriage House

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week, held February 1–10, 2013.

Lunch at Blackbird

Smoked Arctic char appetizer, Blackbird
Smoked Arctic char appetizer, Blackbird

Best Bite: While no dish was less than excellent, I was most wowed by the starter, a superbly delicate piece of smoked Arctic char. I loved the crunch from cauliflower and pear, and just enough meatiness from the tiny dollop of ‘nduja, a type of spreadable salami. It set the tone for the other unique flavor combinations to follow. See full menu.

Other notes: Gorgeous plating, quiet space, surprising main course accompaniments (onion noodles and buttermilk sauce to go with grilled sturgeon), and decadent dessert (an elegant Nutella-banana mash-up) with coffee service.

Chocolate hazelnut bread pudding dessert, Blackbird
Chocolate hazelnut bread pudding dessert, Blackbird

The details: Blackbird, 619 W Randolph St., Chicago.

Dinner at Carriage House

Crispy braised pork shoulder
Crispy braised pork shoulder entree, Carriage House

Best Bite: The entree best showed off the restaurant’s upscale take on low-country cuisine. The melt-in-your-mouth pork shoulder came with a host of balanced companions: smoked plums, pickled peppers, and celery hearts, atop grits and pork jus. With prevalent vinegar to cut through the richness, it was a pleasantly refined Southern dish. See full menu.

Other notes: Outstanding side of skillet cornbread, divine coffee-fudge dipping sauce for the beignets at dessert, tasty (and strong) rum punch, colorful ceramic dishware, and a table in the cozy porch area, with plaid flannel blankets over the chairs and plenty of candles.

Skillet cornbread, Carriage House
Skillet cornbread, Carriage House

The details: Carriage House, 1700 W Division St., Chicago.

5 Replies to “Restaurant Week 2013: Blackbird and Carriage House”

  1. I absolutely love blackbird (they actually always have $22 3 course lunches, even if it’s not restaurant week)!!! Your photos of Carriage House look absolutely delicious! YUM!

    1. Oh yeah, good call on Blackbird! Definitely need to keep that in mind 🙂 and let me know if you check out Carriage House; I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading!

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