Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant Week 2017: Dinner at ZED451

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week 2017, held January 27–February 9. View all of this year’s meal recaps, or browse all Restaurant Week coverage from 2013-17.

Butterscotch bread pudding, ZED451

Butterscotch bread pudding with housemade marshmallow

Best Bite: This was my first time back at ZED451 since Restaurant Week 2014. The all-you-can-eat strategy for salads and meats still made it Restaurant Week’s best value, but interestingly, dessert is what stole the show for me on this latest visit. A housemade marshmallow disc was bruléed on top of the butterscotch bread pudding in the most exceptional way, fully melted inside but still holding its crisp exterior.

Harvest table, ZED451

Salads, cheeses, charcuterie, and more from the harvest table

Other notes: Just as before, the harvest table was overwhelming. I especially enjoyed the veggie salads, from beets to carrots to brussels sprouts, and also the array of cheeses with fig and apricot accompaniments. All three meats served tableside – sirloin steak, glazed salmon, and Moroccan-spiced chicken – were even better than I remembered. My next visit may have to be during brunch, which is also unlimited and around the same Restaurant Week price point.

Char-grilled sirloin, ZED451

Char-grilled sirloin, served tableside with Moroccan chicken and Szechuan-glazed salmon

The details: ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., Chicago.

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Restaurant Week

Recap: Chicago Restaurant Week 2014

This marks the end of my second year of Chicago Restaurant Week coverage. I’m happy to report that I enjoyed eight meals between January 24 and February 6 that were part of the annual dining promotion – and yes, that’s one more than in 2013, because that’s how I am.

Here are all of this year’s posts, listed below in chronological order.

Beef stroganoff with mustard spaetzle, mushroom, and peppered cream Graham Elliot Bistro
Spicy Moroccan carrot salad with Greek yogurt, ginger, lime, and grilled scallions, inspired by Alice Waters Ada Street
Gooey butter cake and The Travel Agent dessert cocktail, with CH vanilla-infused rum, limoncello, lemon, and peychaud’s bitters CH Distillery
Braised pork shank “off the bone” and carnaroli risotto with squash, caramelized onions, and wilted kale Naha
Bread basket with assorted breads, house pickles, honey butter, and tomato-herb oil Homestead on the Roof
Red apple orchard sangria (shiraz, brandy, apple	juice, and cinnamon sticks) at our fireside table ZED451
Prime beef meatballs RPM Italian
Steak frites with sauce au poivre Mon Ami Gabi

For even more Restaurant Week, view last year’s recap, or browse all coverage.

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Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week 2014: ZED451

This is part of a series of posts about Chicago Restaurant Week 2014, held January 24–February 6. Check out the 2013 recap, or browse all Restaurant Week coverage.

Dinner at ZED451

Red apple orchard sangria (shiraz, brandy, apple juice, and cinnamon sticks) at our fireside table

Red apple orchard sangria (shiraz, brandy, apple juice, and cinnamon sticks) at our fireside table

Best Bite: ZED451’s churrasceria-style format was a hit with our group of nine. The $33 menu price included all we could eat from the “harvest table” of salads and charcuterie, plus unlimited chicken, steak, and salmon, and a final dessert, so it was an especially good Restaurant Week value. Several of the harvest table’s offerings were creative, flavorful mash-ups, such as guacamole deviled eggs and caesar salad made from brussels sprouts. With so many more eclectic options than that of a standard salad bar, it was even easier to fill up before the meat arrived. I also took the suggestion of a sign at the charcuterie station and saved some of the Shiraz butter to spread onto a piece of sirloin (it was a great suggestion). A pitcher of cinnamon-apple sangria also suited the festive occasion. See full menu.

Brussels sprout caesar salad, guacamole deviled eggs, spicy Thai apple and carrot salads, sauteed wild mushrooms, and more bounty from the harvest table

Broccoli cheddar soup, brussels sprout caesar salad, guacamole deviled eggs, spicy Thai apple and carrot salads, sautéed wild mushrooms, and more bounty from the harvest table

Other notes: Somewhere between our second round of salads and the first round of meat, our server brought miniature, meat-studded biscuits served in a repurposed escargot pan – with melted butter in the middle round spot – that were very popular at our table. The buzzing atmosphere was great for a large group, with our long table extending out from a sizable round fireplace in the center of the room. As a final touch that was befitting of tony River North, the restaurant offered us a free private shuttle that took us a few miles north toward our next destination.

Chef slicing sirloin for the table

A chef slicing top sirloin for the table

The details: ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., Chicago.

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