Good-bye, leopard-print carpeting. This fine-dining destination on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange now has a much sleeker look, with black carpeting, black armchairs, and silver sconces in place of the heavy chandeliers. But though the decor may have once seemed dated, chef Jean Johos cuisine has never been. On my last visit dinner began with an amuse bouche: a mousse-light brandade, a sip of artichoke soup, and a dab of celery remoulade festooned with a crispy piece of fried fish. The sauce accompanying a smoky-flavored roast lobster bore hints of horseradish, a flavor that came to the fore later in the form of horseradish-crusted grouper. A single scallop served atop a bed of shredded cabbage was dressed in a hauntingly good sauce featuring melfor, an Alsatian honeyed vinegar, with hints of bacon and pleasant bursts of caraway. The crowning dish, a medallion of venison served with tiny portions of spaetzle and red cabbage, was a revelation. This was followed by an impressive selection of artisanal cheeses. Throughout the wine pairings, which included classic Alsatian offerings such as a Tokay, a Riesling, and a pinot gris as well as a big American zinfandel with the cheese course, were right on the mark. We floated through the desserts on a cloud of bliss right up to our after-dinner coffees, offered with a selection of petits fours. Everest offers a pretheater package of three courses for $54 ($86 with wine pairings), with seatings at 5 and 5:30 PM.
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