Chef Lee Wolen, who comes to Chicago from New York's much-celebrated Eleven Madison Park, follows former Avenues chefs Curtis Duffy and Graham Elliot at the Peninsula, and while he isn't as audacious or experimental as his predecessors, his food is wonderful. Smoked arctic char with roasted beets, dabs of horseradish, and thin little bites of pumpernickel bread was stunning in its complexity, a joke about a lox bagel that I didn't get until about a week later. Ricotta gnocchi with sweet potato puree, brown butter, and black truffle were sublime, but a bonus winter salad of Delicata squash, toasted wild rice, Greek yogurt, and smoked paprika was maybe the best thing we ate, the taste of each bite wholly familiar yet completely surprising. Scallops were perfectly cooked, the duck breast a magnificent specimen served with braised cabbage and salty caraway streusel. The bread service is great—particularly the bacon brioche, and most particularly the salty goat's-milk butter served alongside. There's wine, of course, and a respectable selection of classic cocktails. And after dinner there were little parfaits of intense chocolate mousse, peanut butter truffles, caramels, cinnamon macarons, and a little pound cake, one for each of us, to have "with coffee tomorrow morning."