We continue our Chicago saga with one of Chef Paul Kahan’s popular restaurants and we choose from a short-list of three: Avec, The Publican, and Blackbird. At one point during scheduling this trip, I had all of them in, but in the end, I went with Blackbird and it’s ridiculously reasonable $22 lunch prix-fixe. Though we ended up ordering off the regular menu anyway. Beautiful plates and outstanding appetizers sum it all up, but why not see for yourself?

Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with pistachio, rhubarb, pickled mustard seeds and fennel. I quite enjoyed this dish – just-crispy sweetbreads and the mustard seeds were quite nutty and with almost no sharp mustard notes.

This was the clear favourite of the meal. Cabbage soup with crispy bacon, meyer lemon, béchamel, and candied walnuts. Really lovely flavour and I enjoyed the bacon not permeating the soup – it was there as a hit of salt, but it wasn’t a bacon-cabbage soup. Really great.

Reminding me a lot of the Bacon and Egger from The Hoof Café, we had a pork belly sandwich with fennel slaw, dijonnaise, cucumber salad, and garlic frites.

Roasted stuffed quail with royal trumpet mushrooms, melted leeks, and pickled tumeric. Quite interesting how they wrapped up the bird in its own skin. Though I can’t say I loved the quail, the melted leeks were quite tasty.

And dessert! Hazelnut daquoise with espresso granite, crispy chicory caramel, and apricot kernel sherbet. Quite light and perfect for a lunch dessert. I especially enjoyed the espresso granite.

It was a lovely lunch in a bright and modern space. Would love to return sometime on a future visit!

More at Blackbird

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