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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DISH: SAVOR Woven & Bound
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-13

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Located in Chicago's Prairie District, the Marriott Marquis Chicago has been open for a few weeks, accommodating everyone from McCormick Place convention attendees to concertgoers at the new WinTrust Arena next door to ... naturally, hotel guests.

Among the features in said hotel is the hotel's Woven & Bound restaurant ( 2121 S. Prairie Ave.; www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/chimq-marriott-marquis-chicago/ ), a spot that, while not perfect, has certainly gotten off to a promising start.

Executive Chef Joshua Murray told Windy City Times that the restaurant's name involves "telling a story" about Chicago and also involves the location of what the American Book Company, now part of the Marriott. ( Bound books—get it? )

Elements of Chicago are also found in the dishes, such as the aptly named Vice District Burger—a sinful concoction of grass-fed beef, avocado, pork pate, fried egg, tomato, Wisconsin cheddar and black garlic aioli on brioche. Another is the walleye po boy ( which comes with pickles, black garlic aioli, napa cabbage slaw and tomato on a baguette ), a sandwich that Murray said reflects the great migration from the South.

Lunch at Woven & Bound was, overall, an elegantly casual experience. The Wisconsin fried goat-cheese curds were delicious, as well as the kicky roasted pepper-and-garlic pork wings. ( However, I wished the shrimp-and-leek fritter appetizers had more shrimp—after my recent trips to Virginia and South Carolina, which featured seafood dishes that were crammed with crab, lobster and other crustaceans. )

However, the aforementioned Vice District Burger is worth the price of admission alone—a wonderfully messy sandwich with complex flavors. My guest really enjoyed her Amish spicy-chicken sandwich as well. ( However, for the meat-averse, there are such dishes as toasted quinoa bowl as well as avocado fries with sriracha aioli. )

The meal concluded with two desserts that attempted to showcase the spot's versatility. The apple galette was a delight, chock full of the fruit. However, both of us were a little disappointed with the giant oatmeal cookie, which took us back to the days of those Little Debbie snack cakes—and maybe too much, as it was way too sweet. ( Maybe our taste buds have changed signficantly from our childhoods. We wouldn't be the first people like that. )

In addition, the decor threw off my dining companion and myself. We had difficulty distinguishing the restaurant from the more casual cafe that's right next to it, and the open setting doesn't help. However, that's more a criticism for the architect than for Murray.

However, don't let that or the restaurant's Prairie Street location deter you from checking out this restaurant. It has enough adventurous and tasty options to make it worth the trip.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


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