I previously dined at City Mouse ( 311 N. Morgan St.; CityMouseChicago.com ) not too long ago during a stay in the adjoining Ace Hoteland remembered being impressed with the cuisine.
A year and a half later, my opinion hasn't changed.
The atmosphere was a bit hectic at first, thanks to a mix of hotel guests, neighbors and nearby workers ( as Google is across the street ). However, after a while, many people dispersed, making conversation a bit easier to have.
City Mouse recently implemented its fall menuand there were many standouts during our visit. I urge you to start with the country mousea delightful combination of cheddar, caramel and caviar. I know it sounds unorthodox, but it magically works.
Other dishes were inspiring while incorporating occasionally unusual ingredients. The delicate squash was nicely accented with brown butter, golden raisin and lime, while the addictive ricotta agnolotti features smoked tomato, saffron and honey. The tagliatelle ( with Gulf shrimp ) is kicky and sweet, thanks to the Calabrian chili butter. However, the bone-in beef rib is worth every bit of its $54; it's a masterpiece of cooking, coupled with a small pot of duchess potatoes with burnt ends.
The only drawback was the popular half-chicken. Served with lemon pepper and panzanella, my friend and I agreed that the dish was surprisingly dry. Maybe it was just an off night.
And then there was Joypossibly one of the best servers I've ever had. After bonding over our mutual dislike of weddings, she described the menu in quite an amazing way, going beyond mere ingredients to describe how items come together and are prepared. After she was done, my friend and I wanted to try the entire menu.
Ready for something different? How about a place that part-bar, part-virtual reality experiences?
That's the concept behind Aaron Sawyer and Jonathon Irons' spot Redline VR ( 4700 N. Ravenswood Ave.; RedlineVR.com ), which essentially allows you and your friends/guests to try a wonderful array of games.
Individuals or groups can purchase virtual reality ( VR ) experiences that allow them to do everything from shooting spaceships to painting to playing tennis to stepping out onto a plank dozens of stories in the air.
And if all that isn't enough, even the drinks are VR experiences. Guests can select drink items such as The Fuzzy Navel and Box Car; they are examples of the individual VR experiences where headsets will be given to guests as their cocktails are prepared. Featured drinks and experiences will rotate throughout the year as seasons change.
Note: Profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.