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SAVOR Streeterville Social; ETA
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-07

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The Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel ( 455 N. Park Dr.; LoewsHotels.com/Chicago/Downtown ) is an upscale beauty that also proves how far hotel dining has evolved over the years.

Streeterville Social, Loews' seasonal rooftop offering, is back with some changes, including more shrubbery and seating, and new menu items—including the addition of brunch. ( However, some things, such as the breathtaking views, have remained. But be sure to take note of the weather, as it's not open if weather conditions are inclement. )

And as for the brunch, it is an amazing experience, provided it's not too hot ( and it wasn't on the day I went ). By the way, this hotel ( like the other Loews throughout the country ) participates in the Flavor by Loews program, which pairs it with local artisans; in this case, the Chicago businesses include Revolution Brewing, here! juice and Chicago Honey Co-op.

The avocado toast is a tasty ( and huge ) serving with organic sunny egg, miso mayo, bonito flakes and herb salad. Another delicious item is the chicken and waffles, which incorporates crispy chicken thigh, sour-cream waffles and spiced honey; however, it was a bit weird that this serving was smaller that the avocado toast.

Gluten-free wild-rice pancakes were pleasant surprises ( although, again, the serving was a bit small ). And I was fortunate enough to sample the classic eggs Benny as well as the King Benny ( eggs Benedict with king crab ); I thoroughly enjoyed these dishes—even if the crab didn't quite measure up to the crustaceans from my home in the Chesapeake Bay area of the country.

The smoked-salmon flatbread ( with sweet corn, smoked fontina, red onion, pickled peach and basil ) was solidly done. And don't go without trying the rhubarb strudel, with strawberry and pastry cream—all eaten on a cool rooftop with a pretty trendy crowd.

ETA

However, if Streeterville Social doesn't appeal to you for whatever reason, there's always ETA Restaurant + Bar—the Loews' first-floor spot that's open year-round.

Some of the Social's items are here as well, such as the avocado toast. However, there are other tempting menu items, including the shortrib French dip, Loch Duart salmon, spring pea-and-leek soup and mushroom paninis. Howeer, the fried-chicken BLT and the ETA burgers are absolute musts. As for desserts, compressed mint watermelon ( with goat's milk ice cream ) puts the "light" in delightful, while the cassis elderflower entrement ( with flourless almond cake and cassis sorbet ) is as elegant delicious as it sounds.

Addendum: Loews Chicago Hotel joins Shedd Aquarium's "Shedd The Straw" initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws throughout the hotel. Loews Chicago Hotel is the first hotel to join the initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastic straws in order to reduce waste and improve marine and freshwater ecosystems.

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


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