As I’ve promised, here is dinner at The Four Seasons Restaurant all in pictures. I’m a believer in “pictures speak louder than words”, so here goes nothing!

The Four Seasons, Chicago

$32 per person for a 3-course fixed price menu

“Recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award and Chicago Magazine’s 3 Star Award. Offering a selection of innovative French informed North American cuisine in an elegant yet comfortable setting.”

Foodies and “amateur critics” (from the left): The Boyfriend Nick, Myself, The roomie Kali, & The Roomie’s Bf David

My Dates

My Dates

First Impressions: Decor at The Four Seasons was very “British” as the roomie put it. A few portraits of Colonial women and men adorned the otherwise bare walls of the dining room. The lighting was extremely dim (hence the “yellow” and dark pictures – I apologize!) There was an incredible amount of space between tables, probably due to the usual slow flow of business. There were much fewer diners at 8pm than I thought there would be, though the restaurant become about 75% full by 9:30 and the average age of diners would be somewhere around 50 years +.

Just for kicks…

We started off with an introduction to the salt and pepper shakers from Italy on our table, that according to our waiter takes about 3 months to replace should it break.

Amusing S&P "shakers"

Amusing Salt and Pepper "shakers"

I wish now I’d taken pictures of the pats of butter we had, because they were sprinkled with light brown sea salt granules that made the bread taste infinitely better. I went a little nuts with the bread when the “bread basket waiter” came around. My favorite was the multi-grain because of all the flavorful seeds on it. The cheese cracker came in second thanks to its crispness and lack of “cheese” flavors, which I was happy about. The pretzel roll is the most famous bread roll, but I found i rather dry and just too salty! The white bread was my least favorite, but a favorite for Kali and David. I found it too dry and crunchy.

Cheese Cracker, Pretzel, Multi-grain, & French

Cheese Cracker, Pretzel, Multi-grain, and French

According to David, French bread in Paris are literally that size and shape. No wonder French women don’t get fat, their bread rolls are TINYYYY. I ate all the bread because watch, the food wasn’t enough for me!!!!

Appetizers

David and I both chose the same appetizer of a “salad” with duck prosciutto, buttercup squash spring roll, and a honey jelly. I ate it all except for half the duck prosciutto & half the buttercup (do they mean butternut?) because I tasted goat cheese in it and I can’t STAND the smell of GOAT CHEESE. The jelly was not a favorite for any of us, but I slathered it on my bread and finished it anyway.

Buttercup Squash and cheese spring roll, Greens with duck prosciutto, with honey jelly

Buttercup Squash and cheese spring roll, Greens with duck prosciutto, with honey jelly

Nick and Kali went for the risotto dish, that was, in my opinion better. I ended up eating most of Nick’s risotto and the boyfriend had half my prosciutto (it’s a fair trade right?). My favorite part of the risotto was the super crisp pork and tender celery on top. I decided the risotto sauce tasted like diluted cream of mushroom soup. And the Pom seeds sprinkled on top didn’t add anything to the dish, apart from color.

Aged Carnaroli Risotto with Heirloom Apples, Pomegranate and Pork Cracklings

Aged Carnaroli Risotto with Heirloom Apples, Pomegranate and Pork Cracklings

Main Course

David and I went for the same thing again, settling for the fish. Now this, I totally polished clean. I could have licked the plate. The highlight of this dish definitely is the green mashed potato fennel puree paired with the fish. Our king fish had a wonderful texture, seared crispy on the outside, medium rare inside and carrying a slight (very slight) fishy taste.

Roasted King Fish with a Relish of Blood Oranges and Salt Packed Capers, Potato Fennel Puree

Roasted King Fish with a Relish of Blood Oranges and Salt Packed Capers, Potato Fennel Puree

The boyfriend and Kali went for the beef. According to them, the beef was cooked PERFECTLY and fell apart in your mouth. Though kali liked it, she decided she enjoyed the fish more while David liked her beef more. The homemade gnocchi was loved even though Nick had HATED the ones we got from Chicago famous Bucca di Beppo restaurant.

24-Hour Braised Beef Short Ribs, Parsnip Gnocchi, Arugula and Winter Vegetables

24-Hour Braised Beef Short Ribs, Parsnip Gnocchi, Arugula and Winter Vegetables

Dessert

This time, Kali and I agreed on the same dessert. Again, I licked the plate clean and I’ve FALLEN IN LOVE with earl grey tea ice-cream. OMG heaven. The tart was also refreshing thanks to the grapefruit on top. The entire tart was lined with caramelized pistachio’s, then a cream was filled over it. Tasty!

Sicilian Pistachio and Ruby Grapefruit Tart with Earl Grey Ice Cream

Sicilian Pistachio and Ruby Grapefruit Tart with Earl Grey Ice Cream

The guys went for the chocolate cake that was literally SOAKED in rum and molten chocolate as soon as you dig into the center. I was a big fan and ended up eating half of Nick’s cake. He must’ve been glad I hated his ice-cream though. The rum ice-cream contained so much rum I thought I could get drunk just eating the scoop.

Warm molten chocolate rum cake with rum ice-cream

Warm molten chocolate rum cake with rum ice-cream

All in all, the food at The Four Seasons was FAR more fun than I imagined. Sadly, let’s just say the four of us won’t be back in the near future for its price. Although the food and flavors met our expectations, “very good” seemed to be the words that kept popping up but there were no “excellent’s”. In other words it didn’t wow any of us. For the price that The Seasons asks, you’re better off at NoMi!

Ratings (1-5)

Overall: 4/5 (Fun experience with attentive service, but the “serious affair” atmosphere definitely needs a lift)

Taste: 3/5 (I have to say average because it only MET my expectations. None of the flavors were memorable at all)

Originality: 5/5 (Definitely can’t find these dishes elsewhere, but question is, would I want the dish again?)

Plating: 5/5 (Gorgeous, elegant!)

Value: 2/5 (The frugal foodie in may says, make your own food or go somewhere else. There wasn’t enough food to fill any of us up and the quality of the ingredients wasn’t so noticeable that you would be happy to shell out $30 for a tiny entree)

Service: 5/5 (Immaculate!)

For more info, visit:

http://www.fourseasons.com/chicagofs/dining.html

120 East Delaware Place
Chicago, Illinois
Tel.: 1 (312) 280-8800