A few weeks ago, I spent a gorgeous afternoon with the Windy City Bloggers on the rooftop of the PUBLIC Hotel in Chicago tasting some of the new cocktails and menu items for the Pump Room's Spring Menu. Everything was delicious and I got some really great photos if I may say so myself. Check it out...
Asparagus and Bacon Flatbread with Parmesan and Fontina Loved this flatbread. This was my one of my favorite passed appetizers for the night. The flavors were incredible and who doesn't love bacon. It was surprisingly light as well. If it were a warm night, this wouldn't be to heavy of a meal. I'd love to go back and have more of this. Beignets For dessert, they served two types of beignets. One was a chocolate espresso and the other was peanut butter and jelly. Both were to die for. I still dream about the chocolate espresso. Endive and Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Parmesan Dressing and Herbs This was a very refreshing salad. It's very light but still has a tangy flavor thanks to the Parmesan. This would be a great starter but I wouldn't recommend it for the main course option. You'll want something a little more substantial. Ramp Toast, Goat Cheese and Black Pepper I loved these toasts. They were another favorite of mine from the night. I haven't cooked with ramps but I've had them quite a few times at restaurants. I'm always impressed with their flavor. The goat cheese was a nice touch. It gives the toast a tangy quality. I had several of these. Salmon, Crispy Sushi Rice and Chipotle Aioli I have to be honest, raw sushi is not my thing. I'm not a sushi person in general so trying this was a big step for me. I normally wouldn't go near raw fish. This wasn't bad though. It wasn't my favorite of the night and I'd be lying if I said I ate the whole piece of salmon but I did love the crispy sushi rice and chipotle aioli. It was quite tasty. I finished that part of the appetizer. Sweet Pea Soup with Parmesan Foam and Sourdough Croutons This was by far my favorite of the night. It takes the number one spot over everything. The flavors in the pea soup were incredible. It isn't like the canned stuff you get from the store, it's smooth and sweet and a bit garlicky. It's delicious. The sourdough croutons were phenomenal as well. They could have just brought me a bucket of this stuff and I would have been happy. I unfortunately didn't get a photo of this one. I was too busy sipping it apparently.
Tuna Tartare with Ginger Dressing and Radish Another raw fish. I was really apprehensive when I grabbed one of these off of the tray but pleasantly surprised to find out that I kind of liked it. I think the ginger dressing was the selling point for me. It really balanced the tuna flavor well and I couldn't really tell I was eating raw fish. I'm not sure I would order this on my own but it was light and fresh, great for a spring appetizer. As far as the cocktails went, they were interesting, unique and tasty. I personally loved the Lucille's Ball best along with West of the Sun. Lucille's Ball was fruity and delicious with light bubbles. I loved the strawberry flavor. West of the Sun was incredibly unique with the ginger flavor. I really enjoyed it. The Pilot Light was the most interesting with a bright blue color and it's spicy kick. This one blew me away with it's presentation and unique flavors. I've never tasted a cocktail anything like it before. It was amazing. I got photos of most of the drinks except for the first.
Grounds for Divorce George Dickel rye, Averna, Cynar, Kirschwasser, celery bitters
Lucille's Ball Broker's gin, Botran Reserva rum, JCB #69 sparkling rose, grapefruit, lemon, strawberry-pink peppercorn shrub Pilot Light Tromba Blanco tequila, blue curacao, Ancho Reyes, Peleton mezcal, passion-chili SpringVesperAviation gin, Absolut vodka, Lillet Blanc, Chareau West of theSunDeath's Door gin, Carpano Dry vermouth, wasabi syrup, soy, lemon, candied ginger