Last week I had the pleasure of dining at Eden, a modern American restaurant on the edge of the West Loop. The space, which opened in December of 2016, is The Paramount Group’s first restaurant, with their main office and event space being next door. We were seated at the chef’s counter, which allowed us a glimpse into the kitchen and casual conversation with the staff throughout dinner. The five course meal was nothing short of wonderful, perfectly paired with various wine selections, and was prepared and served by some of the most lovely people I’ve met.
The evening began with some in-house made bread (literally had come out of the oven that afternoon), served with whipped butter and a garlic and rosemary olive oil, recommended by our waiter. Our waiter was a most charming man named Bill, who we learned has extensive knowledge in the Chicago fine dining industry, having worked at some of the most top notch eateries in the city. Under his direction, my friend and I each selected the meat-eater’s version of the meal (you can elect to go with the vegetarian menu if that suits your fancy instead).
Our starter course was the Ahi Tuna Crudo, which had a zesty lime flavor and a smokey egg yolk, paired with a crisp Napa Brut, the 2014 Domaine Carneros. The sight of this dish alone had me salivating, and it exceeded expectations on the tongue. Next up was the Spring Seafood Stew, my favorite of our 5 courses. It was a light broth served with various different seafood including a plentiful serving of calamari, which was to die for. On the side was a slice of the homemade bread with a fresh tomato spread, and paired with a lovely 2017 Albarino. Following our first course was the Skuna Bay Salmon, a no fuss, delicately seasoned salmon with fresh fennel and a lemon tang, paired with a full bodied Pinot Grigio, the Terlato by Friuli Venezia Glulia.
Now for the mains! Bill overheard me mentioning that there was an Australian lamb course on the regular dining menu, but not on the fixed menu we were eating, and he was able to convince the chefs to let us swap out one of our entrees for it (props to you, Bill. You rock!). The lamb was perfectly cooked at a tender medium rare (my favorite), and simply melted in your mouth. My friend had the Wood Grilled Angus Striploin, the traditional option the menu. Paired with my favorite wine of the night, the Chateau Barreyre Bordeaux Blend, it was a fantastic end to the meal and I am happy we got to try them both.
Next was perhaps the most eventful part of the evening. Bill took us on a full tour of the restaurant, including the kitchens, event spaces, offices, and my absolute favorite, the greenhouse. Eden is unique in that it grows as much of their ingredients as possible, right on site. They are passionate about growing and using their own food and utilizing as many local ingredients as they can, so they built their own urban garden where they grow over 40 different crops at once to use in their dishes. Absolutely incredible! We then finished up the evening with the Strawberry Shortcake dessert and chatted with the Sous Chef, Bryan Collante, who explained the dishes to us himself directly from the kitchen most of the night.
The dining experience at Eden is one I highly recommend. The service is quick, but you don’t feel rushed, and the food is spectacular. The dining room is beautifully decorated, but if you have the chance, definitely sit at the chef’s counter for the personalized experience that we had. If you’re attending an event at United Center, City Winery, Bottom Lounge, or any of the great west West Loop venues, this is the perfect place to begin your night!
Eden is open Wednesday-Saturday, 5-10pm, (bar is open till 11 on Friday and Saturday), and on Sundays from 10am-2pm for brunch.
1748 W. Lake Street Chicago IL 60607.