Have you heard of the Silversmith Hotel? I hadn't, either.
Located along Jewelers Row in The Loop, this boutique hotel itself is literally a jewel of a placethe hotel interior is quite sleek, and some of the tables have diamonds ( or diamond facsimiles ) on them. That was one of the entrancing things about Adamus ( 10 S. Wabash St.; Silversmithchicagohotel.com/dining.aspx ), an inviting restaurant whose name is Greek forwhat else?diamond.
The restaurant provides a luxury settingand is helped by its telegenic chef, Nelson Erazo, who said his motto is "Never say no." ( He meant that regarding culinary requests only, folks. ) Erazo immediately put my friend and me at ease, and the music ( Donna Summer, etc. ) gave the place a fun feel.
Thankfully, the food had a quality that matched the setting. The chilled watermelon gazpacho definitely pleased my dining companion, while lobster croquettes ( with corn, roasted shallots and tasso gravy ) were sufficiently tasty.
However, the high point for both of us was the wild striped bass and pastini salad. The ingredients of the salad ( complete with fennel, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, baby arugula salad and truffle vinaigrette ) worked well togetherbut the bass put it over the top. In fact, I wouldn't eaten the fish ( which was cooked perfectly ) by itself.
The warm chocolate cake ended the meal well. Similar to the lava cakes seen at some chain restaurants, this dish was fluffy and not too rich.
However, with all the praise came a couple of problems. First, Adamus promotes specialty cocktailsbut I couldn't get one at 2:30 p.m. because the hotel bar doesn't open until four. ( What hotel does that? ) Also, we had some unwelcome visitorsin the form of fruit fliesthroughout the entire meal. I was constantly swatting them away and, when I summoned the server about the situation, she responded with an Emmy-worthy "I'm mortified!" ( She was very nice, but this one instance just didn't quite ring true. )
If Adamus can correct those problems, guests can expect a practically amazing experience. The restaurant definitely has a lot going for it.
Florentine's corn menu
Through the end of August, The Florentine ( 151 W. Adams St., in the J.W. Marriott hotel; e2hospitality.com/florentine-chicago/ ) is offering a "Taste of Summer" three-course lunch menu ( $27 ) that focuses on corn. ( This follows the June theme of squash and the more promising stone fruit-focused menu of July. )
I recently tried the line-upand came away throughly impressed with Chef Zachary Walrath's offerings. My favorite was the first course: absolutely delicious corn fritters with rock shrimp, chili aioli and lemon. However, I also liked the raviolo, complete with taleggio, charred corn, basil, corn shoots and black truffle brown butter.
The last course worked for me as well, although it took me a minute to get used to the sweet corn-infused panna cotta. The blueberry compote really, really worked well with it.