I first became acquainted with Chef Jonathon Sawyer's cuisine at Cleveland's famed Greenhouse Tavern in 2013and I still occasionally dream about the corn-and-creste pasta dish I had there.
Therefore, I had high hopes about Sawyer's move from Cleveland to Chicago that took place last year.
Said move resulted in Sawyer being the executive chef of Adorn Bar & Restaurant, in the Four Seasons Hotel (120 E. Delaware St.; www.adornrestaurant.com )and a recent visit for brunch showed that my hopes were justified.
Of course, with the setting being this highly esteemed hotel, the setting was as elegant as I thought it would be. (However, especially for brunch, one needn't worry about dressing to the ninesalthough I've been to other spots, such as Maple & Ash, where patrons dress to impress.)
Sawyer's items are as inventive as they are sinfuland that's saying (or writing) a lot. Even the fresh-fruit plates come with jewels such as honeycombs and candied pomegranates. And regarding cereal, don't expect Froot Loops (or even some deconstructed variety thereof); Sawyer has unveiled Teeny Tiny Croissant Cereal, coupled with house horchata.
For my brunch entree, I opted for the SB&Ga delightful melange of country sausage, pepper gravy-aged cheddar, buttermilk biscuits and sunny-side-up eggs. My guest went for the Breakfast Burger; he raved that the smashed patty was delightful and "just the right size." And the sandwich came with a surprise: Sawyer scooped out part of the upper bun and placed an egg in the pocket.
Then, we decided to try the lemon-ricotta pancakesand those may have been some of the best pancakes I've tried. I was worried that the lemon would be overpowering, but such concerns were unwarranted; the pancakes were feather-light, and the lemon essence was just the right amount.
Lastly, Sawyer surprised us with dessert courtesy of Pastry Chef Juan Gutierrez. (Interestingly, they share a connection through the TV show Chopped, as Sawyer has competed and been a judge, while Gutierrez is a "Chopped Sweets" champion.) The culinary work of art I tilted towardthe Colombia Tierra Querida, which incorporates coffee mousse, dulce de leche cremeux and the wafers known as obleasmerits a return visit by itself.
If there was any doubt that hotel restaurants are light years removed from where they were even a decade ago, Adorn is a stellar "Exhibit A." Dining there is a singular experience.
NOTE: Regarding COVID-related protocols, Adorn and the Four Seasons employ temperature checks as well as hand-sanitizer stations. Face masks are required until you're seated at a table.