When I first went to Green Zebra ( 1460 W. Chicago Ave.; GreenZebraChicago.com ) several years ago, I came away with a new appreciation of vegetarian/vegan cuisineand the room that makes your coats toasty during the winter was a nice touch as well.
A recent visit to the Shawn McClain-led eatery, which opened in 2004, did nothing to dispel said appreciation, as I was continuously dazzled by appetizing selections.
Chef de Cuisine David Chapman ( an affable, incredibly funny fellow ) started things promisingly with an amuse bouche of squash, reduced apple cider and pecans ( just in time for fall ), followed by hen of the woods mushroom pate, served with raspberry mostarda and shaved watermelon radishes.
I heartily recommend the fermented beet ( not beef ) tartare, delicately balanced with borscht yogurt, candied pistachios, dill pollen and raspberry powder. And my favorite item was probably the pumpkin pot stickers ( with sesame soy dipping sauce ), although the apple pierogis weren't far behind.
Fresh spring rolls were tasty and refreshing; they're filled with snow peas, pickled shiitake mushrooms, Ruby Streak mustard greens, cucumber, mint and apricot soy sauce. And I have to give props to the poached duck egg dish, which is served with smoked potato puree, parsley and country sourdough.
And please take time for dessert. Although the olive-oil cake was not there ( I remembered that from my previous experience there ), tantalizing items such as fried apple pie and dark chocolate cake are available.
To make sure you have a filling experience ( physically and otherwise ), I'd recommend getting at least three dishes apiece. That way, you can have a more well-rounded experience at this incredible space.