You've been shopping the Mag Mile for hours, you're starving and the crowd at RL is too much to bear. Sneak away to this spot for a quiet, elegant lunch or dinner: Allium at the Four Seasons hotel, a new restaurant-and-bar concept from chef Kevin Hickey.
Changes have been afoot at the Four Seasons--the hotel just hung 100 newly acquired works of contemporary art to spice up its stately lobby--and Allium ushers in a less-formal era than that of its predecessor, Seasons. (The Seasons room is now used for special events while Allium--in the Seasons lounge space--has retained the classic mahogany walls but switched to modern furniture in a warmer palette.)
Whether you go for a quick salad or settle in for all-out decadence, Allium's menu delivers: Luscious bacon-and-onion buns ($4) are a no-fail way to start a meal, along with bison tartare served with a perfectly poached egg ($16). The Wisconsin walleye is crisp and light ($25), and we hereby assert that the Chicago-style hot dog with "homemade everything" ($14) should be tried at least once in a lifetime. No one serves a dog this juicy or crisp-skinned, and the condiments in mini squeeze tubes and bowls of impeccably diced onions are a delight to behold.
A hot dog at the Four Seasons, you ask? Yes. We insist.
Allium at the Four Seasons, 120 E. Delaware Pl., 7th floor; 312-799-4900 or alliumchicago.com