Since Chicago is renown as one of the best cities in the US for outstanding restaurants and cuisine, it can sometimes be difficult for Chicagoans to choose a dining destination. There are always at least ten to twenty new spots opening each month. How does one make a decision? My suggestion would be Steadfast, the innovative, chef-driven dining from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group to the Chicago Loop at The Kimpton Gray Hotel.
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Financial District, and steps away from Chicago’s Theater District, Steadfast has been elevating the Loop’s dining scene since July 2016 – the most ambitious restaurant to open in the area in years. Diners can enjoy the restaurant’s comfortable yet bustling lunches or happy hour, while appreciating the quality and attention to detail. Dinner is a showcase of true Chicago culinary talent.
Steadfast offers contemporary-American cuisine with beautifully composed dishes to food savvy hotel guests, pre-theater diners, business diners & power-lunchers, along with Chicago’s passionate dining community. Steadfast has been described as an instant classic in one of Chicago’s celebrated historical buildings.
Steadfast’s focal point – the exhibition kitchen, invites guests from every seat in the house to personally connect with the culinary team. The exhibition kitchen houses a wood-fired oven, cast-iron plancha, and overlooks the charcuterie room. A beautiful and original Georgia Grey Marble private dining room, given landmark status by the US Historical Society, offers comfort and elegance to diners, as well as a unique private dining experience.
The restaurant’s intimate space showcases a bold design, welcoming diners to a comfortably sleek, yet gracefully styled dining room. Reflecting the historical building’s classic revival style architecture, Steadfast integrates restoration of original elements with custom-built components.
Along with a global wine program helmed by a professional team of sommeliers, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group’s Beverage Director Benjamin Schiller, one of Chicago’s most respected mixologists, incorporates the regional flavors of the cuisine throughout the cocktail program.
My meal at Steadfast was a night of dining to remember. My guest and I were astounded by the amazing multicourse dinner menu we had that evening. Our amazing server throughout the entire experience, Corin, could not have been more friendly, professional or knowledge with the menu (especially when recommending vegetarian options for myself).
Our food courses were nicely spread out, allowing my guest and I to enjoy our dining experience and not feel rushed, which is something I take pleasure in wherever I am eating. I started with a phenomenal appetizer, which consisted of a roasted beet salad (assorted beets, sunflower seeds, whipped goat cheese, citrus vinaigrette). Not only was the salad beautifully presented with eye-popping colors, it had a nice balance of the sweet-roasted beets, creamy ricotta, tart citrus and a crunchy seed texture. My guest had the fois gras torchon (pumpkin, granola, yogurt), which he insisted was nicely tender and juicy.
An additional appetizer consisted of Steadfast’s artisanal bread selection, where diners can select quite the variety of breads, pickles, butters and oils. We went with the cheddar pretzel, za’atar sourdough, everything francese and pumpkin seed breads. Next, we dipped the savory breads into pickled violet cauliflower, goat and winter truffle butters (the most amazing butter I’ve ever had, considering I am a truffle lover), and herb and sundried tomato olive oils.
Main courses involved a grand pork belly dish (celery root puree, micro greens and apple butter mustard), which my guest consumed quite quickly, and an impeccably-tasting wild vegetable risotto for myself (roasted leeks, carrots and onions with a creamy green pea puree). It was easily one of the best risottos I have ever consumed. The green pea puree impressed me, as I had never tasted anything quite like it. We were also served a dish not offered on the menu, which simply melted in my mouth: soft and delicate gnocchi with melted ricotta cheese and garlic emulsion. Our entrees were paired with a Half Acre Tuna Extra Pale Ale and an exceptional, dry sparkling red rose (Figuière, Le Saint André, Provence, France 2016).
I would personally say that the highlight of the meal were the desserts served to us at the end. They were probably the most unique desserts I have ever had! We first ate a confection of crème brulee, hazelnut powder, sponge candy and grape sorbet. The grape sorbet was unlike anything I had ever eaten and tasted just like classic Concord Grape jam. The second dessert, not offered on the menu, was an assortment of small treats, complements of executive pastry chef/partner, Chris Teixeira. It was presented in a beautiful wooden box with cocoa nibs inside. On the nibs was a cocoa nib cocoa ganache truffle, a strawberry swirl meringue, a sea salt caramel, a fluffy vanilla bean marshmallow, a sour green apple teddy bear gummy, and a crunchy peanut brittle.
Steadfast was just as promised: innovative, unwavering, contemporary American cuisine with a twist. If you are looking for an out of this world dining experience with new and unexpected tasting menus, then Steadfast is dining spot for you.
Photos: Jennifer Lunz
120 West Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 3pm – 6pm
Breakfast: Monday – Friday 7am – 10am
Weekend Brunch: 8:30am -1pm
Lunch: Monday – Friday 11am – 3pm
Dinner: Monday – Friday 4pm – 10pm
Saturday: 5pm – 10pm
Sunday: 4:30pm – 8:30pm