After our very substantial meal at The Chicago Diner, we checked into the hotel and walked to the nearby Magnificent Mile. We did some window shopping and people watching, and then it was time to get gussied up for dinner at Karyn’s On Green.
I visited Karyn’s On Green last fall, and the visit had its flaws. (You can read the post about that visit here.) However, before that David and I both had positive experiences with the city’s upscale/special occasion restaurant, and so it seemed a safe bet to give them another chance.
We were seated near the back at a small table for two. Karyn’s has a varied cocktail list, extensive wine list, and fresh juices. We both opted for a glass of Tempranillo and ordered the nut-based, Aged Raw Cheese Plate to start.
Unlike the softer raw cheeses served at Karyn’s Fresh Corner, these firm cheeses, which had been aged for at least three months, were sliceable for laying onto a dehydrated cracker or thinly sliced apple. They were highlighted with a drizzle of agave syrup. Also on the plate was a pile of radish micro greens, which complemented the saltiness of the cheese and sweetness of the apple. Each cheese was slightly different in flavor, and we rotated between them, picking out a favorite until they had all disappeared.
For the main course, I ordered the “Chicken” Legs. I can safely say that it’s something I’d never seen on a vegan menu before, and I was curious to try it. They’re made with texturized tofu on wooden skewers, lightly breaded, and fried. It was the weirdest sensation holding each “chicken” leg and eating it by hand, revealing the flaky tofu layers underneath the crisp breading. The strangeness of the experience almost overshadowed being able to taste it. They were served on a bed of creamy hazelnut sweet potato mash, charred rapini, and smears of smoky sweet barbecue sauce offering a feel of Southern fine dining.
David ordered the Roasted Portobello, which came with three large grilled Portobello caps. Underneath the mushrooms laid a root vegetable hash and sautéed greens, and they were topped with crispy leeks providing a pleasant combination of textures. It was all served in a Tempranillo reduction, which gave the dish umami and depth.
The portions on the main courses were quite large, especially considering the hefty lunch we’d eaten at The Chicago Diner. We both had about half of our meals taken to go. We could have easily shared either one of the entrees and had plenty.
The weekend we were there, Chicago was experiencing its coldest July weekend in 30 years. It was a wonderful reprieve after the muggy temperatures from earlier in the month. So we decided to take advantage of the comfortable temperatures to walk to Millennium Park, about a mile and a half away. On the way we enjoyed the views of the city skyline, architecture, and artwork.
Once we reached Millennium Park, we took many pictures of Cloud Gate (because you know I can’t refuse a photo opportunity with a bean). Rarely does one come across a piece of art that people are so eager to interact with, and the simplicity of the design becomes complex as you move around it, getting new reflections, even standing underneath it and looking into its center.
After a few more pictures, we continued on to the hotel bar to toast the end of my birthday and a wonderful night in Chicago. In the next post, I’ll cover our final hours in Chicago, before we headed homeward.