Have you ever wished you could travel back in time? Me, I’d love to experience Chicago in the Roaring 20’s, the notorious days of Al Capone. Gangsters, crooked cops and corrupt politicians. The era is frosted with bathtub gin, cloche hats and jazz…it just seems like it was a great time to live. I can vividly imagine myself being glamorously dressed in a flapper, wearing red lipstick and sipping whiskey with my fellow in the basement of a speakeasy.
Lucky for me hidden behind large unmarked doors at 111 W. Kinzie, in Chicago lies Untitled. Paying homage to the vibrancy of supper club and speakeasy establishments of the Prohibition Era, Untitled is an intimate yet swanky space. Delicious food, craft cocktails and the world’s largest American whiskey collection make this establishment a true “hidden” gem.
Last week I was invited to dine at Untitled with Chicago Food Bloggers. While mixing and mingling we ate our way with the chefs tasting menu while sipping wine and whiskey. From the menu we sampled a wide variety of dishes including:
DEVILED FARM EGGS, bacon-n-chives, peperonata
HEIRLOOM CARROTS, whiskey ginger glaze, pickled grapes, smoked walnut dukkah
BURRATA & ASPARAGUS, surryano ham, fig & lemon preserves
CRISPY SQUASH BLOSSOMS, house made ricotta, truffle honey
DRUNK DEVILS ON HORSEBACK, st. peteís blue mousse, pistachio honey
BEEF CHEEKS & SCALLOPS, herb bread pudding, potato-onion soubise
SMOKED ëN GRILLED HALF CHICKEN, evoo smashed potatoes, soy bourbon bacon ramp kimchi
DRY AGED NEW YORK STRIP, bone marrow butter, bordelaise
OYSTER ROCKEFELLER, spinach fontina fondue, bacon bread crumbs
SALMON BELLY TARTARE, fava bean remoulade, seeded rye crackers, smoked roe
STRIPED BASS, house cured guanciale, white beans and dandelion greens
GULF SHRIMP, bacon jam, stravecchio cheese grits, corn nuts
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE IN A JAR, almond sponge cake, cardamom whipped cream
CHOCOLATE MOUSE, hazelnuts, brownie bite, crispy chocolate
My favorite dish of the night was a special delight made by Chef Joseph Heppe. It was a crostini with house made ricotta and tomato. It was two perfect bites of sweet and savory.
In addition to the crostini (which they really should put on the menu) the striped sea bass and beef cheeks and scallops were memorable. The sea bass was perfectly cooked with a beautiful broth. The beef cheeks melted in my mouth.
I have to admit that I was a bit of a skeptic walking into an establishment with three bars, a stage for live music and a weekly burlesque show that the food would be good. I was proven wrong. The food was fresh and well balanced with featured ingredients sourced from Smoking Goose, Slagel Farms, Genesis Growers & Mick Klug Farm.
While our dinner focused on tasting Chef Josephs delicious food I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Untitled outstanding beverage service. Untitled has over 400 choices of American Whiskeys, an array of craft cocktails as well as a superior selection of wines and bubbly from around the world. As an aperitif I enjoyed an Old Fashioned. Having drank A LOT of Old Fashioned drinks in my years, an excellent Old Fashioned is not easy find. It’s sort of like a good pizza, there are a lot of restaurants that make okay pizza but excellent pizza difficult to find. Untitled knocked it out of the park. My drink was well balanced with the perfect essence of orange, cherry and bitters. Recommend by our server, I had a lovely Venta La Ossa ìCrianzaî, Tempranillo that paired perfectly dinner. And with dessert I enjoyed one of the Untitled Single Barrel Bourbons. It was a bright citrus fruit forward bourbon.
I’d defiantly recommend Untitled for dinner and drinks…or drinks and a good time. I know I’ll be back.
111 WEST KINZIE
CHICAGO, IL 60654
Disclaimer: My evening at Untitled including dinner and drinks was complimentary however, all opinions are my own.