CloverEats: bellyQ in West Loop
The last time we were downtown on Randolph, we walked all the way from Au Cheval to bellyQ, only to find that it was closed and then subsequently walked all the way back to Grange Hall. This time, I made sure that bellyQ would be open by making reservations. I had read about their drinking vinegars and was super excited to finally get to eat here.
I guess I didn’t really have to make reservations because when we arrived at around 5PM, it was quite empty. We briefly stopped by the takeout sister restaurant next door, Urbanbelly, to check them out as well. I love the wide spaces and the use of wood throughout the restaurants. You can sit at a normal table, or you can sit at one of these grill tables, and for $60/person, follows a chef’s menu of grilled goods.I loved this drink, the Red Lotus, with sake, yuzu, cane sugar, and very interesting basil seeds. It was sour but sweet, and really delicious.
For entrees, we got a range of meaty dishes. Of these, I thought the marinated lamb satay was the best, although the smoked hamachi was a fun deconstructed sushi, and the short ribs and chicken weren’t bad either. I had been super excited about the drinking vinegars, and got a passionfruit vinegar with mezcal, as was recommended in the menu. Unfortunately, the drink was not vinegary enough for me, it was just overwhelming Mmzcal. To my surprise, dessert was the best part of the meal. These Vietnamese cinnamon donuts came out piping hot, and had the perfect amount of crunch on the outside with a magnificently soft and fluffy interior. They were so delicious that we actually got a second order of donuts, and talked about coming back just for donuts. Fantastic with huckleberry jam and vanilla soft serve. There is even a karaoke room, if you’d like to show off your singing skills!