Breaking fast with Ever (2M) in West Loop
It’s been a long year without eating out; after getting vaccinated and continuing to take distancing and masking precautions, we finally felt safe to return to eating out to celebrate and chose to break our restaurant fast with Ever, Curtis Duffy’s pandemic restaurant in West Loop. We were doubly lucky to be able to eat with our friends, J&J, who we haven’t seen since before the pandemic.
We booked ahead through Tock for their 10 course tasting menu, which uses a $100 deposit that is applied to your final check. The architecture of the restaurant was amazing – felt insulated and the noise level is aptly described as ‘hushed’. Hanging ingredients greeted us as we walked in through the long hallway (articles say these were originally intended to be things you could sample, a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but alas, COVID). We were seated in a socially-distanced manner. Servers wore masks throughout the meal, as did we when not eating/drinking.
Seafood and fresh vegetables were the highlights of the meal – sunchoke to scallops, king crab to white asparagus; the wine pairing is all whites and we were just commenting on the pescatarian nature of the meal when the wagyu arrived; is it lame if I say this was my favorite? The most interesting dish was the Rhubarb – with dry ice on the bottom, upon which hibiscus was poured, creating bubbles that released little mists when they popped – how delightful!
My husband enjoyed the crab, hamachi, salmon, beet, and wagyu. The hamachi was his favorite of the seafood dishes – frozen curls that warmed as the dish progressed, with finger limes – always fun, playful citrus pop, almost like ceviche? The scallops in little custard jars, sealed with applewood smoke, with little lids. The cream cheese ice cream with pollen and candied beet; like a sorbet or cheese transition post entrees before dessert.
Really enjoyed the bread ‘pairing’ with some of the later dishes – favorite was the Japanese milk bread.
Everything was good, and a wide range of flavors were presented. Service was impeccable, highly professional yet friendly and welcoming. Wait staff were synchronized in their serving of dishes, pouring of drinks. They also let you glimpse into the (surprisingly silent) kitchen after the meal. A great experience; we lucked out and went before Michelin stars came out today – two stars for Ever!