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Restaurant Fri Sep 18 2009
A reservation at Terzo Piano is still hard to come by, even though the restaurant has been open since May. The bright, airy restaurant in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute is only open for lunch most days (except for Thursday, when it's open for dinner until 9 pm.) On a recent Wednesday afternoon, most of the lunch crowd was dressed in suits and heels and had most certainly not spent the morning hiking around Millennium Park and the museum like I had. Despite our informal attire, however, the staff was friendly (if somewhat stiff) and the food was full of flavor.
The mizuna salad I ordered was served with slices of rolled and stuffed organic chicken breast and topped with corn, avocado, cilantro and cashew dressing. Since I like cilantro, I enjoyed the strong flavor it added to the dish, but those with an aversion to it might want to steer clear of this salad. The chicken was tender and moist, if a little too salty, and the dressing was creamy and light.
However, my favorite part of the meal may have been the bread basket. Slices of bread are served along with lacy Parmesan crisps, and the olive oil brought to the table with the bread was fruity and rich. I could have dipped cardboard in it and been happy munching away all afternoon.
Although the prices are a little steep for lunch, the views of the Michigan Avenue skyline and the experience of dining in a beautifully designed space are worth the splurge.