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Review Tue Mar 04 2014

Order Bravely at Epic

dsc_0708.jpg Friday night in River North is a calling for all young professionals to strut about Downtown in 4-inch stilettos and expensive peacoats to find the best restaurants before hitting the clubs. I was not one of these young professionals, but I was observing them from my second-floor table at Epic, a posh lounge and restaurant on West Hubbard.

Like most new American restaurants, Epic serves your typical tartares, pastas, salads, and meaty entrees. For dinner, my party and I began with the seared foie gras with buttermilk doughnut holes, bone marrow, and parmesan gnocchi with lamb sausage. We also shared the grilled swordfish and braised short ribs before finishing with a lime tartlet.

dsc_0712.jpgThe food has received mixed reviews on Yelp, ranging from objective satisfaction to light approval. I found that these ratings made sense for some dishes, particularly the main entrees. The swordfish and braised short ribs tasted wonderful, but needed that extra level of flavor and/or texture for balance. More butter, more acid, more salt?

dsc_0714.jpg My suggestion is that if you dine at Epic, avoid the standard kale salad or pork belly appetizer. Don't select the seared scallops or steak entrée, even if they are solid dishes. Push your palette and choose the more unique selections like the foie or bone marrow. My foie melted like an impossibly buttery steak upon hitting the taste buds, and the nutty bone marrow sat like creamy globules of fat on freshly grilled toast. Next time, I'll try the almond orchiette or Hawaiian escolar.

dsc_0701.jpg But if you simply find the food an egregious offense to mankind, the space is hard to disappoint. Epic's expansive and modern layout makes for a good date night or an evening out with friends.

112 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654


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I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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