Monday, March 22, 2010

Perennial - Casual Elegance in Lincoln Park – Our Next Safe & Sound Dinner…

It was cold and the snow was blistering all around on the streets of Chicago, but one step into Perennial and you feel like you are in the middle of summer, only looking at winter’s last attempts at holding her grip on the city thru the large floor to ceiling windows that surround the entire restaurant. The décor is bright and minimalistic with vibrant colors, whimsically contrasting patterns and varying wood accents, making you feel like you are at a summer cottage, but with a flair and style that is all Lincoln Park.

Mark and I went early on Saturday night to beat the crowd, a great tip for allergenistas - if you go early in the evening before the big rush, the kitchen has more time to dedicate to your special needs and I have also found they go out of their way to make you something special, when they have the extra time.

The staff was very knowledgeable on what dishes I could safely have (just a reminder, dairy and wheat/gluten are off my list) and recommended several alternatives and also knew which dishes the kitchen could easily modify.

We started with glazed chicken lollipops with a soy reduction, orange, cashews and asian slaw. This dish was a nice balance of sweet and sour with the soy reduction and tart slaw. What I really enjoy about Perennial is it’s dishes are combinations of sophisticated flavors combined with playful presentation.

I ordered the Roasted Duck Breast with savory cabbage, duck confit and dried cherry sauce (we had to omit the foie gras pithivier as it contained some dairy). I really enjoyed this dish, the duck was cooked perfectly, juicy and succulent. The cabbage was braised and it’s simplicity in preparation paired nicely with the dried cherry sauce that had hints of both tart and sweet to offset the richness of the duck.

Mark had the Pork Lover’s Obsession – a grilled loin, braised belly, trotter ragout, cauliflower swiss chard, winter fruits with potato puree. I had to pass on the potato puree but the pork dishes were wonderful. The braised belly just melted in your mouth. We ordered the roasted Brussels sprouts as our side, these were a hit, smoky and rich in flavor and taste.

I can’t say enough about the amazing dinner we had at Perennial that is why I am proud to announce our next Safe & Sound Dinner at Perennial on Tuesday, May 4th. This dinner will be FREE of the Big Bad 8 Allergens and Gluten. I can’t wait to see the amazing menu Chef Ryan Poli develops for our special group of allergenistas.


Betsy said...

Oooh...can't wait!

Anonymous said...

was the soy reduction wheat/gluten free?

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

I am so glad you asked, I contacted Chef Ryan in advance before going and he made sure he had gluten free soy sauce so I could enjoy this dish. I find advanced planning is so helpful in dining out with food allergies. Hope to see you at the Safe & Sound Dinner at Perennial, you will love it!