Dine with Dale

When Relax Lounge (originally Pharmacy) first opened on Chicago Avenue, the delicious rumor was they they were going to have a menu of spiked milkshakes. To my knowledge, I don’t think the frostiness ever ensued, but the West Town lounge did just implement an indulgence I’m even more excited about. While waiting for his impending restaurant venture Town & Country to open, Chicago’s very own Top Chef finalist Dale Levitski is preparing a tasty three-course meal at the lounge every Thursday from 7-9pm, and I was lucky enough to score a last minute seat last week. With three seasonally focused courses (check the Web site for the weekly changing menu) reservations are accepted the day of only, so call ahead and get a table or seat at the bar. Our dinner, served up on handmade wooden serving blocks featured a truffled bistro salad with butter lettuce, marinated mushrooms and truffled vinaigrette followed by a juicy and tender sliced pork tenderloin with cauliflower smash and a sweet root beer demi. Dessert was one of the best I’ve had in long time, a marshmallow wonton with peanut butter sauce and peanut brittle. The wonton, filled with warm chocolate sauce was crisp and crunchy, served with mini marshmallows and an addictive peanut butter sauce with just a hint of sea salt. The other unexpected hit of the night was the Calientini cocktail mixologist Zach Friedlander convinced me to sip. The Absolut pear, St. Germaine, cilantro and cucumber sounded divine, but the jalapeño shaken with it all scared me. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the refreshing cocktail, topped with Champagne, wasn’t too caliente for my tastes with just the slightest hint of peppery heat and the perfect balance of fruit, sweet and savory. Creative cocktails aside, Dale’s three-course dinner is elegant and delicious, and only $25, so make your reservations for tomorrow’s feast before another impending sell-out. 1450 W. Chicago Avenue, 312.666.6006

The Calientini

The Calientini

Pork tenderloin, cauliflower smash, root beer demi

Pork tenderloin, cauliflower smash, root beer demi

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Filed under great for date, I like to eats

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