Restaurant Week in Chicago was one of the few things that helped us Midwesterners pull through this year’s Polar Vortex. With a line-up of restaurants spanning cuisines from the east of Asia’s influence to the coasts of Peruvian perfection, DMC employees were not wanting for either innovative or traditional menu selections. Our Marketing Team made reservations at Tanta, Embeya, Demera and the Pump Room with employees having the option to dine at one or more of the restaurants.
On the first night of the week a crew of ten DMC employees headed out to Chicago’s choice Peruvian culinary spot, Tanta. The incredibly knowledgeable server recited a near saga of the menu's offerings, and in our state of overwhelming interest we started out with drinks like the pisco sour and Smooth Criminal (Tanta’s twist on an Old Fashioned) while we mulled over our food choices. The cuisine lived up to the brews' impeccable standards with a complimentary appetizer of lightly oiled, potato-chip-like plantain crisps served with chipotle dipping sauce, to tide us over until the mixings of fresh fish ceviche, quinoa cakes, seafood paella and the most amazing dessert of life made its way to our table. The Pie de Limon (pictured at the bottom of this post) was a lightly tart, lime pie-esque filling, dotted with crunchy bits of quinoa, served in a champagne coupe and topped with lime sorbet and a meringue that dissolved into pure bliss on your tongue.
The next night’s team explored the culinary traditions of the east at Embeya for an Asian fusion fueled experience. The four course meal(s) had deliciousness as their unified theme, with the brussel sprouts taking the title of most taste-bud-tantalizing dish. The fare was so delectable that minimal fighting ensued over whose dish was the best, and even the vegetarians were not wanting for more. The ambience paralleled the restaurant’s fine foodie taste with its authentic wood walls and barriers as well as its eye dazzling chandelier.
The following night, the group headed down to Demera for a communal bonding experience where everyone used their hands for utensils. DMC Marketing Coordinator, Jessica, shares the details of the meal and what made the experience unique:
"For a team-building dining experience nothing beats Messob. The traditional Ethiopian meal is eaten communally from a platter of varied vegetable and meat dishes. Diners forego utensils, using their hands to pick up bites with injera, Ethiopian flatbread. At Demera, DMCers opted for the messob platter over the Restaurant Week menu, leaving it up to the chef to choose a delicious spread of lamb, beets, collard greens, cabbage, beef, potatoes, and chickpeas. I paired it with a glass of tej, a honey wine similar to mead. Overall, meal was a tasty way to connect with coworkers, all hands in."
The week rounded out with some New American cuisine from the Pump Room. The highlight of the meal was (per usual) the dessert: a salted caramel ice cream sundae topped with popcorn and chocolate sauce.Meghan Bookmiller paints a scene of the resaurant below:
"DMC enjoyed dinner in a fresh rehab of the historical restaurant The Pump Room, first opened in 1938. While the décor was updated, the vibe of the restaurant still held the glamour and intimate setting of the old restaurant clubs of Chicago in the ‘30s. Past patrons include Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ronald Reagan, David Bowie and many more. The highlight of the evening was the ending dessert course: a gourmet sundae of Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Candied Peanuts & Popcorn, Whipped Cream, topped with (of course) warm Chocolate Sauce."
Many thanks to Natalia Borzym, Otto Gottlieb, John Sullivan, Devon Fritz, Simon Healey, Spencer Glessman, Jessica Mlinaric, John Sulliivan and Meghan Bookmiller for your literal and metaphoric pictoral contributions!