Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 9 - Perennial Virant

  The next two posts will feature 2 restaurants from the Boka Group Perennial Virant and Boka. As for Day 9 of my tour of restaurant week my bf and I visited Perennial Virant. Again delayed on my post from last month, but no worries it is Chicago Chef Week and there is still time to visit these restaurants.  Here is the dinner menu 3 courses for $39.  

  We entered the restaurant and received a warm welcome from the hostess.  As I scanned the room, I noticed the lighting was a little dim.  I told my bf that I may not be able to use my flash during dinner. Bummer!  

We were shown to our seats and sat in the middle of this beautiful rustic dining room. 

  Andy our server introduced himself and handed us a fabulous wine and cocktail list. We both ordered a glass of Grenache Syrah.  Andy also mentioned on top of the restaurant week selections there were extra sides you can order as well.  This is what we had for dinner. 

I used my flash for the next two photos and the rest I had to use natural light. The General Mgr Jason was nice enough to turn up the lights while I took pics. Thanks Jason! 


The fresh greens along with the pickled tomato vinaigrette was a great starter. Excellent salad!

Local Lettuces - pesto, fennel, radishes, kohlrabi, pickled tomato vinaigrette, whole grain croutons, chevre.

This is one of the Extra dishes we ordered. What a great choice!

I loved everything about this dish! The warm cheese curds and crispy rice with the vinaigrette was an excellent combination. The pickled beans was a great addition too.  Chef Virant is known for his preserving expertise. I actually sat in front of the jars of preserves and was so fascinated by it.   

Crispy Carnaroli Rice - brunkow cheese curds, sweet & smoky onion vinaigrette, pickled summer beans, pea shoots.  

The soup had a nice creamy consistency and I loved how he used a seasonal winter squash. Chef Virant is big advocate for utilizing local harvests. This was very delicious!

Genesis Growers Winter Squash Soup - Burton's maple whipped cream.

This is another Extras dish.

The gnocchi was excellent and mushrooms were flavorful. We both enjoyed this dish.

Crispy Parisienne Gnocchi - roasted river valley mushrooms, prairie fruits farm kaskaskia.


The fish was nicely seared and very tasty. The pepper sauce was a little overpowering, but the creamy polenta was delicious.  

Pan-Roasted Great Lakes Whitefish - creamy polenta, wilted greens, preserved sweet pepper sauce, house-cured olives.

The pork loin was outstanding and cooked to perfection. I loved the fresh veggies and especially the pickled beans. 

Grilled Slagel Family Farms Pork Loin - smashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, pickled bean vinaigrette, spicy mayonnaise.


This dessert was mediocre, nothing too special. The cake was a little dry, but I thought the coffee pastry cream and lemon confit went well with the cake. The presentation was beautiful though.  

Chocolate Boston Cream Pie - coffee pastry cream, meyer lemon confit.

I am a sucker for crepes, so I enjoyed it. It was yummy! 

Heritage Prairie Farms Rye Flour Crepes - caramelized apple compote, brown butter ice cream.

  Overall rating is 4.5 stars. The customer service was excellent. Thank you Jason for the hospitality!  I may take you up on your offer to come back during lunch, so I can take more pictures.  The dining room is absolutely gorgeous. I love the rustic decor, beautiful ceiling, and layout. The food was outstanding! I am very impressed with Chef Virant's creativity and his love for local harvests and preserves. I cannot wait go back and take advantage of their amazing patio. By the way, Chef Virant has a book release event on April 3rd celebrating his new book The Preservation Kitchen. Check it out!


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray said...

Love the idea of the Boston Creme Pie with a coffee flavored cream! Great post!

Lil Mama Stuart said...

loved Perennial for past Restaurant and Chef's weeks too!