177 N Ada St #101, Chicago
The food is very good. It is well balanced, thoughtful, and somewhat creative. Was it a memorable meal? Sure. Is it one I will be able to readily recall in 5 years? unlikely. The service though is absolutely incredible. It is attentive without being overbearing. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. I would definitely recommend checking out Smyth, but I am not quite convinced it is worth the price.
This review is as long overdue as was my recent entry for Omakase Yume. Like for Yume, we have been to Smyth multiple times (three...four?) and this is my first review. Shame on me! We have loved Smyth every time so it certainly merited quicker attention than this, especially since our last visit was already over a month ago during our annual food and fun (with food...we pretend that we are going to do other things when we go downtown but we pretty much eat and nap until it is time to eat again) "staycation". Smyth deserved more rapid attention from us because it is vying for top spot in the city in our books. It is either #1 or #2, competing with Oriole for our love...1A? 1.5? Herein I set aside the likes of Alinea. We all know they are great and they have been around, comparatively, forever. So, maybe, this is a "best new(ish)" review? What does Smyth do great? There's an easy answer to this: absolutely EVERYTHING! The highest quality, creative dishes, ingredients to preparation to presentation, is a given for an establishment of this quality. Impeccable service is a must. We get snobby when we leave the Denny's and go to the likes of Smyth. We will notice if you don't notice that one of us is left handed and set that placement accordingly (they do, not quite as infallibly as Oriole, but they do) or if you put your armpit in our face during a fork placement. "Top shelf" libations too, in the strictest sense of the word (i.e., fit for a god), are expected. Even the man selecting and (if you are lucky) sharing stories about and serving those libations is himself a reason to go. The Chefs Shields(es) are skilled, artistic artisans, professionals in the highest sense. During our first visit, at least a dish or two missed a bit for us but every dish since has been spot on in every course in every visit: decadent, toothsome, delicious, orally-orgasmal, any adjective that you can think of that means YUM! We like the idea of "the farm" and the fine ingredients that come from it. There is even an online site where you can buy some of their unique vegetables to grow in your own garden! Badger flame beets, a hybrid of beet and carrot, are FREAKIN' AWESOME! We hope they still offer them for purchase this year! We need more than one pack this time! Now, on occasion, "the farm" gets a bit gratuitous. For example, there was a garnish of 'field balm' served once "from the farm". While this IS (loosely) in the mint family and edible (by some peoples' standards...lookin' at you, "hippies" :), for those of us who garden, it is alternatively known as creeping charlie or ground-ivy, the most pervasive, pernicious, ineradicable garden "weed" pest in North America. I hate it, for its pervasiveness, not flavor! No need to bring it in from the farm. We can supply bushels of it and still have it come back! :) The staff too rocks. There is an absolute rockstar but let me take a moment to laud the "rest of the band". They range from seasoned professionals who we have enjoyed elsewhere to rising stars who we have seen grow right before our eyes to become favorites. They are fun, relaxed, and consummately professional...not always things that go together in the service industry. The rockstar is of course their gifted sommelier, Richie Ribando. What can I say about Richie that anybody experienced in the Chicago food scene has not already said? Maybe this. While Richie is a stone cold expert sommelier who brings in some of the most unique pairing beverages that we have experienced anywhere on the planet, his personality and approach make him 100% accessible. He still thinks we know something about wine (we started out selecting wine based upon bottle art!) and being still unskilled rubes he never makes us feel stupid or lost. He is entertaining, enthusiastic, generous, and a HUGE draw to Smyth for us. Frankly, in the backdrop of several wonde
We had the Omaha meal here. Now watching the chefs and kitchen staff harmonize their order to this meal was pretty awesome. You are able to see the entire meal made while being catered to by waiters and waitresses who are exceptionally attentive. There are many courses, but they are small. Small is not a bad thing since there are so many you will get filled up. Just be prepared the dishes are not your typical American food. Although the food was not up to our liking, we still tried a bite of everything thing brought to our table. We loved our bottle of champagne and the earl grey tea we ordered. It's incredibly expensive. Although we would not go back, we can appreciate the experience we got here.
I have never met a restaurant more deserving of their TWO Michelin stars. The dishes are imaginative while staying good looking. I love an open kitchen, especially when everyone on staff is so darn nice. My friend and I were LIVING for their descriptions of each course. Most importantly though, I didn't have a single bite that wasn't incredibly, mind-blowingly delicious. Every course left me wanting more and in every dish, the ingredients melded together with perfection. Every element tasted great on its own and even better when all eaten together. When I dined at Smyth our courses were: * "The Farm" Carrot Aguachile - Apparently carrots are in season and I was down with this dish. The carrots were sliced ever so thinly * Trout, Juniper & Kelp - This little fishy melted in my mouth. And the broth it was in, holy goodness. * Beet Mignon - Such a creative dish to have beets look, feel and even taste similarly to a filet mignon. Beets are on the rise in terms of popularity at restaurants, and I'm onboard! Plus the side of truffle added a nice diversity to the root. * 120 Day Aged Ribeye With Brioche Doughnut With Marmite Butter - This was some of the best steak I've ever had grace my mouth. I'm not big on red meats but I'm pretty sure I could eat this dish daily for the rest of my life. I was so in love with the steak, the warm & super soft brioche donut, plus everything that went along with it! * Egg Yolk & Salted Licorice With Frozen Yogurt Meringue - Another win for creativity with this one. They aged an egg yolk but kept in nice & runny, had licorice and salt surrounding the little yolk. Then placed it in the middle of frozen yogurt to recreate the egg look. This dish was topped on a dash of berries to add a bit of pizzazz. Such a fun dessert! * Milk Chocolate, Black Raspberry Preserves & Shiitake Mushrooms - Obsessed. I love chocolate and mushrooms but was surprised that in this dessert, I also loved the fruit. Just the right amount of berries flavor. This is another one I could eat every day for the rest of my life. All in all, Smyth has made me a huge fan. I'm into it. Highly recommended and I'll most def be back.
Rating is based purely on value. $300/pp for decent food, but nothing we were super impressed with. For that kind of money, nearly everything should be amazing. There are maybe 10 restaurants in Chicago with a similar price point and the food is better at all of them. There are another 50 with better food for less money. The service was fantastic and they were very accommodating of dietary restrictions, but we left disappointed.
Just a wonderful experience. Went for my birthday and they made it truly memorable. Also did a great job catering to specific dietary restrictions.
Incredible experience! Perfect food and wine pairings. The loyalist downstairs for cocktails was very good too for after dinner drinks. Highly reccomend it.
Congratulations on winning Restaurant of the Year at the Jean Banchet Awards. I was only in once, but it was an amazing experience and your win is very well deserved. I will definitely come in to dine again soon.
Came here to celebrate 6 months of marriage. The tasting menu was a wonderful splurge! Service was very attentive and we had a nice leisurely meal with wine pairings. As a nice touch they sent us home with a copy of our menu and tea bags and honey from the Smyth farm.
My return offered a different perspective on Smyth. This meal, shared with my girlfriend, whose roots are more similar to the environment Smyth means to evoke, allowed me to appreciate it in a way that I didn't on my first visit here. Still, enough has been said about the food by many more capable than I. Personally, a lot of the culinary elements remained the same. A delicious meal, not necessarily stunning, with some of the favourites I enjoyed more than a year ago. No theatrics, nothing pretentious, nothing ultra-luxe, but somehow the experience overshadowed the taste. To me, Smyth has this intangible "it," an ability to draw surprise, evoke emotion, the elements that make a great tasting menu beyond any stunning individual dishes. If there was anything that stood out, perhaps it was the trout. To me, it was just yet another good dish from a well-regarded restaurant. To my partner, it was reminiscent of a forest and stream near her hometown, fresh from the summer Norwegian rain. I think its the pursuit of this "it" onto which many of us pursue food as a hobby. When a restaurant is capable of offering such an impactful dish, I think it will always be worth visiting.
This is a late entry. We went for our anniversary last August. I must say that the service and food was my favorite of all time. It was arguably better than alinea. We also did a wine pairing with our meal which was excellent! Highly recommend adding the wine pairing. My husband and I were 30 minutes late to our reservation due to traffic and the restaurant was so kind and accommodating still.
High quality food at a no-frills modern establishment in the foodie center of Chicago. I highly recommend this restaurant for its service, laid back atmosphere, and some of the most delicious food I have had to date. Thanks for an amazing experience!
We booked the Smyth with wine pairing which is a 10 courses tasting menu paired with six glasses of wines. The bill was almost $700 for two and I would say for this money, the overall experience was just okay. Start with, there is nothing like amuse bouche , you only got what you paid for, and the portions are very small. The food is good but to be honest there was nothing impressive at all, very ordinary ingredients and personally speaking, the whole menu is too earthy for me. On top of that, the vibe is a little bit too overwhelming, too loud for a fine dining restaurant. Our server disappeared after showed us the bill and we were hoping he would stoped by saying goodbye some point so that we could get help with taking a picture together. Overall, I would say if you are looking for some experience with extraordinary food, service and elegant dining environment, this is not the best place.
I cannot say anything less than amazing for the food and the staff. From the moment my fiancee and I walked in the staff pampered us. Everyone that we had any interaction with was very friendly and courteous. The different front house staff that came to our table we're very affable. I made reservations for two for an early Christmas present for my fiancee and a birthday present to myself. Two birds kind of deal. We arrived a little early and, understandably, our table was not ready. Luckily, though the lounge/waiting area was very comfortable with leather chairs and couch. The leather armchair made me want to drink cognac, and read some leather-bound literature. The wait was not long as the hostess directed us to a "birthday" table. Which was dope. Very dope, indeed. The table was right by the kitchen and it made feel like I was in an episode of Hell's Kitchen, less yelling. Also it made me feel especially fancy. What also made it fancy was that on the table was a signed card from the staff greeting me for my birthday. They really went above and beyond. Being a lowly peasant by day I opted for the 8 course dinner, which was a mistake. Definitely go for the twelve. It would be too much to go over each course so I will only highlight our favorites. The panty droppers. The carrot aguachille was delightful. The chili water reminded of something I've had before, but I just cannot remember what. Second item that stood out is the new potatoes, rosehip & white asparagus. Them potatoes got me feeling basic. Last is the milk chocolate, black raspberry & shitake mushroom desert is, to out it simply, dope. To say every other course was forgettable is wrong though, but those stood out for me. To summarize this essay, I will definitely be coming back for that twelve course. That was the biggest regret of an, otherwise, great dinner.
As one of my last stops in chicago, Smyth did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish. The dining room is very open and pleasant in a very comfortable and relaxing environment. We had ordered the ommaha menu and it was an excellent journey. Really enjoyed starting with Maine uni with egg yolk and yuzu. Each aji dish was creative but the aji lions stood out to me. Crab dishes were all fairly well done and the bee's wax shell was creative. As a whole, smyth is worth the visit and can deserves its place as one of the top restaurants in the city
Can't remember which prix fixe menu we tried... I think it might have been the classic? Which is not really a lot of food, so you might leave still a bit hungry like us. We came here in early February 2019, so I am sure their offerings have changed, but their menu was primarily vegetarian and fish. Not lot of meat dishes. Their portions are also quite small too. The taste and presentation of the food were all excellent though. Maybe next time we'll try for one of the pricier prix-fixe menus to see if there is a difference. Make sure to look through all their different prix-fixe offerings on their website, because they tend to have quite a few! Service was attentive and friendly. Be sure to grab a drink downstairs at Loyalist before/after your meal! Their cocktails were delicious.
Outstanding food and impeccable service. Each course of the Omaha menu was better than the last. Couldn't have asked for a better meal!
My husband and I came here for our anniversary and we had a great dinner. The environment is comfortable, modern, yet rustic. We thoroughly enjoyed all of our courses of the Smyth menu. My only criticism is that the aged lamb I was served was unexpectedly chewy. We weren't overly full at the end, which is fine by me since I normally struggle towards the end of tasting menus. I highly recommend this place!
Had dinner here last week, amazing experience, food was sophisticated and flavor combinations on point. Staff were so much fun and made the evening all the more memorable. We had the paired wines, some great wines were poured, not always perfectly paired with the food to be honest but did not detract anything from the experience. Also had a pre-dinner drink downstairs which were well priced and great cocktails.
The Smyth was a great experience. We were here to celebrate promotions and were very pleased with the service, interior, main dishes and pairings, and dessert.
Casually comfortable environment for an exceptional dining experience. Service was welcoming yet attention to details. Dishes were adventurous yet came with levels of flavors. No rushing, and I had perhaps one of the best family meal time in my life.
Smyth had high expectations of me and my husband. One of the last Michelin star restaurants left in the city to try, we settled with the Smyth menu and standard wine pairing. The experience it itself was mostly a disappointment, and we left confused and still kind of hungry. There were some good points, though: I really enjoyed the wines themselves. The unique chenin blanc dessert wine was my favorite. The aji dish was FAB. Fermented turnip and light pickled tuna. So perfectly balanced! The egg yolk, salted licorice and frozen yogurt dessert was also very interesting and delicious. And that about ends the high notes. Overall, service was strange, slightly cold and robotic. Maybe it was just the few who served us? Servings were *SO* small. One tablespoon of Uni. Two canelles of squash. Three bites of tuna. Oh, you're now 1/3 done with your meal. I found it extremely strange that there were 0 additional bites other than the listed menu. There was no amuse, there was no intermezzo/palette cleanser. No bread left me sad and carbless, which was especially needed with 6-7 glasses of wine served in two hours. One of the courses, the lamb, tasted pretty good but was god awful to look at. I feel like we got a bad cut here, because I saw other plates with normally sliced lamb. Another course was 100% under cooked (the lobster) which left it stringy, and one bite was acrid and fishy, unfortunately. Overall, mostly disappointing when you're expecting two Michelin star cuisine and paying over $600. I would highly recommend Oriole, Blackbird or Kikko in the same 'hood with a much more pleasant, well rounded experience where you won't leave hungry and you get what you pay for.
This experience is hands down one of the best I've had. The presentation, creativity, flavors, wine pairings, staff. Every detail perfect
Not surprised how delicious this place was. The bites are phenomenal and unique. Lots of citrus undertones which I love. What struck me the most while dining here is how much I enjoyed the open concept. I could hear the melody of the chef's cooking and working harmoniously with each other.
An absolutely spectacular experience. We did the Omaha experience and the food blew me away with unexpected flavor combinations and impeccable quality. Service was also top notch and I highly recommend dining for special occasions
My friend and I enjoyed the "Smyth" tasting menu. The space is lovely, warm and wood toned. Felt like the inside of a friendly kitchen. The food (portions quite small) all beautifully prepared and thoughtfully seasonal. The head sommelier Richie Ribando went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic, memorable experience. I would definitely recommend, just know that even for a tasting menu, the portions are on the small side.
My husband and I visited this restaurant on Saturday 10/19/19. We had such high expectations for this restaurant. We love good food and given that they have 2 michelin stars we were very excited. Our hotel had a special deal with the restaurant and arrange everything for us. See below the issues we had. One note: The service was exceptional. We were never left without a drink or tasting. The service staff were exceptional in their attention to our every need. We expected this due to the Michelin rating. #1 - The environment did not seem like a fine dining establishment. I suppose we are too old for the "hipster" feel. We are 49 and 50 so not senior citizens. #2 - FOOD - We ordered the Smyth Tasting menu with the Super Mega Wine pairing. The total cost for these choices was $360 per person. Overall the presentations and flavors for each of the tastings were adequate. Nothing really blew us away. The Brioche Doughnut was amazing served with a the rib-eye piece. Neither of us thought the Rib-Eye was remarkable. The lobster that was served was undercooked. - WINE PAIRINGS Here is where we really got upset. We chose to add the highest cost wine pairing and were told by the waiters Robert and Richie that we were going to be tasting their best wine. The tastings started with a champagne from 2008 that was remarkable we will admit. Next was a reisling that really didnt impress is followed by a chablis that tasted just like the reisling. There were a couple of reds that didnt impress us. Richie brought over a napa Cab that was very good after I commented that I wasnt impressed by the reds. We never saw Richie again after that. Lastly, we were served a madiera with dessert courses that I didnt think were that impresssive. The next thing that happened was a real issue. The waiter brought a tawny port from 1977 is a magnum bottle and asked if we would like a taste. We accepted and honestly it was a good port. What shocked us was that when we received the bill we were charged an additional $200 for the port! THE LAST NOTE ON THE WINE. A THING THAT WE NOTICED IS THAT BOTTLES WOULD BE PLACED ON THE TABLE FOR THE TASTINGS WITH JUST A LITTLE BIT OF WINE IN THE BOTTLE. MY HUSBAND NOTICED THAT RICHIE WAS POURING WINE INTO THESE BOTTLES. WE WORRIED THAT WINE WAS BEING POURED INTO THE BOTTLES THAT WAS NOT THE WINE BEING PRESENTED. WE THINK IT;S AGAINST THE LAW TO DO THIS. WHEN WE HAVE HAD WINE PAIRINGS IN THE PAST, THE SERVER HAS SERVED THE WINE FROM THE BOTTLE AND SHOWED TO US DURING THE POURING. THIS MADE US VERY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT WE WERE PAYING FOR. LASTLY, MY HUSBAND GOT VERY ILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WE SUSPECT IT WAS FOOD POISONING. IT WAS A VIOLENT REACTION AND WAS GONE BY ABOUT 2PM THE NEXT DAY. WE SUSPECT THAT IT WAS EITHER THE FOOD OR THE WINE BEING MARRIED INTO BOTTLES THAT MADE HIM ILL. WE WILL NOT RETURN TO THIS RESTAURANT EVER AND HIGHLY SUGGEST TO ANYONE CONSIDERING A VISIT TO RETHINK IT.
I still think about the first bite - an oyster, deliberately dressed with a bit of sweet and a bit of tart, presented on a bowl of ice. By the time we got to the rib eye, I was getting pretty full, but everything in between - the salmon - melt off the fork - the brioche and au jus - warm, flaky, savory goodness - it was all delicious. The wine pairing complimented each dish, but again, was a bit too much for the volume capacity of my stomach; my date had no problems, so chances are you won't either.
Comfortable, not overly-formal service, without leaving you wanting for anything. Exceptionally thoughtful wine pairings which compliment the food beautifully. Very clean, pure, and true-to-the ingredients food. Creative, occasionally surprising, and ubiquitously delicious. Not overly elaborate. An easy recommendation.
This place was AMAZING!!!! My partner and I celebrated our one-year anniversary together, and we both had the best beef *and* the best salmon in our lives. The service team signed a cute little card for us and wished us a happy anniversary. The atmosphere was cozy, but not too serious. Definitely worth a visit!!!
Smyth was an incredible experience! Great for a date night or special occasion. Everything was delicious, and they were also very accommodating for dietary preferences.
We celebrated my 45th last year, travel from Miami. It was incredible, it is one of my favorite places in Chicago. Food is spectacular and the service is outstanding. Coming back for more this year.
Let me get my issues out of the way before telling you what I liked, because there was more that I liked than not. Issue #1: The food here is not a good value. We paid just below $500 for the Smyth menu and I doubt there was 4 ounces of protein in the entire menu. We came in hungry and left hungry and this is simply not acceptable in my book (at this price point and especially at a 2 star michelin restaurant). Issue#2: I really wanted to have a talk with the kitchen post meal. Most of what they did was good, but there were some things that were particularly offensive. For example, parsley oil and raspberries simply do not go together. There is absolutely no way to make this delicious. This flavor profile sent chills up my spine...it was the culinary equivalent of nails on a chalk board...I'm not sure I've recovered. Issue#3: The dessert courses were AWFUL. Seaweed and chocolate? Just stop. Cucumber with cream and pumpkin seeds? cucumber is not a dessert item, please stop doing this. I felt like the kid in the Emperor's new clothes sitting and eating this brine. I wouldn't be surprised if the desserts are what hold this place back from further greatness. NO. Here's what I liked: 1. The service was impeccable. Maybe the best I've experienced in Chicago. There was not a single misstep there. 2. I love their come as you are policy. It leaves complete room for visitors to focus on the food. 3. The beef fat doughnuts were OUTSTANDING. They were the Ron Swanson of doughnuts. I would go back just for the doughnuts. 4. The food was interesting, aside from the obvious misses (mentioned above) I did not feel I could have cooked the food better myself and this is a rare experience for me these days. 5. It was a dining experience that was overall satisfactory: The temperature was perfect, the music was perfect, the volume was perfect, the silverware was great, the bathroom was inviting. It was just great. The utensils were interesting....I mean, I am such a snob and I loved everything. So much of this was excellent, I would recommend despite the issues that I experienced. Maybe tell them that you have a cucumber allergy to avoid the cucumber dessert experience.
Phenomenal food, amazing service, and a delicious tasting menu. Came here to celebrate a special event and it knocked our socks off. It's a Michelin 2 star and lives up to the name. Dress code is come as you are and some people were super fancy and we saw a few tables in very very casual attire- which was nice and down to earth. Our server was amazing from recommendations to descriptions and techniques of the dishes. Every dish was intricately designed and made our tastebuds stand on edge. Everything we tried during the vegetarian tasting menu was soo fresh and fun. The chocolate bars just blew my mind and so did the cantaloupe dessert. You get the quality you pay for and i highly recommend trying this restaurant.
Everything was delicious I just wished they were a little more experimental with flavors specifically with the tomato dish The actual location is well decorated and has a nice feel to it. Staff was phenomenal. Definitely will return.
Last night was amazing. The staff at @smythchicago are beyond. They respected all of my dietary restrictions and made sure I had as great of a time as my husband. They were all so personable and polite. They really made my 31st something special and I never felt like a burden. The food and the drinks were sooooo good and thoughtful and flavorful. Usually non alcoholic pairings fall flat in my experience but not at Smyth. If anything I think mine might have been better just because of the depth of flavor in the drinks. It was so nice to learn about all the food and their origins and the symbiotic relationship the restaurant has with the farm. Even the bathroom was thoughtfully designer with old menus from Charlie Trotter's (where the owners/chefs met). Charlie Trotter's was such a special place sndnwas my first experience with a Michelin starred restaurant. Run, don't walk to this place. It's totally worth it.
Located on a quiet street in West loop, this is a two Michelin star restaurant. Open layout with classy and humble decor. Dress code is casual and millennial friendly. Reservations are required. Allow at least 2 hours for the meal. The restaurant only does course meals. No À la carte options for the food. You do have a exceptional selection of wines and spirits. We opted for the 'Smyth', a 8 course menu priced at $155/person. The food was absolutely delicious with flavors I had never experienced before. Every dish was meticulously crafted and complimented the theme of the menu. My favorite dish being the 'Spring Onions With Dungeness Crab & Rhubarb Root'. Also loved the potato dish that was simple and mind blowing at the same time. We also treated ourselves to a 2003 Riesling priced at $100 for a bottle. The wine was beautiful and enhanced the experience. While the food was astonishing, what stayed with me is the hospitality at the restaurant. No doubt the food is worthy of its Michelin stars, but the kitchen/serving staff makes the experience a memorable one. I have never experienced a more genuine, courteous, funny and personable bunch of individuals. The experience was startlingly impressive. I would definitely want to go back to the Smyth next time I am in Chicago.
I am sure this place would have gotten a 4-5 star rating if I did the wine pairing. Unfortunately, I was not able to do the wine pairing due to a small ulcer. The 3 star is based on the food only. Food was very creative but some combinations just didn't work for me.
A very unique experience. Almost everything we ate was truly incredible. The drink pairings were very well thought out too and enhanced the experience
177 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607