Formerly a private club for the movers and shakers of the Chicago Stock Exchange, this swanky restaurant on the 40th floor of the Exchange building is worth the oft-confusing trek through security and high-altitude ascent.
Like the majestic mountain for which it’s named, Everest is not a restaurant to which one simply arrives. First, base camp, as it were, is in the lower-level garage. An elevator accesses the lobby, where a security guard checks your name and directs you to the elevator. Thirty-nine floors later, you transfer to the private elevator to 40, walk up the gently sloped hallway, and there you are, in an elegant, cream-toned and flower-filled bi-level dining room, beyond whose floor-to-ceiling windows the city stretches out before you.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the view like this—it was a big thunderstorm while we dined that night. (via https://www.facebook.com/EverestRestaurant?ref=ts)
Chef/proprietor Jean Joho’s personalized cuisine influenced by his Alsace, France origins and award-winning wine list have earned Everest international recognition. (via http://www.everestrestaurant.com/)
The menu at Everest changes frequently to reflect the changing seasons and available ingredients—“I only use American ingredients because they are here; that’s where we are.” Guests may order Chef Joho’s seven course degustation tasting menu ($165; $125 for the vegetarian option), a three course prix fixe for $94 or a four course (choice of two appetizers) for $120; there is also a pre-theater menu for early birds (5:30p.m. and 5:00p.m. on Saturday) at a reduced price, but fixed three course menu (no choices).
“People still want the beautiful room, the conversation, the nice flatware and stemware," Joho says, “but they don’t want to be intimidated. So my descriptions are straightforward, so you know what you’re going to get." That is the exactly feeling I got!