When friends come into town and ask for restaurant recommendations, Grand Lux is always on my list. It is perfectly situated on Michigan Avenue, overlooking the Magnificent Mile, which provides for amazing people watching. The decor is whimsical, luxe without appearing stuffy. The menu is inventive but the servings are generous. It was created by the founders of The Cheesecake Factory, with a more global food focus.
I had the opportunity to taste their new menu with a few of my blogger friends- Anna from A Lily Love Affair and Heidi from Wishes & Reality. Amidst much oohing and ahhhing, we agreed that every item brought out was just as good as the last. Take a look at our tasting and plan your trip this summer! I am just highlighting my favorites, or else this post would go on for days. Seriously….SO. MUCH. AMAZING. FOOD.
The Venetian– Bombay Sapphire Chilled with Blood Orange Juice and Lemongrass
Blood Orange Martini– Tito’s Vodka, Aerpol and Blood Orange Juice
Grand Manhattan– Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Cointreau, Fresh Lemon and Hibiscus
Blood Orange Mimosa– Solemo Blood Orange Liqueur, Prosecco and Blood Orange Juice
My personal favorite was the Blood Orange Martini- it was the perfect blend of sweet and a citrus. If you are a whiskey drinker, the Manhattan is going to knock your socks off. For brunch, I would order rounds of Blood Orange Mimosas- such a unique twist on this classic bubbly cocktail.
Minis, Bites, Tapas and Appetizers
Pastrami Deli Tots– This was my absolute favorite thing on the menu. I am obsessed with tater tots AND Reubens, so by combining the two someone had to wrestle the dish away from me.
Ahi Ceviche– In the summer, a lighter cold appetizer paired with a glass of crisp white wine is the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. This was traditionally marinated in lime juice and cilantro with the addition of chiles. The addition of avocado, tomato, onion and cucumber perfected this flavorful dish.
Fuji Apple Salad– the unique combination of apples, dried cherries, raisins, apricots and white cheddar cheese tossed with glazed walnuts in Hazelnut Mustard Dressing was incredible. I also loved the fact that there were mixed greens and brussels sprouts, adding a little crunch!
Burgers and Sandwiches
Korean Sriracha Burger– marinated beef with Shitake mushrooms, onion and sesame seeds topped with Sriracha Mayo. I adore a little kick, and this burger has it!
Korean Fried Chicken “Burrito”- I never would have thought to put fried chicken in a burrito, but the combination totally makes sense upon first bite. It is combined with Jicama, Carrots, steamed rice, Sriracha Mayo and served with Kim Chi.
Lunch Specials- Bento Box
These are served Monday-Friday and come perfectly portioned. I am the one who just chooses a bunch of sides from the menu and skips a main dish because I like a little of everything. You can choose from: Chile-Crusted Steak, Wood Grilled Salmon, Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Garlic Herbed Chicken. Each comes with different sides that are ah-mazing!
Save room, because they are serving up New Orleans Beignets with triple dipping sauces! I had to order an Irish Coffee, and it was topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Honestly, I was as giddy to drink this as I as to drink hot chocolate from Denny’s when I was a kid…although this was SO much better. I was sent home with a box of Warm Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, which I had to hide from the kids.
Overall, this menu was spectacular. The above photo is a shot of part of what we were served. Seriously stuffed and happy! We were able to chat with the chefs after the meal, and I asked about their favorites (I do this at every restaurant- you can tell a lot by what the faves are of the people who prepare the food). They loved the Korean Fried Chicken “Burrito” and Bourbon Street Chicken.
**Mom Tip- I have actually taken my kids to this restaurant (and they are young, so I don’t take them to many). I sit by the elevator- room to store the stroller and make a quick exit if kids need a break!
Grand Lux Cafe is located at 600 N Michigan Ave (at Ontario)…entrance is on Ontario and valet is available. A huge thank you to the staff at Grand Lux for having us…I should have worn stretchier pants 🙂