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Restaurant Roe

Ariel Cheung | July 18, 2018 | Feature Features

In celebration of National Caviar Day taking place this week, here are six places where caviar and its fresher counterpart, roe, get the royal treatment.
Lobster Roe Pasta at Nico Osteria folds the bold flavors into the spaghetti itself with lobster roe puree in the pasta dough.

Nico Osteria
You’ll have to look hard to find the roe in this pasta dish from Jean Banchet award-winning chef Bill Montagne, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. To infuse his spaghetti with that robust lobster taste, he folds pureed lobster roe in the dough. A little magic goes on behind the scenes as seemingly green pasta turns a pale orange as it's boiled, just like the crustacean itself, before it is tossed with guanciale, lobster miso and spring onion ($39). 1015 N. Rush St., 312.994.7100

Booth One
Pony up to the Bond-worthy bar at the remade Ambassador Room and find Sterling Classic caviar atop a bed of frisee on the Lobster Imperial Toast ($29). Toasted brioche—an ideal vehicle for such sturdy accoutrements—gets a creamy spread of gribiche as its base before meaty slabs of lobster are added, making for a delicious mingling of salty, briny sea-fresh flavors. 1301 N. State Parkway, 312.649.0535

Cafe Marie-Jeanne
“To me, there’s something about eating a giant pile of caviar, kind of salty and funky—I think it's a really satisfying bit of food,” says chef Michael Simmons of his caviar toast ($20). Topped with sprigs of dill, creme fraiche and lemon, this dish, available for breakfast and dinner, is at once luxurious and casually cool. 1001 N. California Ave., 773.904.7660

Maple and Ash
While there’s caviar service on the menu of this polished Gold Coast steakhouse, you’ll have to dig a little for the unique take on the cured delicacy. The blacked-out oyster, for example, is an off-menu treat comprised of a freshly shucked Kusshi oyster topped with osetra caviar and set on a shot of chilled Belvedere vodka chaser ($37). 8 W. Maple St., 312.944.8888

Cacio e pepe might be a simple dish at most establishments—a little pepper, a little Pecorino Romano, and voila!—but that wasn’t enough for chef Nate Henssler. Instead, he tosses the pasta in decadent uni butter and topped with a delicate dollop of caviar for a little extra zing ($16). His fried oysters ($4 each), meanwhile, cull flavors from two fishy friends, as they come breaded with squid ink panko and topped with trout roe. 660 N. State St., 312.202.6050

Menu offerings never last lost at this seasonal West Loop charmer, but here’s hoping for a long summer. Otherwise, Elske’s grilled summer squash adorned with pumpkin seed praline, chickweed and caviar will be gone all too son. Currently on the Michelin-starred restaurant’s $90 tasting menu, its warm summer flavors are balanced by poached halibut with chamomile and bok choy and frozen mint-tinged fennel candy. 1350 W. Randolph St., 312.733.1314


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