After a white-knuckled stay in the Signature Lounge bar on the 95th floor of Chicago’s John Hancock building, Greedy Girl thought the dining room at Everest, merely 40 floors in the sky on top of the stock exchange building would be a piece of cake.

The restaurant itself looks a little like a 70s film set – all glamorous upholstered chairs, deep carpets, starched linen. We were told on booking that nabbing a table by the windows was not guaranteed. That certainly didn’t disappoint Greedy Girl. Of course, as luck would have it, we were shown to an enormous round table, with chairs next to the floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking one of Chicago’s landmarks, the Willis (formerly known as Sears) Tower, the tallest building in this city’s amazing architectural feast.

But we were looking for a different kind of feast. Greedy Girl turned her back to the view (until she’d had more than a few sips of champagne). Everest is a member of the worldwide Relais & Chateaux group and is helmed by its chef/owner J Joho. Jean Joho is an Alsace native with a range of restaurants in the US – two in Chicago, one in Boston and one in Las Vegas and is a former ‘chef of the year’ as awarded by Bon Appetit magazine.

Settling in with a bottle of Egly-Ouriet premier cru Les Vignes de Vrigny champagne, we selected our first two courses and sat back. It was a rainy Chicago night and the clouds whizzed by, obscuring the top of the towers around us.

First up was an amuse bouche. From left to right, we had a bay scallop with roe and a meyer lemon emulsion, a roasted Michigan ramps soup and a tarte flambee emulsion. Tarte flambee is a traditional Alsace dish made of bread dough, fromage blanc, lardons and onions. All three tastes were delicious but this in particular was wonderful.

Everest Chicago

The amuse bouche selection

And so to our first courses. Greedy Girl had the smoked salmon. As you’d expect from a signature dish, it was perfect. The salmon had just the depth of flavour Greedy Girl likes (that is, not too strong) and the pairings were excellent. Fleischnagga (the little rolled elements dotted on the plate) aka fleischnacka are little rolled pastries from the Alsace usually stuffed with meat. These were rolled crepes containing cabbage and went brilliantly with the fish. Also dotted on the plate was an aigrelette – the splodges of sauce you can see. It was a light and refreshing dish.

Everest Chicago

Smoked salmon

Gluttonous husband went for crusted Berkshire pork cheeks with poached veal tongue (pictured at the top of this post). This was served with a choucroute (cabbage) salad and petite ravigote (an acidic sauce). Gluttonous husband loved the combination of flavours and textures in this dish. The pork and veal were rich and tender. He said the veal tongue had more texture than the pork cheek but both went well with the crunchiness of the salad and the tanginess of the dressing.

Next up were mains. Greedy Girl took the dry-aged New York steak. This was served with some watercress and spring vegetables and two items on the side – Alsace potato gnocchi and a bearnaise choron sauce. The steak was perfectly cooked (medium rare) and had a great texture.

Everest Chicago

Dry-aged New York steak

The gnocchi, fried crispy, were light and crunchy and absolutely delish. The sauce is a variation on traditional bearnaise, apparently with the addition of tomato puree; Greedy Girl couldn’t taste that but it was very delightful. We’d been getting through the champagne at a rate of knots, so Greedy Girl switched to a glass of red for this course, a ‘Truth’ 2010 from the Napa Valley, a varietal.

Everest Chicago

Potato gnocchi and bearnaise sauce

Gluttonous husband had a stunning-looking plate. This was a filet of sole meuniere with pommes mousseline, small capers and espelette (a French pepper). The presentation was superb and the taste, gluttonous husband pronounced, was a match. The potato had a little parmesan cheese thrown in which went with a parmesan crust on the fish. Sole is a flat fish, so this was three layers, to achieve the height on the plate. The capers and pepper were in a brown butter sauce. Yum.

Everest Chicago

Sole meunière with pommes mousseline

We needed a palate cleanser before dessert – a pistachio custard with meyer lemon tapioca pearls. It was delightful.

Everest Chicago

The palate cleanser

For her final course, Greedy Girl ordered the Valrhona chocolate souffle. This was served in a pool of mint anglaise with a quenelle of French vanilla ice cream. It was an unusual souffle, described as ‘new wave’ on the menu in that it didn’t collapse when the spoon pierced it. The chocolate was perfectly wonderful but Greedy Girl didn’t like the mint anglaise – it was way too strong and she didn’t enjoy chewing on a couple of mint leaves within it.

Everest Chicago

Valrhona chocolate soufflé

Gluttonous husband saw a dessert wine he particularly liked and that dictated his choice of dessert. This was a terrine made from a chocolate crepe, banana brulee and a maple caramel syrup. The crisp tuille had a ginger flavour. It was paired with an Oremus late harvest Tokaji from Hungary. Gluttonous husband was well pleased.

Everest Chicago

Chocolate, banana and caramel terrine

Almost time to depart, we had some green tea and a selection of petits fours, which included a bowl of Californian cherries. A nice touch.

Everest Chicago

Macarons and sweet treats

Everest Chicago

Californian cherries

Everest is a special occasion restaurant and a touch of ‘old fashioned’ glamour with very professional and personable service. The chef himself came out to chat to the diners through the course of the evening. The view is spectacular and it’s a very comfortable way of experiencing Michelin-starred fine dining in Chicago.


One Financial News, 440 S La Salle Street, Chicago

Everest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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