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Claudia

Claudia - Chicago

You may have had a chance to marvel at the culinary arts as practiced by Chef Trevor Teich at Michelin-starred restaurants like L2O, NoMI or Acadia. Or maybe you visited his old pop-up, Claudia; now, Teich has a brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name, and he is crushing it.

In what the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel describes as “a pitch-perfect combination of flavors and textures,” the courses created by Teich roll out like chapters in a continuously engaging adventure story. You don’t know what to expect, but you can expect to be surprised, and you will like it. A lot.

You may have had a chance to marvel at the culinary arts as practiced by Chef Trevor Teich at Michelin-starred restaurants like L2O, NoMI or Acadia. Or maybe you visited his old pop-up, Claudia; now, Teich has a brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name, and he is crushing it.

In what the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel describes as “a pitch-perfect combination of flavors and textures,” the courses created by Teich roll out like chapters in a continuously engaging adventure story. You don’t know what to expect, but you can expect to be surprised, and you will like it. A lot.

To give you an example of the thrills served up on a recent 10-course menu at Claudia, here are some of the dishes:

• Lasagna of Crab, with passion fruit, cucumber and pickled lemon – fruit flavors go surprisingly well with crustacean

• Snails in the Woods, featuring truffles and fines herbs.—snails and truffles are earthy brothers, and what grows together grows together

• Pot-au-Pho, with a filet of beef, pho broth and root vegetables—funny name, right? This dish is delicious.

Teich, in line with the high-end tradition in which he has worked for years, always seeks out the very best ingredients. When you’re operating at this level, nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Though dinner is not going to be inexpensive (at the end of 2019, it’s $185 with a $35 corkage fee), it’s much less expensive than you might think because Claudia currently is, somewhat amazingly, BYOB. You can bring your own wines to pair with dinner, and Claudia quite helpfully provides a series of suggested pairings, a novel way to help customers maximize the flavor potential of dinner by bringing the right wines to sample throughout the evening. Note that there is a reasonable three-bottle limit.

With an always surprising menu, Teich leverages seasonal ingredients to deliver maximum deliciousness on the plate, and he has a whimsical eye for presentations that tickle the fantasy as they do the palate.

Retaining some of the intimacy of his pop-up restaurant, Teich’s new Claudia space reflects restrained elegance in a serving area of only eight tables. Though there are no communal tables as there were at his pop-up, Claudia’s guests are served all at once. To add the necessary personal element, servers will address each table individually as they describe the food, ingredients, and preparation techniques, and they will also act as a guide through what can be a wild – and wonderful – dining experience.

Claudia is a restaurant that is aiming for greatness and may very well succeed. In a recent article in Michigan Avenue Magazine, Claudia was heralded as “Michelin-in-waiting.” It may very well be.

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