Stone Flower — Chicago (8/2019)


The chef at the newly opened Stone Flower is the same chef that was behind the 2-star Michelin 42 grams that closed a few years ago (The story behind 42 grams is well-documented in the film “42 grams” available on Netflix).  As 42 grams was one of my all-time favorite restaurants, I had to make way to Chicago to try it out when a friend said he was going to be there on business.  Stone Flower operates on a pre-purchased ticket system for the meal through the SevenRooms reservation system.  When we booked, they were offering two seating times—they have since gone to one seating per evening at 6pm around the counter of 12.  Afterwards, diners are invited into the parlor, if they desire, for after-dinner drinks.  In our case, we had booked a later seating and when the time came, they opted not to change our seating time.  So, there was just the two of us for dinner.

The first beverage was a “garden” (herbaceous) gin with yuzu juice, lemon verbena syrup (house made), and rose hip soda (house made).  This was topped off with cucumber foam, dehydrated cucumber pieces, and basil blossom flowers.

The first course was snail caviar with some brown butter powder and tofu mixed with perilla oil.  This was garnished with freeze-dried cucumber balls.  This was a nice herbaceous combination with the paired beverage to start off the menu.

The next wine was a Portuguese Alvarinho.

The next bite was yuzu curd set on fried phytoplankton and topped with citrus marigold.  We were instructed not to eat the moss underneath.

The pairing for this dish was a wine called Roditis from Greece, with an earthy aroma, but having a bright, acidic flavor.

The next bite was skate cheek, just lightly poached (preserving the tender and moist texture) and served on top of celery juice and stalk mixed with lemon verbena.  Around it was a purée made from celery root cooked with brown butter and cream that was smoked with applewood.  This was garnished with celery strips and elysium flowers.

The next wine was from Slovenia.  It was a pink Pinot Grigio.

The next course was Faroe Islands salmon which had been brined in a Lapsing souchong tea.  This was torched and then a beer vinegar glaze applied.  On top was some fried corn silk, smoked trout roe, corn silk tea mousse, jicama pickled/compressed in sudachi, and hoja santa leaf. Some very nice flavors were melded together in this dish.

For the full write-up, click here.

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