NoMI was my only lunch pick for Restaurant Week this year. I had to squeeze it in between meetings, and I’m so glad it worked out! If you’ve never been, you should spoil yourself with a lovely view of the Chicago Water Tower and Michigan Avenue and gather up some of the refined elegance of the dining room and posh service.
A like-minded co-worker and I happily divided and conquered the $22 prix fixe menu. This fabulous meal started with smooth, sweet Butternut Squash soup, drizzled with a bit of red curry oil. It was delectable and while I could have eaten bowlfuls all the live long day, the proportion was actually good for lunch. The Farmhouse Bowl was a refreshing mix of greens and raw, thin slices of seasonal vegetables. The salad was good, but really had nothing on the soup.
Somewhere in the depths of the kitchen, I imagine a mad genius surrounded by pasta acolytes who one day pray to be worthy of the Mac and Cheese that comes from this restaurant. I hope this is the case because the world would be a better place if all kitchens could produce the balance of creamy smooth Gruyère laced sauce, crunchy truffled topping and bits of broccoli rabe. Not that the Roasted Mushroom Panini with a side of house-made chips lacked anything — but the Mac and Cheese simply blew me away. I’ll be back. Oh, I’ll be back.
We upgraded one of our desserts from the Park Cookie Box to the Bolivian Chocolate Mousse. It was a beautiful presentation with luscious chocolate and crème fraîch, but I actually preferred the Fromage Blanc Parfait. Butterscotch wins, what can I say? The textures were more interesting, too, with layers of sponge cake, butterscotch and praline flakes creating a satisfyingly sweet high five to the meal.
It was great to be reminded how great NoMI was. Now I just need to remind myself to go more often!
800 N Michigan Ave