The chill of fall is upon us and now is the time to seek out those foods that will cheer us, even when the sun bids us farewell at a tragically early hour.
The curious culinary traveler would do well to make a trip over to Beatrix, warmly tucked in on the first floor of the Aloft Chicago City Center in River North. Marc Jacobs and his colleagues have been doing wonderful things there as of late and they recently received a Bib Gourmand award courtesy of the Michelin Guide.
Stepping inside Beatrix is a fine treat, as the interior makes good use of repurposed wood in the dining area and to my own eye, the entire composite portrait is one of a French gastro-pub with a range of concessions to healthful living courtesy of their diverse menu.
I'd recommend grabbing a table near the window, as you can take in the folks rushing by Clark Street along with having a full vista of your nearby companions enjoying dinner. In terms of starters, the season is right for their butternut squash and apple soup (above), which is accompanied by toasted pumpkin seeds. You might also do well to partake of the pumpkin & avocado carpaccio (below), which is a fine accompaniment.
You might also pause for a drink, which by my taste, tend to the light and crisp beverages, even if the weather seems to require greater fortitude. I'd recommend trying cucumber and mint soda with gin or for those not partaking of spirits, the blueberry & basil smash is exceptional.
Moving on to the main dishes, colder weather will require warm comfort, naturally. Many palates will be accommodated on their fall menu, and I'd recommend either the cassarecce pasta with an assortment of slow-roasted vegetables or the three-grain and arugula salad with Miller Farm's chicken.
After such a meal, you will be ready to head out into the cold night air to your next destination. And of course, if you find yourself staying overnight in River North, never fear: Beatrix serves breakfast.