While caviar is still one of the most decadent ingredients around, accessible (and somewhat affordable) versions of the stuff have been popping up on menus all over town. Whether you're seeking the luxury experience or just want to keep things casual, here’s where to eat caviar right now in Chicago.
For caviar service that’ll make you feel like you’re strolling through a fairytale woodland, hit up this underrated Loop gem. Courtesy of chef Ender Oktayuren, caviar service at Steadfast features jars of caviar pearls presented on a tree branch, interspersed with pickled ramps, quail eggs, chives, brioche toast points and potato blini. Caviar is available in three variations and price points, from white sturgeon to kristal and golden osetra.
120 W. Monroe St.; 312-801-8899
Any restaurant inspired by vintage Hollywood glamour is bound to have a significant caviar component. Indeed, BLVD, one of the most lavish restaurants to emerge in 2017, rolls out the red carpet for roe with its caviar towers. The multi-tiered presentation comes with a choice of caviar — Siberian baerii, sasanian imperial osetra or Iranian pearl asetra — with traditional accompaniments like blini, egg, chives and crème fraîche.
817 W. Lake St.; 312-526-3116
If you have an Instagram account, you’ve likely seen multiple photos of the oyster and caviar pie at this swanky West Loop newcomer. Described by chef Jimmy Papadopoulos as the most “opulent, grand bite on the menu,” the dainty pie is inspired by Thomas Keller’s oysters and pearls dish, which at Bellemore manifests as briny oyster custard in a savory, flaky tart shell with golden osetra caviar layered on top. It’s garnished with chives, lemon-dressed apple and crème fraîche, and each pie is served with a glass of champagne.
564 W. Randolph St.; 312-667-0104
At this elegant Parisian-inspired bastion, caviar and oysters take a more traditional approach. An essential starter course, fresh oysters from New Brunswick come with eggs brouilles, kohlrabi crème, osetra caviar and snipped chervil. The kohlrabi crème adds an earthiness that balances the brininess of the oysters, while the silky scrambled eggs are a nice upgrade from classic caviar presentations.
534 N. Clark St.; 312-595-1616
From duck to lobster spaghetti, Humboldt Park’s quintessential neighborhood bistro has a knack for bringing upscale ingredients down to earth. This is also true of caviar, which gets the toast treatment during brunch. Crunchy, buttery pieces of toast come heaped with salty caviar, or if you’re feeling extravagant, you can opt for the restaurant’s off-menu “gonzo toast.” It’s caviar toast topped with brisket and sea urchin roe — an offbeat ode to surf 'n' turf.
1001 N. California Ave.; 773-904-7660
Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar
One of the most unexpected hits of 2017, Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar also helped solidify Humboldt Park as Chicago’s caviar destination. Already filled with impressive Eastern European fare, the dinner menu boasts an array of caviar options and price points, accompanied by helpful descriptions. Options range from gold imperial osetra from China and kristal from France, to white sturgeon from Idaho and Black River osetra from Uruguay. Some selections are priced as low as $10, like the golden whitefish caviar from Michigan and the bowfin “choupique” from Louisiana.
2700 W. Chicago Ave.; 773-661-9577
An early adopter of the caviar craze, Vol. 39 in The Kimpton Gray hotel rolled out its extravagant caviar service in 2016. Served from carts that rove about the lounge, caviar options include Sasanian River beluga kaluga and hackleback domestic sturgeon, sold in quarter-ounce, half-ounce or one-ounce portions with accompaniments of egg whites, yolks, housemade crème fraîche, red onion and brioche. Considering the handsome midcentury space, such lavish noshing feels appropriate.
39 S. LaSalle St.; 312-604-9909
Any place that features lobster cappuccinos and truffle-scrambled eggs is bound to spotlight caviar. At Booth One, a decadent Gold Coast addition from the same caviar specialists behind Everest, a dainty spoonful of roe adorns a tower of crab, shrimp, lobster, ceviche and sashimi in the same way that a cherry would top an ice cream sundae. Hackleback caviar is also served on a seared Atlantic sea scallop, enrobed in watercress emulsion.
1301 N. State Pkwy.; 312-649-0535