16-Course Spring Parade at Chicago's Sixteen

There are meals over the years that have left a long lasting impression, whether because of the stunning environment, exquisite cuisine or memorable company. Last week’s 16-course experience at Chicago’s two Michelin star rated Sixteen with its elevated sunset-washed views of the city etched its way into my short list of impressionable meals for all three of these very reasons.

Perched on the 16th floor of Trump International Hotel & Towel Chicago, the appropriately named Sixteen provides a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and the Wrigley Clock tower from its floor-to-ceiling dining room windows, or better yet, when the weather allows, from its terrace. An opportunity to soak in the city from this ideal gazing point alone is reason for a visit to Sixteen.

With the dazzling vistas and “welcome” champagne already providing a rosy sense of satisfaction, I’m not sure if I was mentally or emotionally prepared for the parade of spring dishes to come from Executive Chef Nick Dostal and Executive Pastry Chef Evan Sheridan. Chef Dostal’s take on contemporary American cuisine highlights the seasonal bounties of local farmers, rangers and fishmongers, preparing and presenting them in an innovative, borderline whimsical manner.

Highlights of the marathon Chef’s Extended Menu included the sublime Burgundy snail and morel pasta, the ethereal Dungeness crab with white asparagus puree and the delightful addition of fresh ginger, and the Oregon lamb, prepared two ways. The evening’s wine pairings themselves put on a spectacular show that highlighted so many perfectly paired diverse whites they may have induced a white wine epiphany for this red wine imbiber.

 First Course: "Spring Snacks"

First Course: "Spring Snacks"

 First Course: Chef Dostal and his beloved Japanese Kakigori Machine

First Course: Chef Dostal and his beloved Japanese Kakigori Machine

 First Course: Pea "Snow Cone"

First Course: Pea "Snow Cone"

 Second Course: Lamb Tartare, Fava Tendril, Chamomile

Second Course: Lamb Tartare, Fava Tendril, Chamomile

 Third Course: Heritage Duck, Soy, Cinnamon Basil

Third Course: Heritage Duck, Soy, Cinnamon Basil

 Fourth Course: Dungeness Crab, White Asparagus, Ginger

Fourth Course: Dungeness Crab, White Asparagus, Ginger

 Fifth Course: Hiramasa, Green Almond, Wild Fennel

Fifth Course: Hiramasa, Green Almond, Wild Fennel

 Surprise Sixth Course: Foie Gras, Rhubarb

Surprise Sixth Course: Foie Gras, Rhubarb

 Seventh Course: Provitello Veal, Cipollini Onion, Provencal Herbs

Seventh Course: Provitello Veal, Cipollini Onion, Provencal Herbs

 Eighth Course: White Rabbit, Castelmagno Gnudi, Nettles

Eighth Course: White Rabbit, Castelmagno Gnudi, Nettles

 Ninth Course: Burgundy Snail, Morel Pasta, Wild Ramp

Ninth Course: Burgundy Snail, Morel Pasta, Wild Ramp

 Tenth Course: Chinook Salmon, Fiddlehead Fern, Sorrel

Tenth Course: Chinook Salmon, Fiddlehead Fern, Sorrel

 Eleventh Course: Oregon Lamb, Belgian Endive, Turmeric

Eleventh Course: Oregon Lamb, Belgian Endive, Turmeric

 Twelfth Course: Roasted Strawberries, Cucumber, Lemon Balm

Twelfth Course: Roasted Strawberries, Cucumber, Lemon Balm

 Thirteenth Course: Poached Rhubarb, Goat's Milk, Sesame

Thirteenth Course: Poached Rhubarb, Goat's Milk, Sesame

 Fourteenth Course: Vietnamese Chocolate, Soured Coconut, Saigon Cinnamon

Fourteenth Course: Vietnamese Chocolate, Soured Coconut, Saigon Cinnamon

 Fifteenth Course: Candy Cart

Fifteenth Course: Candy Cart

 Sixteenth Course: Truffles

Sixteenth Course: Truffles

The experience at Sixteen was made all the more enjoyable by the company it was shared with. The culinary debates, playful banter, and course-by-course analysis made dining at Sixteen a truly immersive experience, and one I am more then pleased to add to life’s list of impressionable meals.

Sixteen

401 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611