Phil Vettel's 4-star restaurant reviews
The restaurant in the Trump International Hotel scales the heights of fine dining. Sixteen arguably boasts the most dramatic setting of any restaurant in Chicago, its quarter-circle arc of three-story windows providing tourism-bureau views of the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
But executive chef Thomas Lents cooks as though his windows were are boarded up. Not content to let the view provide diners with a sense of place, he presents an opening course of crisped Lake Michigan smelts over green-tomato relish, presented on a glass plate over a composition of beach sand and local wildflowers (foraged on the way to work). "This is a lakefront city," says Lents. "I wanted to make that statement."
There are several ways to dine here. There is the a la carte menu; the seven-course chef's tasting menu, with choices in several categories; and the splendiferous, 12-course Menu Prestige. Sommelier Nathan Cowan presides over a massive wine list, though if you're indulging in one of the set menus, I recommend opting for the wine pairings and letting Cowan do his thing.