S.K.Y: A Refreshingly Innovative Restaurant without the Pretension

Neighborhood: Pilsen

Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★

Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★★★

Affordability: ★★★

Ambience: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★1/2

 Food Quality: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★1/2

Menu:

  • Drinks: Seon Daze
  • Small Plates: Black Truffle Croquettes, Hamachi Sashimi, Lobster Dumplings
  • Entrees: Mediterranean Seabass
  • Sides: Brussel Sprouts and Crispy Potatoes

S.K.Y is a newer, creative restaurant with a sleek, minimal decor serving New American fare with an “Asian” influence.  It is unpretentious as it is in Pilsen rather than the West Loop, which is quite refreshing.  This is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in Chicago.  Everything I ate here was absolutely mouthwateringly delicious between the fun textures and well-seasoned/spiced flavors.  Everything about this restaurant screams minimal decor but their flavors are everything but minimal.

Walking in, you are met with dimly lit rooms with darker walls serving sleek and sexy vibes.  S.K.Y. has an open-kitchen concept, so you can see the chefs in action.  I remember seeing the owner/executive chef walking around so it felt like a down to earth place.  My only complaint is that our server took quite awhile to come to our table and the server next to us poured us some water and apologized.  When our server finally came to our table, she was nice but it wasn’t really the best service I’ve had (it definitely didn’t match with the high quality of food there). The server next to us was much nicer.  However, the food pretty much made up for the lackluster service so I can’t complain.

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Amuse Bouche

While this restaurant is still currently BYOB, I was eager to try their cocktail menu as they had some unique cocktails listed.  I had the Seon Daze because I was very intrigued by the turmeric.  It had lemon, vermouth and sake.  It was a tasty cocktail and I appreciated the fact that they had a unique spice in their cocktail that I haven’t seen at most places.

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Seon Daze

I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant for pure vegetarians and vegans but since we are pescatarians we were able to find quite a few options.  They don’t really have any vegetarian larger plates though, it is a pretty seafood heavy restaurant.  They served us an amuse bouche to start and it was an edamame puree on top of puffed rice crackers.  It was a lovely way to start an amazing meal.  We started with the black truffle croquettes, which just melted in your mouth.  White cheddar is never too exciting for me but it was aged and paired with black truffle and jalapeño.  It was served over sprouts drizzled with what I think was a miso rice vinegar (wasn’t sure), but it was a lovely flavor.  I could have had an entire plate of that myself.  We also started with the Hamachi Sashimi, which was a beautiful plate.  Thin layers of sashimi with drizzled ponzu and little rice puffs immersed throughout the plate.  It had a subtle and delicate flavor.

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Black Truffle Croquettes
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Hamachi Sashimi

Our next plate was the lobster dumplings.  The dumplings had a soft texture and the lobster tasted quite succulent with the jade butter and herbs drizzled on top.  I really enjoyed the delicate herb flavor paired with the more intense lobster flavor.  For the larger plate, we decided to get the Mediterranean Seabass.  The seabass was coated in a French bread crumbs making for a crunchy texture on top of fresh and excellently sautéed spinach with a lemon-garlic jus poured on top.  I loved the prominent garlic flavor and it paired so well with spinach.

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Lobster Dumplings
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Mediterranean Seabass

To complement this gorgeous entree, we got the Brussels Sprouts and Crunchy Potatoes as sides.  The brussels sprouts were crunchy and perfectly sautéed with an apple cider gastrique.  I am not even crazy about brussels sprouts but was in love with this dish.  I really loved the sourness of the apple cider gastrique.  The potatoes were crispy with rosemary/other herbs and were served with a black truffle dip, which was heavenly. Perfect finger food.

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Brussel Sprouts

S.K.Y., unlike some other restaurants really know how to cook with vegetables and they celebrate and honor them, they are not just thrown on the side.  Nothing was overdone and everything was extremely flavorful.  I left full and satisfied but not uncomfortable.  I can’t wait to come back here and try the other delights on the menu.  All of the recognition and write-ups of this place is well-deserved.  While S.K.Y. is pricier, it doesn’t leave the financial shock that most places in the West Loop do after getting the check, especially considering the high quality of food that they serve here.

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