Date of Last Visit: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Victim: Heather
The Damage: About $20 each
The Background: Heather and I have been talking about going out to lunch since AUGUST. We finally put a date in the diary and headed over to Sable Kitchen, in The Palomar Hotel.
I am a fan of all things Kimpton–they are in my opinion the nicest hotel chain in America–so this was not a hard sell for me. And I was excited to check out Kimpton’s latest offering in Chicago.
What I like about Kimpton is that their restaurants are destinations. They’re not just soulless hotel restaurants, something that I have a lot of experience with.
The Entrance: We enter Sable Kitchen and we are immediately overwhelmed by the smell of GAS. This is a bad thing. It’s so bad that we have to talk to the hostess about it. Does she know it smells like gas, and more importantly, are we all going to die during lunch?
Yes, she says. They know it smells like gas. They’ve had many people in to research the smell of gas and they can’t figure out where it’s coming from really. They’ve had everything tested and, she assures us, the smell of gas will not hurt anyone.
You know what I say to that? Nothing should smell like gas. MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK HARDER. (It’s not just me…see Gary R’s review of Sable Kitchen on Yelp.)
My main was a super-generous chicken with buttermilk herb dumplings. (Welcome to America, really.) I don’t know how one person could reasonably eat all of this unless they ran a marathon earlier. I really liked the idea of this dish and it all came together well with one exception…the dumplings suffered under the onslaught of such a massive amount of broth. They had disintegrated into mush, which kinda defeats the point of offering dumplings.
The Service: Service was friendly and helpful and knew when to approach the table and knew when to stay away. Well done, Sable.
The Verdict: I haven’t mentioned the natural light. Sable benefits from a corner position so it is full of natural light, a rarity it would seem in many Chicago restaurants. I liked this about Sable Kitchen and oddly, it would be one reason why I might return. That and the tomato soup!