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Sepia, Near West Side

by Krista

Sepia signSepia
123 N. Jefferson

Date of Last Visit: Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The Victim: Dave

Damage: Unknown. Dave paid. Sort of. Dave does some photography for Sepia and they comped our meal because of it.

The Background: I didn’t really mean for things to work out this way. But it seems like the people that I have had dinner with since moving back to Chicago have mostly been people that I have some sort of London connections with. First there was dinner with Meredith at Ricardo’s. (Mer lived in London for two years, right when I first moved there.) Then there was breakfast with Santanu the other weekend. (We both moved to London around the same time back in 2004.) Dinner with Julie and Jen at Hot Chocolate. And now dinner with Dave.

Dave is a photographer extraordinaire and gave me all sorts of tips over dinner regarding where to go for lenses and what photography stores are his favorite. (He’s available for weddings and events!) So of course, when he mentioned that Sepia was paying for his photos in food and asked if I wanted to go, there was no other answer but yes.

Sepia seating
One of my co-workers told me Sepia’s decor was really funky. Maybe nothing phases me. I thought it was pretty nice. (Large lampshades not pictured.) I liked the informal high seating that lined one side of the restaurant. While we were there, a large party came in and took up the entire space. I could see myself organizing something similar.

Sepia scallops
I had the scallops to start. They were nice. They were billed as coming with popcorn grits, which I was quite excited about. (Love love love grits.) Sadly, although I’m sure there was some use of grits in the dish, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I wanted something more exciting.

Sepia charcuterieDave ordered the charcuterie. Dave’s a smart man. He’s also a generous man. He let me have some. I wish I could tell you what each piece was, but I can’t. I liked the one with the figgy middle though. (Or maybe that was prune. See…this is why I shouldn’t be a food blogger.)

Sepia steak
I had the flat iron steak with bernaise for dinner. And for breakfast the next day, continuing my new Chicago tradition of living off of leftovers. This was good.

Sepia duckBut best was Dave’s duck. If you can make it out there in this super-dark photo. Duck with cherries. There was something anise-like about the duck skin, and the meat was cooked to such a wonderfully rosy medium rare. I would go back to Sepia just for this dish.

Along with these dishes, we had a side of potatoes and a side of seasonal vegetables. Ah, and some lovely cocktails. I had the Sepia mule, which is ginger infused vodka, lime, and ginger beer, and although I was initially skeptical of Dave’s French 75 because I don’t really like gin–Hendrick’s gin, fresh lemon sour, orange bitters, and demi-sec sparkling rose–I was completely won over. Now I know…when I MUST drink gin, it will be Hendrick’s.

The Verdict: I could see myself going back here for a work dinner. Great atmosphere, good food, and great cocktails.

Don’t Forget! You have until tomorrow at 11:59 pm Chicago time to enter into my Le Creuset give-away!

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