LTH Home

Sepia - West Loop

Sepia - West Loop
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 3 of 3 
  • Post #61 - March 27th, 2011, 7:22 pm
    Post #61 - March 27th, 2011, 7:22 pm Post #61 - March 27th, 2011, 7:22 pm
    spiffytriphy wrote:Visited Sepia for the first time yesterday and loved it.
    ...

    Image
    Garam masala chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cake, caramelized pears, yogurt cream.

    That's all great, but can you please say more about this dessert? Given your photo, I see myself having an urgent need for garam masala chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cake, caramelized pears and yogurt cream later this week.
  • Post #62 - March 28th, 2011, 3:41 am
    Post #62 - March 28th, 2011, 3:41 am Post #62 - March 28th, 2011, 3:41 am
    happy_stomach wrote:
    spiffytriphy wrote:Visited Sepia for the first time yesterday and loved it.
    ...

    Image
    Garam masala chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cake, caramelized pears, yogurt cream.

    That's all great, but can you please say more about this dessert? Given your photo, I see myself having an urgent need for garam masala chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cake, caramelized pears and yogurt cream later this week.


    I lack chocolate knowledge so I'm not going to try and guess what type of chocolate was in this dessert. I really liked how the chocolate mousse and cake managed to be rich, creamy, and ultra smooth but not overwhelmingly so. Sort of reminded me of a lighter version of the chocolate ganache block served at L20. The pears (I think there was some spices used to cook them down?) and yogurt cream complimented the chocolate nicely. The yogurt cream wasn't very yogurty/tangy. I don't know what the specks were on the right, but they added a little texture/crunch which I appreciated. Finally, I felt this dessert had the perfect amount of sweetness. YUM!
  • Post #63 - June 19th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    Post #63 - June 19th, 2011, 9:02 pm Post #63 - June 19th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    OK, it took me a few months, but I finally made it to Sepia tonight for dessert, inspired by spiffytriphy's photo. I will say that my expectations were probably unfairly high. Over dinner at Perennial Virant before heading over to Sepia, conversation had turned to personal rankings of Chicago pastry chefs, so I had been thinking about best desserts for much of the evening. The desserts at Sepia were inoffensive but fell several notches below the desserts I would have rather been eating at Blackbird, the Bristol or Balsan, for example. The flavors around the chocolate cake and peanut butter mousse in particular were very muddled so that nothing tasted quite right. Some components just out-right clashed, in my taste. It didn't help that service was inattentive, despite the place being half empty. It'd take a lot to convince me to return here.

    Pecan and chocolate cake with butterscotch, cassis syrup and coconut ice cream:

    Image

    Strawberry beggar's purse, buttermilk ice cream, balsamic syrup:

    Image

    Burnt caramel peanut butter mousse, chocolate date cake and port reduction:

    Image
  • Post #64 - June 20th, 2011, 3:45 am
    Post #64 - June 20th, 2011, 3:45 am Post #64 - June 20th, 2011, 3:45 am
    Happy Stomach, sorry you didn't enjoy Sepia. I feel bad you went b/c of my picture and wasted your money :(
  • Post #65 - June 20th, 2011, 5:10 am
    Post #65 - June 20th, 2011, 5:10 am Post #65 - June 20th, 2011, 5:10 am
    spiffytriphy wrote:Happy Stomach, sorry you didn't enjoy Sepia. I feel bad you went b/c of my picture and wasted your money :(

    No worries.

    1) I don't think it's ever truly a loss to try a place you haven't been. So, I got to try Sepia, and I'm happy I did.
    2) Regardless of how the food might be (since I just had dessert and one visit), the dining room is attractive, and we had a comfortable table by the window in the lounge. It was a pleasant place to sit.
    3) It wasn't my money. :wink:
  • Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 12:32 am
    Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 12:32 am Post #66 - July 15th, 2012, 12:32 am
    Although I had not dined at Sepia before tonight, I had enjoyed Chef Zimmerman's food at a number of food-related events around Chicago, including the Green City Market bbq event this past Thursday (where he served a terrific merguez sausage) and another event where he served what might be the best pho I've ever tasted in my life (a duck pho). So I knew I needed to give Sepia a try.

    Tonight's meal at Sepia was just outstanding and convinced me that I need to try more of the menu. My starter of sea scallops with parsley root, grapefruit, ramps and smoked paprika lardo featured perfectly seared scallops and just a terrific combination of flavors all across the board, from savory to sweet to sour to salty, yet with the beautiful scallops standing out front and center. Even better was my entree of lamb loin (a perfect medium rare), which was nicely tender, yet contrasted with a crisp-on-the-outside serving of lamb neck, and a chickpea panisse that would have been delicious on its own, but was topped with eggplant and gently seasoned with vadouvan. My dining companion's chicken, chicken sausage and marrow dumplings was equally delicious, as was his chilled appetizer of smoked shrimp, dill, buttermilk, cucumber and little gem.

    A wonderful sunflower-specked bread with terrific butter and some tasty cocktails started the night off right, and service was also terrific (nice spacing of courses included). Though by no means inexpensive, the beautifully plated food was exactly what I'd expect at this price point. I don't know how much of this thread reflects the experiences with Chef Zimmerman (who came on board to Sepia some time in 2009), but tonight's meal (though only two courses per person) was really flawless and left me wondering why I waited so long to give Sepia a shot. Without question, I will be returning, and expectations will be high.
  • Post #67 - July 28th, 2012, 9:17 am
    Post #67 - July 28th, 2012, 9:17 am Post #67 - July 28th, 2012, 9:17 am
    I visited Sepia for the first time to have a drink and light meal, so I didn't eat a lot, but what I had was truly excellent.

    For starters, the bread was an excellent whole grain roll that was crusty, chewy and filled with crunchy grains.
    The only dish I had was the charcuterie plate, and it was one of the best I've had. I can't recall all the meats (there was mortadella and testa and at least three others), but what impressed me what that each had some combination of spices or herbs that gave it a distinct flavor. Too often charcuterie ends up being really tasty meats, but they all blend together a bit. The pickled vegetable that accompanied it were also perfect.
    For dessert, I had one bit of the shared blueberry tart with buttermilk ice cream. No points for creativity, but full points for execution.

    As mentioned by others, the place was a bit more than half full at 7:00 on a Friday. I now consider this a high quality restaurant where you can easily get a reservation at a good time on a busy night. It's also walking distance to the Northwestern Station which is good for us commuters who want dinner downtown before heading hom. The other option of this kind, Avec, may have better food, but getting a table is a challenge (and I will never like communcal seating).

    Jonah
  • Post #68 - September 4th, 2012, 8:04 am
    Post #68 - September 4th, 2012, 8:04 am Post #68 - September 4th, 2012, 8:04 am
    Chef Andrew Zimmerman won his Iron Chef battle. The secret ingredient was cream cheese. His taste scores tied Chef Forgione's, but he eked out a victory based on plating.

    Jonah
  • Post #69 - September 4th, 2012, 10:12 am
    Post #69 - September 4th, 2012, 10:12 am Post #69 - September 4th, 2012, 10:12 am
    Jonah wrote:Chef Andrew Zimmerman won his Iron Chef battle. The secret ingredient was cream cheese. His taste scores tied Chef Forgione's, but he eked out a victory based on plating.

    Jonah

    I could be wrong, but I think that's the first Chicago chef to win. I know Virant and Izard lost.

    [Edit] indeed, I'm wrong: Cantu beat Morimoto.
    But Bayless lost to Flay (a heartbreaker, given how often Flay loses), Tramonto/Gand to Batali, GEB lost to Flay, Grievesen drew Cora, Virant lost to Morimoto, Izard lost to Symon (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ir ... a_episodes)
    Last edited by JoelF on September 4th, 2012, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #70 - September 4th, 2012, 10:19 am
    Post #70 - September 4th, 2012, 10:19 am Post #70 - September 4th, 2012, 10:19 am
    Homaro Cantu won
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #71 - September 5th, 2012, 7:53 pm
    Post #71 - September 5th, 2012, 7:53 pm Post #71 - September 5th, 2012, 7:53 pm
    Since we're on the subject, wife and I had a great meal there a few weeks ago. The service was really outstanding.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #72 - September 6th, 2012, 9:26 am
    Post #72 - September 6th, 2012, 9:26 am Post #72 - September 6th, 2012, 9:26 am
    I also had a really outstanding meal there a few weeks ago with the missus. Duck and lamb cooked perfectly, tender, juicy and delicious. Our service was a bit slow, but always served with a smile. They were quite jammed on the Friday we went. Haven't been in a couple years but I think this time was even better than the first if that's possible. They're definitely in a groove there.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #73 - September 6th, 2012, 11:08 am
    Post #73 - September 6th, 2012, 11:08 am Post #73 - September 6th, 2012, 11:08 am
    JoelF wrote:
    Jonah wrote:Chef Andrew Zimmerman won his Iron Chef battle. The secret ingredient was cream cheese. His taste scores tied Chef Forgione's, but he eked out a victory based on plating.

    Jonah

    I could be wrong, but I think that's the first Chicago chef to win. I know Virant and Izard lost.

    [Edit] indeed, I'm wrong: Cantu beat Morimoto.
    But Bayless lost to Flay (a heartbreaker, given how often Flay loses), Tramonto/Gand to Batali, GEB lost to Flay, Grievesen drew Cora, Virant lost to Morimoto, Izard lost to Symon (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ir ... a_episodes)


    Eh, that show isn't an honest display of skill or competition. It's just entertainment.
    Logan: Come on, everybody, wang chung tonight! What? Everybody, wang chung tonight! Wang chung, or I'll kick your ass!
  • Post #74 - March 13th, 2013, 9:50 am
    Post #74 - March 13th, 2013, 9:50 am Post #74 - March 13th, 2013, 9:50 am
    Last night, Andrew Zimmerman had a special dinner with Gerard Craft of Niche Restaurant in St. Louis. The dinner was to celebrate 'modern midwest cuisine', and the two James Beard nominated chefs put on one hell of a show.

    The meal took place in Sepia's relatively new private dining space
    Image

    Image

    Cocktail hour began at 6pm

    Image

    Image

    Image

    with some delicious hors d'oeuvres including a foie gras creme brulee
    Image

    Image

    Image

    After about an hour, we were all able to take our seats for the meal to begin

    Amuse [Craft]
    Nettle tea, rendered chicken fat
    Image


    First Course [Craft]
    Spring garlic soup, raw garlic marshmallow, root vegetable soil, bergamot, Meyer lemon oil
    2010 Claudio Vio, Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Liguria
    Image
    Image
    Image

    Second Course [Zimmerman]
    Seared scallop, English pea custard, bacon dashi, almond, pea tendrils
    2010 Couloir Pinot Noir Roma's Vineyard, Anderson Valley
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Scallop was cooked well, but the pea custard was the real star of this dish.

    Third Course [Craft]
    Pork belly, preserved trout sauce, honey-radish purée, sorrel, hazelnut
    2007 Savennières Bel Ouvrage, Damien Laureau
    Image
    Though it seems everyone else has jumped ship, I don't know that I'll ever grow tired of pork belly. This was the highlight of the night for me -- puree provided this really nice, sweet bite that paired well with a bite of the succulent, smoky, fatty pork belly.

    Fourth Course [Zimmerman]
    Wagyu "bavette," maitake, cippolini, sunchoke, coffee, béarnaise
    2008 Casar de Burbia, Bierzo
    Image
    Like the pork belly, this was a savory and sweet dish that tasted really balanced.

    Dessert [Sepia]
    Chocolate marquise, salted caramel sauce, coffee-cardamom ice
    Emilio-Lustau Pedro Ximénez East India Solera
    Image
    I think I've said it before, but I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate as it usually tends to be too sweet for me, but the sherry that was paired with this was perfect and cut right through the richness.

    Last Bites
    Image

    Beautiful, delicious food from two of my favorite chefs with wonderful pairings. I hope Chef Zimmerman and Chef Craft decide to collaborate again in the near future as their styles really married well together.
  • Post #75 - March 13th, 2013, 10:57 am
    Post #75 - March 13th, 2013, 10:57 am Post #75 - March 13th, 2013, 10:57 am
    Wow, incite (oops initially got this wrong because I scrolled up too much), gorgeous pictures and I'm sorry I missed out on that menu. I saw the day before that they still had seats and I should have snagged some.
    Last edited by mgmcewen on March 13th, 2013, 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #76 - March 13th, 2013, 11:03 am
    Post #76 - March 13th, 2013, 11:03 am Post #76 - March 13th, 2013, 11:03 am
    mgmcewen wrote:Wow, bnowell724, gorgeous pictures and I'm sorry I missed out on that menu. I saw the day before that they still had seats and I should have snagged some.

    Those were actually taken and posted by incite. And I agree -- great pics!

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #77 - March 13th, 2013, 12:14 pm
    Post #77 - March 13th, 2013, 12:14 pm Post #77 - March 13th, 2013, 12:14 pm
    See Incite, this is where you're beautiful pictures are deceptive! Just kidding. :wink: That really looks like a sensational dinner - sad I missed it. But I have had two meals in the last year at Sepia and I have to say that I'm stunned how this place (and Chef Zimmerman) flies so far under the radar. So many people pay so much attention to the new kids on the block, that they mistakenly ignore this place . . . and yet Zimmerman has only been there for a few years. Thanks for the post!
  • Post #78 - March 13th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    Post #78 - March 13th, 2013, 1:30 pm Post #78 - March 13th, 2013, 1:30 pm
    BR wrote: But I have had two meals in the last year at Sepia and I have to say that I'm stunned how this place (and Chef Zimmerman) flies so far under the radar. So many people pay so much attention to the new kids on the block, that they mistakenly ignore this place . . . and yet Zimmerman has only been there for a few years. Thanks for the post!



    I very much agree with this sentiment. Sepia is my go-to loop restaurant after work. I love sitting at their bar sipping on excellent cocktails and eating their delicious food.
  • Post #79 - June 22nd, 2014, 11:21 am
    Post #79 - June 22nd, 2014, 11:21 am Post #79 - June 22nd, 2014, 11:21 am
    We celebrated my parents' anniversary at Sepia the other night and we had a phenomenal dinner. I started with a very well made cocktail, the White Martinez - Hendick's gin, Carpano Bianco vermouth and Luxardo Maraschino - which was extraordinarily well balanced.

    I'm not sure whether Sepia makes their bread in-house, but the bread was terrific and so was the lightly salted butter - addictive. There was also a trout mousse amuse which was terrific.

    A couple of appetizers really stood out. The ricotta cavatelli with favas, ramps, stinging nettles and bone marrow butter was fantastic and one of the very best things I have tasted this year. Honestly, it sounded just fine to me, but it was so much more than fine - one of those dishes you will not be able to stop eating.

    English pea and mascarpone tortoloni with pea bouillon and morel oil was also excellent - springtime in a bowl, though the morel flavor was quite subtle, perhaps a bit too subtle for my tastes.

    My main course was also sensational: sea bass with swiss chard, chickpeas, rice craker and a rasam broth. Chef Zimmerman seems to have quite the affinity for Asian food, as do I. I remember tasting a duck pho he prepared that was better than any other pho I had ever tasted. His venture into Indian cooking with this sea bass and rasam broth was also outstanding. The broth was so fragrant, spicy and delicious, and the sea bass was cooked perfectly. Having ventured twice into Chef Zimmerman's Asian creations, I feel safe saying that when you find riffs on Asian food on the Sepia menu, you must order them.

    I only had small tastes of others' dishes but everyone was very pleased with their choices (burrata, skate wing, Arctic char, chicken, etc.). We also had a couple of sides - duck fat fried potato wedges, which were pretty much the perfect use of both potatoes and duck fat, and asparagus with a miso hollandaise, which was the very best asparagus dish I have ever had.

    The only thing that disappointed me was the dessert menu, which looked more like a winter dessert menu, lacking any hint of spring or summer produce. This struck me as odd given how much seasonal produce was featured on the rest of the menu. That being said, both desserts we tried were terrific: an oatmeal-coconut cake with maple ice cream, and a silky smooth chocolate tart with bananas foster and pecans.

    Service was outstanding, as good as I've had at any restaurant. We particularly appreciated the fact that they wrote "happy anniversary" on the dessert plates - the only mention of the anniversary was on OpenTable when making the reservation, so it was really nice to see them notice that.

    I've now been to Sepia three times, all with Chef Zimmerman in charge, and each time the food has been fantastic. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just seems like Sepia gets lost in the discussion of great Chicago restaurants. It shouldn't.
  • Post #80 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:03 pm
    Post #80 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:03 pm Post #80 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:03 pm
    Finally had a chance to eat at Sepia last night for my date's bday, and have to say I was underwhelmed. Not that it was bad - it was pretty good, but nothing more. Cocktails were good (as expected), but the food, left something to be desired. We had the sweet potato tortoloni, roasted beets, pork collar and chicken. The beets were very good, but everything else was just solid. Both the pork collar and chicken were coincidentally the server's top choices. Also, no signs of flatbread.

    For the price, there are much better options. I liked the space though.
    www.justnoms.com
    Rate the Food, Not the Restaurant
    @justnoms_com
  • Post #81 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:29 pm
    Post #81 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:29 pm Post #81 - December 2nd, 2014, 6:29 pm
    mdpilam wrote:I was underwhelmed. Not that it was bad - it was pretty good, but nothing more.
    .
    .
    .
    For the price, there are much better options.

    I had the exact same reaction when I ate dinner there in April. Everything was okay and nothing was terrible, but there wasn't a single dish that was delicious or memorable enough for me to be thinking about it the next day.
  • Post #82 - December 1st, 2015, 12:42 am
    Post #82 - December 1st, 2015, 12:42 am Post #82 - December 1st, 2015, 12:42 am
    I held my wedding reception in the private dining space a week and a half ago and I have to say the food was fantastic. We planned it all from overseas so we weren't able to eat at the restaurant before hand so we went in pretty blind. Most of the menu selections seemed a bit basic when we were choosing, but I was thoroughly surprised with the outcome. The hit of the night was by far the grilled pork chop. I'd say probably three quarters of the people chose that (over the cod). It was a huge 7 or 8 oz chop, every one that I saw was perfectly cooked and great flavour. We also had a great scallop mid course. Again, each of them I saw were cooked perfectly medium rare (two on a plate). They were also quite large for what I was expecting. The service was great, the glasses never went dry. I will be happy to go back for an anniversary dinner whenever we're back in Chicago. I'm also now more interested in going for dinner to see what that menu has to offer.

    I also had a few comments around it being the best wedding food some people had every had. That included a few people who were at my sisters wedding which was done at Spiaggia.
  • Post #83 - December 1st, 2015, 1:05 pm
    Post #83 - December 1st, 2015, 1:05 pm Post #83 - December 1st, 2015, 1:05 pm
    SolitaryChef wrote:I held my wedding reception in the private dining space a week and a half ago and I have to say the food was fantastic. We planned it all from overseas so we weren't able to eat at the restaurant before hand so we went in pretty blind. Most of the menu selections seemed a bit basic when we were choosing, but I was thoroughly surprised with the outcome. The hit of the night was by far the grilled pork chop. I'd say probably three quarters of the people chose that (over the cod). It was a huge 7 or 8 oz chop, every one that I saw was perfectly cooked and great flavour. We also had a great scallop mid course. Again, each of them I saw were cooked perfectly medium rare (two on a plate). They were also quite large for what I was expecting. The service was great, the glasses never went dry. I will be happy to go back for an anniversary dinner whenever we're back in Chicago. I'm also now more interested in going for dinner to see what that menu has to offer.

    I also had a few comments around it being the best wedding food some people had every had. That included a few people who were at my sisters wedding which was done at Spiaggia.

    Congratulations!

    I love the private room at Sepia. I've been plotting to do an event there for work, but haven't found the right group.
    -Mary
  • Post #84 - December 3rd, 2015, 2:40 pm
    Post #84 - December 3rd, 2015, 2:40 pm Post #84 - December 3rd, 2015, 2:40 pm
    Best private room in town -- ties, in my opinion, with MK (strangely timeless space with a huge bank vault). The best restaurants don't always have the best private dining setups, or food to match the main restaurant, either. But a few have incredible spaces and food that could be better than in the main space. Sepia, whose private room is in a building next door and has a completely different design vibe, stands out.
  • Post #85 - December 3rd, 2015, 3:13 pm
    Post #85 - December 3rd, 2015, 3:13 pm Post #85 - December 3rd, 2015, 3:13 pm
    JeffB wrote:Best private room in town -- ties, in my opinion, with MK (strangely timeless space with a huge bank vault). The best restaurants don't always have the best private dining setups, or food to match the main restaurant, either. But a few have incredible spaces and food that could be better than in the main space. Sepia, whose private room is in a building next door and has a completely different design vibe, stands out.

    I agree about MK. I've done events there that have been very well received.
    -Mary
  • Post #86 - February 24th, 2016, 4:59 pm
    Post #86 - February 24th, 2016, 4:59 pm Post #86 - February 24th, 2016, 4:59 pm
    Sepia team prepares to open second restaurant

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #87 - February 6th, 2017, 7:25 am
    Post #87 - February 6th, 2017, 7:25 am Post #87 - February 6th, 2017, 7:25 am
    Cindy Shuman departs, Sarah Mispagel arrives as pastry chef at Sepia

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/re ... ft09a-2gp1
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #88 - June 5th, 2022, 2:43 am
    Post #88 - June 5th, 2022, 2:43 am Post #88 - June 5th, 2022, 2:43 am
    Sepia is still firing on all cylinders and knocking it out of the park.

    in-laws own a bagel shop in Lexington, KY and were in town for the National Restaurant Show the third weekend of May. our first stop was Sepia, and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately, though I brought my camera along, I left the battery on the charger at home. Shit.

    I was hoping the menu would be the same and I could comment on our courses, but it's a testament to the restaurant that, only a few weeks out, the menu has changed drastically. Bless.

    Sepia is a fantastic restaurant that is absolutely deserving of their star. This restaurant is slept on way too much for the caliber of food they're putting out.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more