Florentine JW Marriott Chicago Zachary Walrath The Florentine

The Florentine Awards

In the Financial District, this JW Marriott Chicago restaurant offers seasonally driven Italian cuisine.
Openings: Breakfast & Dinner daily, Lunch Mon.-Fri., Brunch Sat.-Sun.


The Florentine, Chicago, IL

The Florentine Restaurant Review:

Tucked inside the stately JW Marriott Chicago, this Financial District Italian restaurant is purpose-built for expense account diners or family celebrations. Executive chef Zachary Walrath styles a seasonally driven, lovingly prepared menu that pays attention to details (he purchases homegrown, GMO-free herbs from local purveyor Westeast herb gardens, which top pizzas, pasta and desserts). Start with capesante, skillfully seared Hudson Bay scallops paired with rustic parsnip purée, red cabbage, Gala apples and bits of pancetta. Move on to a flaky whole branzino or the coconut milk infused risotto, the base for a tender-at-the-meat, crispy-on-the-skin porchetta. Hefty sides taste like mini meals, and include the honey butter- and almond-dressed baby carrots and the crispy Brussels sprouts with spicy soppressata, lemon, Calabrian chilies and pecorino. Finish with light gingerbread panna cotta or frozen coconut mousse semifreddo, best enjoyed with Pisa, an after-dinner liqueur of hazelnut, almond and pistachio flavors, whose bottle resembles, yes, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Also a plus: an affordable aperitivo menu for the quick after-work bite or business meeting, which includes a complimentary pizza for a group with the purchase of any alcoholic beverages.

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