WoodWind Wood Wind Donald Young WoodWind
Cuisine: American
Elevated American fare in the most unlikely downtown location.
Openings: Dinner nightly


WoodWind, Chicago, IL

WoodWind Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & décor: Yes, you're in the right spot. The 18th floor of the Lavin Family Pavilion on Northwestern Medicine's Downtown Campus is home to elegant and understated WoodWind. Turn left from the hostess stand to enter a dark hallway leading to the main dining room and bar, which take from natural elements complemented by geometric touches. Olive banquettes, leather and wood chairs and white marble tabletops lend a sophisticated feel. A sleek wine room doubles as a private dining room. The restaurant draws from the neighborhood: off-the-clock medical professionals and locals from Streeterville.

Likes: Very attentive service and inventive cuisine.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: Donald Young (Temporis) takes the reins as executive chef, bringing a playful, no-waste approach to dining. For fun, request the crowd-pleasing tiramisu-hinted cotton candy, or the plump puffs of Buffalo wing-flavored chicken chicharron with bleu cheese foam. Opt to "make it rain" with truffle shavings over toothy butternut squash pappardelle. Octopus a la plancha gains depth with smoky salsa and yucca hashbrown. Change up the taco routine with WoodWind's gussied-up version, with tortilla stuffed with whole roasted, dry-aged duck meat, sweet pineapple salsa and radishes; it's a moist, generous portion. Meat shines. Flakes of sea salt and parsley leaves enhance rich bone marrow, complemented by bacon cornbread and leek and apple relish; it’s a cold-weather classic. In keeping with the spirit of the restaurant, request a bourbon luge to complete the dish, which compels diners to take a swig straight from the bone. Speaking of spirits, the Smoked N' Mirrors signature cocktail was built for sharing –-- it's a seasonal Old Fashioned with Woodinville rye whiskey, St. George spiced pear liqueur and cinnamon-spiced syrup, smoked with cherry chips and decanted tableside. Finish with parsnip cake or the upside-down blood orange soufflé. On the wine front, wine director Greg Hartofelis takes a particular interest in natural wine producers, including those who practice sustainability or even take their winemaking to the biodynamic certification level. Look for two solid examples in by-the-glass choices: Adriano Adami Prosecco “Garbèl” and Château de Saint Cosme “Les Deux Albion,” a Grenache-based blend.

beachside restaurant bar

For a different dining experience in Los Angeles, dine at this hidden gem by the beach in Marina del Rey, CA. Read the article.