Sophie's at Saks – the Mag Mile's newest culinary highlight

One of the newest restaurant offerings on the Mag Mile is tucked away on the 7th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue.  Take the express elevator up to the Men’s Department and you will be delighted to find a full-service bar and an extraordinary bistro serving up both excellent cocktails and awesome food – Sophie’s At Saks Fifth Avenue.

Forest mushroom and black truffle salt pita

Recently, I was invited to sample the Sophie’s lunch menu.  The dining room is small, but affords some gorgeous views of Michigan Avenue.  Everything, from decor to food, is grounded in the concept of simplicity and elegance.  Those concepts are drawn directly from the restaurant’s namesake, Sophie Gimbel, who was once quoted as saying, “I like my wardrobe simple, correct, perfect in every detail.”

And that’s how the restaurant approaches their food – simple, correct, and perfect in every detail.

On my recent visit, diners were greeted by an assortment of artisan breads accompanied by three small terrines – truffle butter, dried berry and pomegranate preserves, and a mixture of calamata olives and artichokes.  Simple yet thoughtful preparations that  were uniformly excellent.  As a starter, I opted for the Forest Mushroom and Black Truffle Salt Pita (with goat cheese mousse and thyme).  This is definitely a shareable appetizer.  I paired the rich, salty dish with a glass of Avissi Prosecco – a nice dry bubbly accompaniment to the dense mushrooms flavors.  The light goat cheese and the little hint of thyme were a wonderful foil for the density of the mushrooms.

Scallop specialAlthough the menu has quite a few regular lunch options, I opted to sample one of the daily specials – scallops with white truffle infused mousse, pomegranate seeds and a tiny bit of rocket.  After a few conversations about wine, the talented servers finally found the perfect accompaniment for the rich scallops – a 2012 Jean Marc Brocard “Sainte Claire” Chablis.  The scallops were perfectly prepared and the sweet/tart crunch of the pomegranate seeds was a surprisingly fresh combination.  The slightly dry Chablis provided a beautiful pairing, bringing out a little of the brininess in the scallops but never overpowering.  The preparation, as you can see from the photo, was so lovely that it was almost a shame to eat the dish.  Almost . . . it tasted even better than it looked.

Sophie’s also has a small but well-conceived dessert menu.  I sampled the Coconut Bread Pudding (with croissant, salted caramel, and vanilla bean ice cream).  This was a relatively light choice.  The flavor of coconut was very subtle and the preparation was surprisingly savory and not at all too sweet.  My original thought was to simply enjoy their excellent strong coffee but the manager convinced me to explore a wine pairing.  How lucky that he did convince me because the 2010 Royal Tokaji Mád Cuvée was a superb offering – just sweet enough to pair with the bread pudding but never too sweet.  Treat yourself to a glass of this when you visit Sophie’s.

Coconut bread puddingIn the afternoon, when the lunch menu is done and they are serving the cocktail menu, be sure to sit at the bar and allow the talented bartenders to ply you with some of their well-crafted concoctions.  There is a published menu of specialty cocktails, but they will be happy to help you experiment with other offerings – just ask!  If you do opt for the menu listings, then by all means try the Sophie’s Sonnet (Crème de Poète, Imbue Petal & Thorn, lemon juice, rhubarb bitters, prosecco) for a lighter drink.  For something a bit more robust for the winter, you might enjoy the Bourbon Cherry Sour (Breaking & Entering Bourbon, Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco, egg white).  

Sophie’s is only open during Saks’ business hours so be sure to check in advance.  Currently, they are open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. for light breakfast; 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for lunch; and 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for a cocktail menu.  Sundays they are open 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. with the cocktail menu.

Sophie’s is located on the 7th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue at 700 North Michigan Avenue.  Contact them at 312.525.3400 or by email at  Join their social media conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.






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