Staytion Market and Bar delights guests at recent Chef’s Table

Our most recent Chef’s Table event at Staytion Market and Bar proved to be one of the finest in the series. From the venue to the food to the drinks to the incredible hospitality, the staff at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown treated attendees to a superb and memorable experience.

The 25 lucky guests were seated in Staytion’s private function space located in the newly-renovated lobby of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown. The design is what I might term “urban hip” with plenty of cushiony chairs and banquettes and fluffy pillows strewn everywhere. It is comfortably inviting yet also sleek and urban at the same time. The function space adds to that by having an exposed prep kitchen area and ample counter space for display and demo of food and beverage.

For the Chef’s Table event the chefs and beverage director prepped everything out in the open so that guests could view and interact. Before each food and beverage course, the Staytion team explained the inspiration behind the items and answered questions from the crowd. The stellar menu consisted of the following courses:

  • Burrata (grilled peaches, La Quercia prosciutto, pistachio, balsamic, walnut bread) paired with Mionetto Sparkling Moscato: What a perfect way to start the evening. The freshly-baked walnut bread was delightful on its own, but the sweet/savory flavors in the burrata were a perfect complement. Frankly, I had not thought of pairing grilled peaches with prosciutto but it was a delightful combination.                                                                                                                
  • Greektown Salad (Urban till mache, cucumber, oven-dried tomato, radish, pickled onion, feta, preserved lemon vinaigrette) paired with Off Color Apex Predator: The beer chosen to pair with this course is from local brewery, Off Color Brewing, located in the Logan Square neighborhood. The salad was inspired by the traditional Greek salads found in Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood, but with homemade feta, house pickled onions, and fresh vegetables to give it a bright and lively flavor. The beer was dry with a fruity bite, a delightful combination with the fresh salad.
  • Boneless Short Rib (Anson Mills heirloom grits, pickled onion, roasted carrots, pan jus) paired with The Lantern cocktail: This combination was hearty and filling, also some of the most densely layered flavors of the evening. This was a wonderful entrée, particularly when paired with the boozy, bourbon-based cocktail.
  • Milk chocolate walnut mousse (spice pears, ginger bread) along with Red Velvet Buttermilk Sponge Cake (mascarpone crème, white chocolate anglaise) paired with Apple-Pear Cider Punch: Here’s where the cocktail program truly shone through the best. The warm, rum-based cider provided the perfect combination of autumn flavors. Here also, the pastry chef showed his talents. The deconstructed red velvet cake was inspired and has ruined me for “traditional” red velvet cake now! The milk chocolate walnut mousse was also a superb pairing with the cocktail. As a special treat, the chef whipped up a batch of freshly-baked pecan sandies – another “win” for the evening and a perfect “final bite” as guests ended their experience.                                                                                              

In addition to the excellent menu and cocktails, Staytion provided two major “firsts” for our Chef’s Table attendees:

  • Live music: The hotel provided a superb local singer, Sara Masterson, to entertain Chef’s Table guests during the event. Be sure to check out her website and make plans to hear her whenever you can.
  • A gift to take home: All attendees were given a beautifully-wrapped package to take home. Inside all found a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Very classy and definitely something that will be both remembered and appreciated by attendees for a long time to come.

Staytion is open all day, every day, and it is well worth knowing that they have excellent lunch options (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.). If you work in the Loop, or just happen to be in that area during the lunch hour, there is no need to settle for boring fast food. Check out the extensive menu at Staytion and you will have a new “favorite” lunchtime spot. They also have incredible happy hour specials.

Hours for the market are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, serving breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, serving dinner between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, serving dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information, visit the Renaissance Chicago website. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. You can also get more information about Staytion, check out my recent review of their food and beverages here at The Local Tourist.

Click HERE to receive updates on upcoming Chef’s Table events.







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