Grilling season is upon us. Last night I was invited to taste the new Spring menu at Weber Grill Restaurant in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Anxious for some charcoal-grilled, tasty bites, I hopped the CTA Red Line for a lovely dinner with some fellow bloggers.
Weber Grill is located conveniently outside of the Grand ‘L’ stop at the corner of State and Grand. It’s a great spot to dine when you are shopping along Michigan Avenue which is just 2 blocks away. Several buses also will take you to the corner of Michigan and Grand Avenues.
If you haven’t made the connection yet, Weber Grill restaurant is brought to us by the founders of the WEBER GRILL grill from your backyard. The restaurant is a chain with locations in downtown Chicago and a few of the surrounding suburbs.
I had not dined at Weber Grill in about 9 years. Why? I’m not sure. Chicago has such a diverse dining scene. Steakhouses are never my first choice. That said, I am glad I made it back here.
Executive Chef Jason Friedland has been at the helm of this Weber Grill location in Chicago for the last 9 months. He also has been in charge of the kitchens in each of the other locations over the last several years. Here is how my dinner went down:
The first course was a Mediterranean grilled vegetable salad with greens, asparagus, artichokes, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini, pita croutons and white balsamic vinaigrette. This is a substantial and extremely flavorful salad. Basically, a Greek salad. I could easily eat a Greek salad every day of my life. This version was spot on.
Next up, I chose the only fish option of this meat-centric menu. It’s not that I don’t like meat. I do and, lately, a little too much 😉 Chef Jason served up a truly memorable plank-grilled Chilean sea bass. Heavenly. The fish was cooked perfectly. Juicy. Sweet. Smoky. It was topped with a smoky tomato jam and served over crunchy, grilled asparagus and delicious, creamy roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes with red onion. I will be back for this dish again. Loved it!
My friend, Barb, ordered the bone-in, smoked pork chop with a honey-mustard glaze. It was served with whipped sweet potatoes and great-looking sauteed garlicky spinach. It was a lot of meat, as is typical in a steakhouse. So, Barb wound up taking half of this dish home. She really enjoyed it and she is set for dinner tonight, too!
We washed down our meals with a couple of tart Daiquiris which were served with edible orchids. Daiquiris are not my typical cocktail, but it was a tasty and festive option.
Lastly, Chef Jason presented us each with a sample of his miniature cakes. Strawberry-basil, mango-coconut, blackberry-yogurt and chocolate-peanut butter. They were all very good. However, the strawberry-basil cake was my favorite. We inhaled these tiny bites before I could snap a photo. You’ll just have to swing by to try them for yourself!
I am so glad I returned to Weber Grill, after such a long absence. Restaurants come and go but Weber Grill is clearly doing something right after 12 years in business.
Weber Grill is located at 539 N. State St. For more information, visit www.webergrillrestaurant.com.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red Line to Weber Grill. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and dri