For the culmination of my birthday dining engagements, my family and I headed to Lincoln Park's Perennial Virant. On this occasion, we were celebrating my mom's and my birthday together. I had recommended Perennial Virant to my family after reading several favorable reviews of the restaurant and enjoying meals at other restaurants in the Boka Restaurant Group. The food at Perennial Virant is seasonally-focused, so much so that the menu can change each day. The fact the restaurant is situated directly across the street from Chicago's Green City Market, is no coincidence. Many dishes feature locally-sourced ingredients, many of which come directly from Green City Market. Chef Paul Virant, a self-proclaimed "preservation guru" and his team at Perennial Virant truly focus on creating dishes from quality ingredients that showcase what is in season.
We began our meal in a cozy booth near a window, affording us a view of the gorgeous patio in front. The atmosphere is definitely classy with accents of wood and gray hues.
|Main Dining Room at Perennial Virant|
|Salad of Local Tomatoes and Melon, Sweet Onions, Jalapeno Pepper, Lemon, Olive Oil, Basil, Mint|
The second salad we split was a summer beans salad with peaches, grilled fennel and pickled herbs, all tossed in a creamy almond dressing. I thought this salad was tasty, and I really enjoyed the peaches, but it didn't compare to that wonderful tomato salad. However, I did enjoy how both salads featured pickled ingredients, Paul Virant's specialty.
|Salad of Summer Beans, Peaches, Grilled Fennel, Pickled Herbs, Creamy Almond Dressing|
|Pork Chops, Slow-Cooked Collards, Peach & Smoked Jalapeno Chutney|
|Grilled Lamb Chop, Fried Chickpea Panise, Grilled & Pickled Cauliflower, Curry Yogurt, Cucumbers, Mint|
|Rainbow Trout, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Hush Puppies, Marinated Eggplant (thank you Instagram)|
The second dessert was a peach tiramisu which arrived in a cylinder shape with mascarpone mousse, ladyfinger sponge, bourbon peaches, cherries and a dollop of peach sorbet on top. I enjoyed the light texture of the tiramisu especially when combined with the house-made peach sorbet. Overall, we found the desserts to be a bit too small for sharing, however they both made for a sweet ending to our meal.
|Peach Tiramisu with the Baked Chocolate Mousse Peeking in the Background|
|Slightly better view of both birthday desserts|
|Chef Paul Virant & Me|
1800 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614