A Picture-Perfect Lunch

August 29, 2013

My team at work recently dined at Sepia on the near west side of Chicago. It was a special occasion because we were all together for the week (half of the team works remotely). I was excited to try Sepia since I had never dined there before, and it was the recipient of a Michelin star rating.

Outdoor entrance
We arrived for lunch on a Wednesday and the fairly intimate dining room was full of locals and businesspeople alike. We waited near the bar for a few minutes until our table was ready. The atmosphere was quite elegant, with hints of brown and black playing off of the restaurant's name. The space itself was a former print shop in the 1890s.

Main bar
Dining room
We were seated at a round table tucked in the corner of the dining room. Alongside the wall next to us hung an assortment of wine bottles. The wine list is very extensive, but our server was knowledgeable and accommodating and even allowed us to taste test a pair of wines before we committed to a bottle.

Wall wine display
My manager, John, ordered the fresh salmon which had a nice presentation. It was served atop sauteed zucchini, spinach and onions. He loved the simple and fresh preparation, and it was a healthy option for him. Check out John's recap of our meal on his blog, Living on a Restricted Diet!

Salmon, zucchini, spinach, cippolini onions, walnut, saba
My colleague and I both ordered the butter lettuce salad which was tossed in a rich and creamy buttermilk dressing. There was a large amount of freshly shaved radishes, carrots, and fennel as well as goat cheese and fried chicken tenders. I loved the flavor of the chicken tenders which were not greasy at all. I also thought the amount of chicken was generous. I was afraid the salad wouldn't be filling enough, but it definitely was with the added chicken.

Butter lettuce, buttermilk vinaigrette, shaved raw vegetables, goat cheese, crispy chicken tenders
The other half of our team ordered the big and juicy burger. I definitely had food envy when their plates arrived with a heaping pile of fried onions on top of their burgers. The burger also had cheddar and strips of bacon. I tried some of the fries and they tasted almost like they were twice-fried, with that extra crispy, but not overly greasy, texture.

Burger with cheddar, bacon, and crispy onions
Overall, our lunch at Sepia was relaxed, elegant, and delicious. I'd recommend a meal there with out-of-town guests or for a business event. I'd like to return and try their dinner menu, as well as desserts. With a constantly-changing menu, it's certain to be a completely new experience. Sepia gets 4 stars for their beautiful ambiance, well-informed servers, quality food and a focus on freshness.

123 N. Jefferson Street
Chicago, IL 60661
Sepia on Urbanspoon

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