December 11, 2007


Mom always told you, 'Don't play with your food!' But who says elegant has to be stuffy? Viand has found a way for grown-ups to have a little fun with their sophisticated food.

Chef Steve Chiappetti, a native of Chicago's South Side, stepped into this restaurant and replaced the small plates with creative comfort food. The savory potstickers arrive with a black figurine balancing a pair of chopsticks. The new lunch menu offers a wide selection of salads, pastas, and burgers. Or stop in for dinner with entrees like ravioli (stuffed with four cheeses, white truffle sauce, and red wine reduction), homemade gnocchi (with goat cheese and lemon veal reduction), and char-crusted salmon served on a black bean puree and with a tortilla and tomato salad.

But comfortable doesn't mean shabby. This contemporary space (about a block southeast of Garrett Popcorn Shop) boasts wood paneling, plush wine-colored velvet banquettes, spacious seating, warm lighting, and a buzzing open kitchen. A frosted-glass partition separates the dining room from the bar, where businesspeople from the adjacent Courtyard Marriott stop for a cocktail. It's stylish and clean without being too chic.

However, the most delightful part of the Viand experience is the desserts. The 'huge ice cream cone' is made up of five scoops of ice cream topped with vanilla mousse and chocolate sauce. A banana s'more consists of a chocolate brownie smothered with caramelized bananas and toasted marshmallow. The best thing by far though has got to be the 'junk food cart,' a mini shopping cart filled with homemade treats such as Oreo-facsimiles (chocolate meringue cookie sandwiches stuffed with Italian buttercream), the stickiest marshmallows known to man, a Coke float, and brownie squares. This delicious cart is a sinful piece of art.

Viand ($$$): 155 E Ontario St; 312-255-8505
Mon ' Fri: 6:30 a.m. ' 10:30 a.m.
Sat ' Sun: 6:30 a.m. ' 2:00 p.m.
Sat ' Sun: 11:00 a.m. ' 3:00 p.m.
Mon ' Fri: 11:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Mon ' Fri: 5:00 p.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Sat: 5:00 p.m. ' 11:30 p.m.
Sun: 5:00 p.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult, paid lot and valet available
Public trans: Bus # 2, 3, X4, 10, 26, 125, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 157


3 comments to Viand

  1. Theresa
    December 11th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for this great review! I’ve only been there for wine at the bar, but I’m definitely going to go in there with my foodie 14-yr-old. He’ll love the desserts, and I think they may just be big enough for him!

  2. Matt B
    December 11th, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Haha, glad you enjoyed it Theresa, and the desserts were almost too big for even me!

  3. "Top Chef: Chicago" Has an Art Project
    May 5th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    [...] Viand [...]

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