By Eucarol Juarez and Yvonne Pulido (Chicago Splash Magazine Journalists)
One of the most popular locations in Chicago is now home to one of the newest restaurants in the city. Lírica, Chicago’s stylish new dining destination, the first and only Latin / Iberian inspired venue on Navy Pier.
“Lírica is Spanish for lyric, or expression of feeling and emotion. We’ve developed a restaurant and bar concept that will harmonize flavor-fueled fare, an upbeat, high-spirited scene and unparalleled views to create a once-in-a-lifetime feeling for our guests.” said Brittney Munro, General Manager at Lírica. “Lírica will serve as a celebration of culture and an ideal getaway for all, right here in the heart of Chicago.” Soothing ambiance created by the surrounding lake welcomes you as the savory smells and pretty plating take center stage.
And yes, walking into the area’s chic decor, one of the things you will notice is the open kitchen concept. It is fun to watch the cooking in action. Or the full height windows, giving amazing views of Lake Michigan as you dine. Do keep in mind that the restaurant also has a patio. With 150 outdoor seats available for safe dining and drinking. Perfect for enjoying the warm weather and even taking in the downtown skyline views.
Embrace the fresh air and the cool lake breeze, while sipping refreshingly creative cocktails like the Spanish G & T. It is the perfect start to springtime in a glass. The Oaxacan Old Fashioned, Del Maguey Vida, Olmeca Añejo, agave and bitters offer a Latin twist to a classic drink. Prefer sparkling? Taste the slight sweetness of the bubbly Alma Negra Rosé. Mojitos and margaritas each have three separate options.
The menu boasts a variety of flavors from more than a dozen South American countries that is curated by industry veteran Chef Cesar Reyes (Offshore Chicago, Smith & Wollensky, Spruce, Park Grill, Chicago Firehouse) alongside acclaimed Chef Michael Shrader (Offshore Chicago, Gideon Sweet, Monnie Burke’s, Luxbar, Epic and The Nine Group).
While the presentation of dishes was tastefully displayed, some tastings missed their mark. Typically grilled octopus is the preferred appetizer yet this Pulpo a la Plancha left much to be desired as it lacked moisture and tenderness and instead delivered tough, crunchy chewiness, making it a challenge to finish eating. Good thing the observant, helpful and speedy wait service was the saving grace. Oh and the Costilla de Ternera! Juicy, tender meat. Rich, flavorful, perfect texture mushrooms. Magnificent! Need a side? The Garlic Herb Potatoes? You can not go wrong with great flavor. Was the promptness of beverages mentioned? Boozy brunch here would be a great kick start to Sunday funday.
And just in case you want to keep the party going, the restaurant is located inside the new Sable hotel. Or call up that designated driver and have them pick you up from the lakefront furthest east curbside. Safety first!
As spring soon turns to summer, a visit to Lírica is a must. Here’s to celebrating culture and feeling grateful for the sundry of dishes from tapas to burgers, Spanish wines and draft beers. Salud!
Lírica is located at 900 E. Grand Avenue at Navy Pier inside the new Sable hotel
7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner daily
For more information head over to their website or visit OpenTable to snag reservations to this scenic downtown spot.
Photo credits: Eucarol Juarez & Yvonne Pulido