With a second location just christened in the Gold Coast, (the original calls Bucktown its home, and a third should open in Lincoln Square come June 2009), Feast seems poised to conquer the Chicago restaurant scene. It shouldn't be a hard-fought battle, as the contemporary American eatery meets every dining need – breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night, as well as dine-in, delivery and catering – with aplomb. The only thing Feast doesn't do is groceries, but that's where sister company and next-door neighbor The Goddess and Grocer comes into play.
No cut-and-paste of its Bucktown precursor, the Gold Coast menu features a few old favorites like the mac & cheese and the chipotle barbeque salmon, (which strikes me as counter-intuitively popular given its strange combination of salmon, barbeque sauce, guacamole and essentially pancakes), but focuses on new dishes. The pork chop, chicken breast, tuna, short rib and roast chicken dinners have all been re-done with new ingredients and flavors. The brand new baked white fish with sautéed artichokes, cremini mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, grilled asparagus and wholegrain mustard aioli is tender and light, though aioli might seem too creamy a sauce for such a buttery fish.
As for the setting, this locally oriented, mid-price restaurant should present a welcome alternative for Gold Coast residents tired of the ubiquitous tourist trap-cum-steakhouse. The decor hasn't changed all that much since Cru moved out, the walls look a little bare, and the space as a whole feels empty. But these are only temporary consequences of the restaurant's hasty opening. Come springtime, when the outdoor seating opens, Feast Gold Coast should be in its element.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren