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First Look: Baume & Brix

By Minna A in Food on Oct 3, 2012 7:00PM

Since the free public preview, Chicago’s diners have anxiously awaited the new collaboration from chefs Thomas Elliott Bowman and Ben Roche and chef de cuisine Nate Park. The wait is over: Baume & Brix opens next week, and we have a first look.

Baume & Brix offers a globally inspired menu served in a warm, autumnal colored dining space. With a ironwork grid of Chicago’s map, dark woods and burnt orange chairs and a fire running through the main dining room, this warm space is welcoming and far from stuffy. Between the main and private dining rooms, Baume & Brix has converted a former elevator shaft to create an intimate chef’s table (available only once a night) to diners wishing to immerse themselves into the Baume & Brix menu at the chef’s avail.

The name Baume & Brix, culinary terms for measurements for liquids and sugar content, personify this delicately balanced menu where each plate offers a balance between texture, flavors and temperatures using molecular gastronomy techniques and locally sourced ingredients. Their foie gras dish, for example, combines a foie gras that has been seared, roasted, then frozen and shaved and paired with hazelnuts, brioche, toast ice cream, “buzz buttons” (which if you’ve never tried, we highly recommend for its alarming, but entertaining, affects) and a sauce of chocolate and violet.

Baume & Brix offers diners a trek (of sorts) through a globally inspired menu. You can expect the menu to be divided into four sections: Explore, Summit, Conquer and Divide. The beef short rib, offered in the Summit course, highlights Asian cuisine with red curry paste, coconut congee, fried lemon chips, gai lan, sesame leaves and fresh Goji berries. The grilled cheese of the Conquer course reinvents this childhood classic as it’s made with local Brun-Uusto cheese, quince compote, brown butter cake and fragrant rooibos ice cream. The Divide course, in comparison to the complex dishes of the Explore, Summit and Conquer courses, may appear to be a simple and sweet desert of cookies and chocolate, but even this dish is given an extra flair with the warm chocolate chip cookies paired with malted Kilgus Farms milk.

Baume & Brix has something to offer to anyone and has plans to open a bar downstairs, called the Grid, with a 150-seat bar and lounge with small plates from the Baume & Brix kitchen.

Baume & Brix is located at 351 W. Hubbard.