Lunch at GreenRiver

Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago

** PLEASE NOTE: Greenriver is now closed. But, since I enjoyed this spot so much, I’m leaving this post up in loving memory of their delicious food. **

High above the Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood — 18 stories high to be exact — is a lovely little spot with a spectacular view and some seriously drool-worthy food.

GreenRiver, which opened its delicious doors back in September, is one of those restaurants you don’t dare want to over look. Inspired by Chicago’s Irish immigration, much of the restaurant pays homage to the Irish heritage of the Windy City. Even the drink menu’s 32 cocktails are named for famous and infamous Chicago Irish-Americans (circa 1871-1930).

It’s an impressive establishment with an even more impressive menu — so, what are we waiting for? Let’s start drooling over some food, shall we!?Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoGreenRiver certainly has a spectacular view of the city — see Willis Tower off in the distance?
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoThe space itself feels very chic yet casual with plenty of warm sunshine rays pouring through the south-facing windows.
Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago Mmmm, I do love sitting in the sunshine in winter!
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoThe bar area is impressive as well, being modern yet welcoming at the same time. Happy Hour Cocktails anyone?
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoFor my first visit to GreenRiver, I knew I wanted to have as many educated opinions at the table as possible so I met up with fellow foodies Erica (who’s expecting a baby girl in July!!) and Rachel.
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoOne of the first things you’ll notice about GreenRiver is how extensive the cocktail menu is — pages and pages of cocktails all grouped by their flavor profiles and titled after their historical Irish namesakes.
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoAnd I never, ever thought I would say this about a cocktail menu…

I mean, it’s a cocktail menu.

But you could easily read this menu all day — it’s positively full of historical, biographical, and biological info about the cocktails, their namesakes, and their ingredients. And each of the cocktails are so unique, you’re bound to never have tried something like it!
Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago A standout was this impressive Gray Wolf cocktail Rachel ordered of Yamazaki 12 Yr. Single Malt Japanese Whisky, Benedictine, Demerara, Plum Vinegar, and Angostura Bitters.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoBut I promised you impressive food, not just cocktails!
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoFirst up came this delicious order of crunchy Frites.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoWhat makes these frites so special is their light coating of cheddar cheese dust, offering a little more depth to their saltiness.

SO subtle and yet SO addicting!
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoNext up came the Whitefish Tartine with egg, radish, and celery.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoCrunchy, creamy, and fresh! I’m a huge fan of tartines as long as they’re flavorful and easy to eat like this one.

The whitefish itself was a particular standout being delicate, smooth, and rich like good fish spread ought to be. 
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoWe also tried this savory Farro Salad with grapes, burrata, and almonds.

Anything with burrata is bound to make me happy and this salad is no exception!Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoBut this simple Gem Lettuce Salad with buttermilk dressing had us all swooning too. Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoWe even sampled this delicious celery root soup while we waited for our entrées to arrive…Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago I ordered this delicious plate of Ocean Trout with cauliflower, spinach, capers, and brown Butter.Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago This trout just melts in your mouth.

It was perfectly cooked (and I don’t say that very often about fish) and the richness of the sauce coupled with the bite from the capers made for a scrumptious forkful.

I could easily eat this trout for lunch every day and die happy.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoWe all shared the Parisian Gnocchi with mushrooms, shishito peppers, and parmesan too.

The gnocchi were light and delicate as they should be. If I had one complaint, I wish this dish had a slightly more robust sauce to bring all the vegetable flavors to life more but — every now and then — a simple gnocchi dish like this has its place.

Especially on a cold winter’s day!
Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago But Rachel beat us all with her EPIC order. Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoThis is GreenRiver’s sexy Cheeseburger with cheddar, pickles, house sauce, and frites.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoWhich we could not STOP SHOOTING.Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago I mean just look at that drippy sauce! Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago#FACEDIVE!

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ messy cheeseburger for lunch?
Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoBeing foodies, we cannot, in good conscience, visit a restaurant as delicious as GreenRiver for the first time and NOT order dessert too.

I mean that would just be plain irresponsible!

So naturally we ordered ALL of GreenRiver’s desserts.

You know… for research…Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoStarting with this elegant yet whimsical Root Beer Panna Cotta with gingersnaps, apples, and a silky parsnip ice cream.

Talk about a sophisticated take on the childhood favorite — Root Beer Float! Bite after bite bring back so much nostalgia all while presented in an innovative and refined way. It made for such a playful juxtaposition!

Childlike, interesting, and yet gourmet… what more could you want from a dessert?Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago Actually I spoke too soon because ooey, gooey dulce de leche is definitely something I want in my dessert too!Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago Luckily for me, GreenRiver has this sinful Chocolate Ganache Tart with dulce de leche and horchata ice cream.Lunch at GreenRiver Chicago It’s a magnificent balance of crunch, crumble, oozy dulce de leche, and creamy ice cream.

And so stunning to shoot!Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoAnd last but certainly not least is GreenRiver’s Coconut Custard with pineapple and mint, all served with a beautiful hibiscus Sorbet.Lunch at GreenRiver ChicagoIt’s a stunning presentation with bright flavors and complex textures. The perfect finale to a spectacular meal.

Now, promise you’ll learn from my mistake — don’t dare overlook GreenRiver the next time you’re in Streeterville!

Where else can you get such a unique meal with such an amazing view and such beautifully balanced cocktails??

(Hint: the answer is nowhere but GreenRiver)

Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.

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