Now open, the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago's new restaurant looks to its rotisserie and smoker for inspiration when it comes to the crafting of the majority of the dishes on its lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch menus.
Taking a cue from sister FireLake restaurants in Radisson Blu hotels throughout the United States and internationally, the Chicago location will tap into its surroundings for additional ingredient and dish inspiration with Midwest farmers and purveyors providing a role. Signature dishes include Hunter Crusted Filet Mignon, Pan Roasted Salmon, High Plains Buffalo Burger, Spit Roasted Prime Rib, Housemade Smoked Sausage, and more.
During weekend brunch service, FireLake will offer signature items such as Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast, FireLake Lox platter, and more. Diners will also have their choice of bottomless Mimosas or bottomless House Bloody Marys from 8:00am-2:00pm Saturdays and Sundays.
Executive Chef Leonard Ventura, a culinary industry veteran who has worked at a variety of hotels, and Chef de Cuisine Monketh M. Alaridi, most recently of Radisson Blu Mall of America’s FireLake, are teaming up for the new project. “The idea behind FireLake is to create that comforting feeling of sitting around a campfire and eating delicious, yet simply prepared food, but with all of the amenities of a cosmopolitan restaurant,” says Ventura.
Cherry, maple, apple and mesquite woods will be used on a rotating basis in the smoker for dishes such as 24-hour slow-cooked brisket, wings, sausage, bacon and mesquite smoked ribs. The rotisserie will be busy, too, turning out chicken, prime rib, and roasted vegetables. Fresh-water fish from nearby lakes and rivers, such as perch and salmon, will also be found on the menu. In general, ingredients will be sourced locally as much as possible. In addition, herbs will come from the hotel’s rooftop garden.
A number of made-in-house ingredients will offer additional touches to the dishes, such as charcuterie, jams and pickled vegetables, including the Chicago favorite, giardiniera. Spices will be blended and roasted on a daily basis for optimal flavor. FireLake’s homemade Calabrian BBQ sauce will also be available for purchase.
Mirroring the restaurant’s rustic sentiment, FireLake’s interior design will feature plenty of refurbished wood and warm touchpoints throughout.