Few sights are as extravagant as a spoon heaped with glossy beads of caviar. But at a time when a 10-table joint with concrete walls and a Beastie Boys soundtrack can signal fine dining just as much as a gilded dining room once did, caviar is no longer an import designated solely for big-ticket anniversary splurges. In fact, it might just be 2018’s most desirable ingredient.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises recently reimagined the Pump Room on Chicago’s Gold Coast as Booth One, a swank, cream-hued space lined with black-and-white photographs serving updated retro specialties like salmon tournedos and steak Diane. Naturally, classic caviar service graces the menu, too, inviting diners to fold Golden Osetra from the Parisian House of Kaviari into fluffy eggs and buckwheat blini. This glamorous approach is also on display at Major Food Group’s The Pool Lounge, the mirrored Midtown Manhattan cocktail nook overlooking The Pool restaurant. To match the mood conjured by cocktails elegantly layered with overlapping slices of cucumber, chef Rich Torrisi assembles a grand caviar platter, pairing French Baeri Royal, from Kaviari as well—“we love the mild flavor and firm texture”—with playful accoutrements beyond the predictable trappings of crème fraîche, chives, and blini.