Midwest Living Review
Trade traditional dining for IPO, a risk-lover's culinary venture in the sleek W Chicago City Center hotel near the Chicago Board of Trade. Executive chef Trevor Hoyte's sophisticated eatery dishes three squares daily of what he calls "new urban cuisine" (read: contemporary American food). IPO's mod, monochromatic decor and high-intensity vibe mirrors its busy financial district views. Like a diversified portfolio, IPO's breakfast, lunch and dinner menus balance secure choices, such as a.m. banana French toast and p.m. pappardelle pasta, with experimental entrees. For example, take the $22 sunny-side up egg atop a tangy beef short ribs-potato tower served all day. At dinner, lean toward sharable small plates accompanied by a tempting selection of more than 50 varieties of domestic wines. Our favorites are blue cheese-polenta cakes, $11, and seared scallops, $16, paired with Frei Brothers Chardonnay, $13 a glass. Lunch is the best-value option. Taste buds soar with the $7 starter, toasty flatbread with duo dips: onion-black pepper and tomatillo-pumpkin seed. Sandwiches and salads outperform entrees -- especially the succulent crab cake on a doughy pretzel roll, $16, or the butter lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, maple bacon salad, $13. When ordering the $9 chocolate waffle dessert, ask to substitute the mousse with ice cream. By noon IPO gets loud and crowded, but service levels don't dip. Reservations recommended.