As soon as I checked out Trellis’ menu I knew Four Corners had taken this place to a whole new level. Far from buffalo chicken fingers and pulled pork nachos (both of which I do enjoy) Trellis’ menu features things like scallops, beef tartar, short ribs and more. Executive chef Sarah McDonnell (Fountainhead, Bistrot Margot) put together a thoughtful, but not intimidating menu. Taste Tester #1 and I tried something from several areas of the menu except for the sides and I can honestly see myself coming back to try more.
We started off dinner with some cocktails. I had the Trinidad Tipple- spiced rum, vanilla, armaro, egg, lemon and nutmeg and TT#1 had the Model T, a gin-based drink with rosemary honey, mint, lemon and Chinese bitters. The Trinidad Tipple was the perfect winter cocktail warming me up from the inside out and was almost dessert-like with its spicy vanilla flavors. I can see myself drinking the Model T year-round, the mint made it feel a little bit summery but the rosemary honey gave it a festive holiday flavor at the same time.
Trellis’ menu is set up into seven different sections: smalls, garden, sides, charcuterie, plates, pizza and sweets. We started off with the grassfed beef tartar with cornichon, Dijon, micro scallion, and grilled crostini from the smalls section. The beef itself was very flavorful and chopped into the perfect size pieces so the raw flavor was not overwhelming. My only complaint was that I would have liked if the crostini to have been broken into smaller, thicker slices.
The kale and radicchio salad with blood orange, croutons, Hidden Springs feta, and maple bourbon vinaigrette from the garden section really surprised me in the best way possible. The kale was cut into thin approachable strips that took away some of the greens usual bitter flavor and the feta neither got lost nor overwhelmed the salad with its salty flavor. The blood orange lent the perfect amount of citrus to the salad and the croutons added some crunch texture. I’m not sure about the other salads on the menu but this one was excellent and was definitely TT#1 pick over the tartar.
The special that evening on the plates section was PEI Mussels with Omission Gluten Free Lager, chorizo, thyme and fennel, with a touch of cream. It also had black cured olives and pickled Hungarian peppers. The mussels were absolutely delicious and I really hope that my coworker who was seated nearby didn't see me nearly licking the plate. Luckily the mussels came with some grilled bread to mop up the flavorful, buttery sauce. The mussels themselves were plump and I didn’t find a “fishy” tasting one in the bunch. I also loved the slight bite of spiciness that the peppers added to the dish, it really helped cut through some of the richness.
The last dish we ordered, from the pizza section, was the fig jam and bacon pizza with caramelized onions and Mindoro blue cheese. If you’ve read my blog before you know that I have a very hard time turning down bacon, and pretty much any other smoky meat. I’m also a huge fan of sweet and savory and this pizza sure did the trick. The caramelized onions coated the chewy, yet crunchy dough like a sauce and the blue cheeses’ funk factor was just the right amount and didn’t overload the pizza. The bacon itself was crisp and the fig jam drizzled over the top proved to be the perfect saucy consistency to tie everything together.
At Fullerton and Racine this warm restaurant bar was busy even on Tuesday night. All the booths and tables were filled with diners and people were also sitting and standing near the bar. I can see this quickly becoming a Lincoln Park neighborhood gem and one of my weeknight favorites!