Barton G restaurant opens in Chicago: A culinary circus of food, fun and fantasy

I have to share the news of a wondrous new restaurant that just opened February 15, Barton G. The Restaurant Chicago. It is an experience where the food is as fabulous as the whimsy and you can expect the unexpected.

It was such an amazing culinary experience, that I’m struggling for words to properly describe this 12,000 square-foot-space located at 415 N. Dearborn, in River North’s hot Hubbard Street entertainment strip. Situated on the first two floors of the former Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Barton G. offers guests a multi-sensory experience in which they interact with fellow diners as collective gasps and Instagram moments are shared over every dish that comes out of the kitchen.

Perhaps summed up best by this Zagat review of its flagship Miami Beach location (one of our favorite spots): “If a restaurant was the circus it would resemble this outlandish South Beach fantasyland, where presentations of its New American dishes are over-the-top with signature trinkets and liquid-nitrogen mixology providing a smoky sideshow, with spot-on food and service and a unique atmosphere that make this the perfect place to wow someone.”

Guests will feast their eyes and delight their taste buds on signature, Instagram-worthy dishes that include: the BBQ OF BONES with 12-hour beef ribs, lamb riblets and long-bone chicken wings; KOBE MEATLOAF IN TERRACOTTA ; COCKTAIL BISQUE featuring sherry laced bisque with bronzino and fresh Maine lobster; WHOLE GRILLED BRONZINI, Asian profiteroles with Thai coconut shrimp filling; ORANGE SALMON and SLOW COOKED SHORT RIBS. There’s an extensive list of sides too that include BRUSSELS SPROUTS BRANCH, which appears to be plucked from the pages of a Dr. Seuss story.

Every dish is a work of art and there are all price points. My favorite, among many, on this night was the Barton G. Castle (see it here)-48 oz. of Jackman ranch wagyu prime rib served with a giant baked Idaho potato and a 1 pound Caribbean lobster served with 3 cheeses and chives. It’s served in a replica of a White Castle that, once it’s placed on the table, out pops a giant 5-foot air-blown puppet! (For two, $320). OMG.

Another favorite was the Marie Antoinette “Let Them Eat Cake” towering cotton candy head served with bombolini cupcakes filled with blackberry jam and topped with roasted almond buttercream. ($29)

There were so many exciting dishes but I don’t want to spoil ALL the fun! I’m telling you though, even as we were leaving, and after I thought I’d seen all of these whimsical/magical creations, I was still seeing new dishes being delivered. It was never ending.

I had a chance to talk to the man behind the magic, Barton G. Weiss, a handsome man with a devilish twinkle in his eye that makes you understand where all of this creativity comes from. He spoke about how his design in Chicago differs from his other two locations in Miami and Los Angeles.

“This is a design that I thought could work in Chicago and not in other cities. It’s sexy, it’s warm and inviting and I don’t think the other restaurants have the same panache like this one does. I came here for a few weeks to check out the local dining scene and everything was a steakhouse and I really didn’t find anything that, I thought, was exciting–that you could come, party and stay all night with things coming out of the kitchen where you could expect the unexpected, ” he said. “I’ve had a restaurant in Miami now for 17 years and my restaurant in L.A. is 7 years old. They appeal to a certain person who likes sophistication and the sexiness of old world nightclubs with a mix of old and new.”

Barton works closely with his talented culinary team led by Starchefs Rising Star and Six Star Diamond Award winner, corporate chef and culinary director Jeff O’Neill, corporate executive chef Miguel Angel Rebolledo and Chicago-based executive chef, Erwin Mallet.

This restaurant is considered the most Instagrammed restaurant in the world and I can certainly see why. They’re open for dinner, lunch and brunch with a 6,000-square-foot banquet space.

It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys with delicious food to match and we can’t wait to go back! (Check it out here!)

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