Fourteen restaurants in Chicago have the word “blue” in their name, three of which have dropped the “e” and simply use “blu”: Blu 47, Blu Coral, and now bluprint, a new contemporary American restaurant and lounge in the Merchandise Mart. We suppose that the e-less blu grants an air of trendy sophistication, but we’re wary of being marketed to in such an obvious manner. Now “blüprint,” with an umlaut, we could have gotten behind (“blūprint” would have made us gag).
To whatever extent Bluprint got on our orthographical bad side with their name, they redeemed themselves in two ways. The first is an arch non-pun which riffs on the various ways martini names have been bastardized with prefixes (appletinis, chocotinis, and so forth). Bluprint’s martinis are called “mart”inis, so emphasized because of the restaurant’s location. It draws attention to the noxious trend while not at all succumbing to it. (We admit that we may be reading more into this than the evidence warrants).
The second redemption comes in the form of an “expedited lunch option,” wherein each course of a three course lunch ($17) is served simultaneously. And furthermore, lunch is ordered via checkboxes. This is brilliant! You get a high-end soup or salad, sandwich and dessert all at once, subverting the constricting notion of ordination of courses and intermixing the refreshing, savory and sweet. Sublimely efficient.
Also, they serve dinner. We have to say, everything on the menu appeals to us, from the pork “2nd draft” (tenderloin, braised belly, tamarind, crispy potato, $10) to the boneless leg of lamb (fregola, artichokes, piquante, black pepper jus, $25). They even serve lemon mascarpone with their halibut, for heaven’s sake. Who needs the gimmick of sophistication in the name when you have true sophistication on the menu? Yeah, we think this is a place to watch.
[Photo: architectural seating at bluprint]