What to Eat at Epic, Opening Tomorrow in River North

Epic's Chilean seabass with caramelized cauliflower, hazelnut emulsion
Epic’s Chilean seabass with caramelized cauliflower, hazelnut emulsion Photo: Epic

Restaurants don’t always give themselves the most straightforward names — we’re guessing Google was flooded with searches for “Djuna Barnes” after Nightwood hit the scene, and we’ll pull our hair out if we have to hear Rick Bayless explain the origins (or pronunciation) of Xoco one more time. So it’s refreshing, in a way, to see that the new restaurant from chef Stephen Wambach, Epic, well, is.

There’s the cocktail lounge, for starters, and the second-floor dining room, and the other lounge (this one’s on the roof), and then the way that first lounge transforms into a different type of lounge, the dancing kind, for post-post-dinner-drinks dancing. Of course, Wambach is a vet of New York’s BLT Steak, so the food isn’t as much of a joke as you might expect from a restaurant with such naked ambition: a spiced lamb shank with preserved lemon, crispy octopus with grain mustard, parsnip puree with gingerbread gratin, and, of course, some serious steaks:

Tuna Tartare Parisien fried shallot, potato gaufrettes 15.00
Crispy Octopus warm marinated fingerlings, grain mustard 14.00
Hamachi artichoke, blood orange, radish 16.00
House Gnocchi lamb sausage, swiss chard, fennel beurre blanc 15.00
Red Wine Cured Foie Gras crispy quail, sour cherry 18.00

Mixed Lettuce shaved vegetables, mustard vinaigrette 9.00
Arugula fennel, honey crisp apple, ricotta salata, medjool date 9.00
Roasted Beets humboldt fog, pistachio, frisée 9.00
Red And White Endive maytag bleu, pear, spiced walnut 11.00

NY Strip 16 oz 38.00
Smoked Rib Eye 22 oz 43.00
Filet 8 oz 29.00 12 oz 43.00
Kobe Top Cap 10 oz 49.00
Kobe Rib Eye 12 oz 64.00
Seven Pepper Crusted Hanger 10 oz 23.00
Porterhouse For Two 40 oz 73.00
bordelaise, chasseur, peppercorn, horseradish, béarnaise, bleu cheese

Spiced Lamb Shank preserved lemon, lamb jus 32.00
Berkshire Pork Chop apple-quince mostarda 29.00
Bone- In Veal Chop porcini-parmesan crust 39.00
Spiced Half Chicken natural jus 21.00
Chilean Seabass caramelized cauliflower, hazelnut emulsion 32.00
Seared Sea Scallops chanterelle-salsify fricassee 26.00
Grilled Yellowfin Tuna yuzu-mustard vinaigrette 31.00
Salt Crusted Market Fish For Two grapefruit vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts bacon, honey, chestnut 7.00
Caramelized Cauliflower hazelnut brown butter, meyer lemon 7.00
Parsnip Puree spiced gingerbread gratin 7.00
Sautéed Spinach toasted garlic, nutmeg 7.00
French Fries smoked paprika aioli 7.00
Penne Gratin For Two aged cheddar, fontina 11.00
Yukon Puree 7.00

Dessert $10
Banana Split pineapple cake, malted chocolate, strawberry swirl & roasted banana ice creams, cherry truffle
Tropical Fruit Pavlova coconut chantilly, warm vanilla roasted fruit, lukuma ice cream, coconut-mint pesto
Frozen Chartreuse Souffle pistachio three ways, candied kumquat, angelica, orange bitters gastric
Leffe Blonde Creme Brulee roasted local apples, puff pastry, quince puree, pecan
Pumpkin & White Chocolate toasted white chocolate cake, roasted pumpkin ice cream, chestnut caramel, sage
Blue Cheese, Pear & Port spice cake, port poached pear, brown sugar sorbet
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch hazelnut shortbread, milk chocolate mousse & ganache, huckleberry, acai emulsion
Mint Chocolate Chip brownie, mint ice cream, cocoa nib, lime gelee
What to Eat at Epic, Opening Tomorrow in River North