When it comes to desserts in Chicago, one thing is certain: Savory is the new sweet—and top chefs are pulling out the stops to explore this buzzy new flavor profile.
Fifty/50 Group executive pastry chef Chris Teixeira, whose savory s’mores at Steadfast (120 W. Monroe St., 312- 801-8899; steadfastchicago.com) feature a rosemary marshmallow and rosemary-infused milk-chocolate ganache. Says Teixeira, “I wanted to show that a flavor as strong as rosemary can still be delicate.”
Cocoa + Co.
Even chocolate gets the savory treatment at Old Town’s Cocoa + Co. (1651 N. Wells St., 312- 624-8540; cocoaandco.com), where Kim Hack spikes her most unique drinking chocolate not with booze but a medley of spices—freshly ground cumin, coriander, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves, from The Spice House—for a savory, Moroccan-inspired drinking chocolate.
At Fulton Market District sizzler Elske (1350 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1314; elskerestaurant.com), Anna Posey’s praline-inspired caramelized sunflower seed parfait is kissed with fermented sour honey and finished with licorice crumble and bee pollen, eschewing sweetness for an herbaceous nuttiness. “A well-executed menu can transition easily from savory to sweet,” insists Posey. “Using some ‘savory’ ingredients helps that transition.”
Cheese meets dessert at Bin 36 (161 N. Jefferson St., 312-995-6560; bin36.com): Pecorino Romano panna cotta is topped with appleand- pink-peppercorn gelée and crunchy candied walnuts for a light transition from savory to sweet.