Although most restaurants have had their outdoor spaces open since early summer, Quay Restaurant and Bar’s new floating dockside patio was well worth the wait. The 3,000-square-foot space, opened late last month, is the only spot in the city where diners sit at water level, instead of overlooking it.
Quay’s alfresco menu isn’t as extensive as its indoor counterpart, but the dishes are just as gourmet. Tarte flambé flatbread features Wisconsin applewood bacon, wilted onions, and fromage blanc; and the roasted beet salad is the perfect summer dish with Chioggia and Detroit red beets, frisee mint, candied walnuts, fresh horseradish, and a yogurt dressing. Sandwiches and burgers are also available, as well as refreshing cocktails.
Inside, where guests can still take advantage of the gorgeous river views through floor-to-ceiling windows, chef Dan Marquis has prepared a few special dishes for August in honor of Tomato Month. His heirloom tomato pizza mixes fromage blanc, smoked mozzarella, truffle oil, and purple basil, with some ingredients straight from the chef’s Mill Road Farms in Sheffield, Illinois. The gazpacho is a must-try, as is the pan-seared bronzino, which features worldly ingredients like heirloom tomatoes, red kamatsuna greens (also from chef Marquis’ farm), Chinese eggplant, shaved fennel, Thai basil, and dashi broth. 465 E. Illinois St., 312-981-8400