Caliterra's muted and sophisticated decor relies on inoffensive earth tones, an elegantly curved bar and tables covered in crisp white linen. Aside from the unobtrusive sounds of contemporary jazz or the light melodies of a live pianist, your hushed conversation will have no competition. In short, Caliterra's plain but soothing brand of elegance fits right into, well, an upscale hotel, appropriate considering its home in the Wyndham. Caliterra is just the kind of joint to bring a client to; everything is oh-so-appropriate, and the view of the Mag Mile puts our fair city on display. (Just keep in mind that the average cost is $50 per person, so make sure you can use that corporate card if you plan on kissing up to a whole crew.)
Chef Rick Gresh, famous for his time at Green Dolphin Street and Evanston's Trio, has cooked up a blend of northern Italian and contemporary Californian fare that reflects his unceasing pursuit of the unordinary. Gresh's seasonal menu is updated monthly, though for all its change there is one thing you can count on: The chef's commitment to fresh, organic produce remains intact through all kinds of weather.
A sample menu may include Ahi tuna with picked cucumbers or beef carpaccio with garlic potato cakes. The very thought of Caliterra's almond, slowly simmered oxtail, and porcini mushroom soup varieties could cure a cold. Pasta dishes may include goat cheese ravioli with a chi-chi twist (orange essence and black pepper broth, for example), and meat selections run the gamut from thyme-roasted cod to prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions. Needless to say, the award-winning wine list has two great sources for grapes (note: the restaurant's private wine room can be rented out for most occasions).
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg