It's frustrating that River North keeps allowing New York minds to beat us at our own game (see Mercadito
encroaching on Bayless territory). But if it means more dishes like Stephen Wambach's bone-in veal dressed with earthy, porcini-and-parmesan bliss, it might be time to break up with Gibson's
in favor of the newcomers.
Not that Epic is a total New York operation. Credit must be given to Chicago pastry vet Christine McCabe, who made heads turn over at the late Sugar, finishing palates with fluffy, yet broodingly rich flavors like the milk chocolate hazelnut crunch, teased with cheek-sucking huckleberry kick. Likewise, former Trotter sommelier Molly Wismeier keeps the wine list accessibly refined, with some glasses dipping below $10 and 230-plus bottle options.
The place lives up to its name, strong-arming 14,000 square feet of Hubbard Street, with enough room to ballroom dance in between seating for 200. A rooftop deck (dubbed Epic Sky) opened in May 2010, with lounge seating, two private cabanas and a 28-foot long bar serving up signature cocktails, wine and beer. Expect a food menu coming soon.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul