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February 23, 2008


by gastronomicbypass

Location – 215 N. Clinton (Clinton and Lake)

In one word – Bland

Food – A recommendation from a friend led me to suggest Powerhouse for a work dinner. At the end of the night I was disappointed because my expectations were not met. There were some hits and definite misses to the night. What I liked? The bread and the dessert. What I didn’t like? My starter and entree. To start, I had the cannellini bean soup. Yes, the ingredients were fresh, but I thought the soup was salty. If you’ve read my Green Zebra review, you know I hate when food is over salted. My other eating partners at the table had the lemon risotto (a modification of the risotto on the menu), the pork belly and the Nantucket Bay scallops. Everyone at the table seemed to enjoy their starters more than I did. Then we moved on to the entrees. I chose the grilled white stripe bass with chorizo. I understand that bass is not super flavorful, but really, with the exception of the chorizo, it was tasteless. Imagine how screwed my pescatarian eating partner was, she got the bass without chorizo. Bland city. My eating partners did say good things about the ribeye; there were adequate reviews on the tenderloin. On to dessert. Thank god for dessert. So we ordered an array of options for the table to sample. I LOVED the peanut butter and bananas with marshmallows, partially because I am a sucker for fluffernutter. At the end of the meal, we were served little candies from the pastry chef. Nice touch.

Drink – We chose a  zin. I was pretty happy with the selection.

Service – Our server was nice, but something was off about her. She sort of had a Drew Barrymore affectation when she spoke, but she was raised in Lincoln Park. She should be saying “melk” instead of “milk,” not adding odd lilts to her words. I was confused if the way she spoke was truly her or a way of making herself sound smarter as she presented the menu. I do have to say, she did know her stuff and seemed passionate about the restaurant’s offerings. Get rid of the affectation, I know you’re smart, dear.

Scene – Trendy? Power suits? I don’t really understand what Powerhouse is trying to be. In its pursuit to have too many personalities, the place comes off really bland and stiff.

Dress – We sat across from a group of women that may or may not have been trying to recreate a Lipstick Mafia scene, so you’ll see suits. You’ll also see the jeans and blazer look. Given that the restaurant doesn’t have a good idea of who it is, I wouldn’t worry about what you’re going to wear there.

Cost – This was a work dinner, so my meager Chase debit card wasn’t put into a tailspin. I’m not sure I would come back on my own dime. Entrees are about $30 and with no flavor, do you really want to spend that amount?

If you like, try…Custom House

Read more from West Loop, Work Appropriate

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