So we went last night, and the wine list is good, though pleasing the group was difficult, thus after cocktails we drank some 98 Roederer Estate Champagne and then I just had folks order by the glass.
As far as food, Everest is just ok. It's not mindblowingly good or bad at all, but just ok. The amuse consisted of a cod and potato foam that had basically no flavor, a small cup of artichoke soup with little flavor and served luke warm, and a small bit of fried pheasant that was good. For dinner I had what one might call a rabbit gelatin terrine. Preparation was beautiful to look at but without much flavor whatsoever. For my entree I had Colorado rack of lamb prepared medium rare. Perfectly prepared, the highlight of the evening. We had cheese + soufflés and both were good, though nothing to write home about. Food wise, just ok.
Two separate notes:
Atmosphere. Somewhere amidst the altitude, Everest is stuffy and pretentious. It walks a fine line of gracious and pretentious, but ultimately falls down on the side of overly stuffy. The decor in this room needs some serious help, too.
Service. The service we had was fair to poor. Our waiter broke into our conversations at least 4-5 times to take orders or speak to us. This is fine for TGI Fridays, but not ok for fine dining. Additionally he had little sense of humor and difficulty explaining complex preparations to my mother who is not particularly a goodie, but knows fine dining very well. The sommelier quickly figured out that pouring from the right when pouring across a conversation isn't acceptable, and thus no one would care if he poured from the left to not be seen when refilling. The sommelier was possibly the best server there.
All in all, good but not great. Was it a waste of money? That's probably going a bit far, but I won't be going back.
My service experience at Everest was quite the opposite. In fact, it was the best service I have ever observed in a restaurant. I still remember two different examples during dinner. Seated at the table next to ours was a couple with their five-year-old daughter. A waiter noticed that the sun was in her eyes, and politely addressed *her*, rather than her parents, to ask if she would like for him to lower the blinds. Also, when my iced tea was served with a slice of lemon, I gave the slice of lemon to one of my dining companions for her glass of water. I made no request, but for the rest of the meal, the waitstaff served me iced tea without lemon, and my companion's water was replenished with a slice of lemon each time.
Oh, and the food was one of the very best meals I have ever eaten in the Chicago area.
I'm sorry to hear that your experience was so different.
I am too.
After eating at Alina, Moto, NoMi- I have a hard time believing Everest is the best Chicago has to offer. The menu, while being very interesting takes on Alsatian food, was drab and much of the food was bland and nearly flavorless. Frankly if they'd let me go a la carte, however, I'd go back for the rack of lamb.
I know for a fact there's better to be had in terms of service and quality of cuisine in Chicago, especially at the high end.
I think we're putting a pause on our high end eats for the moment and focusing on healthier food, though our 1 year anniversary is next month, thus I think we'll end up somewhere dining on the high end.
Your comment about the waiter not having a sense of humor made me laugh.. same experience here!
I had a very good experience at Everest, but was a bit put off by the snootiness of the waitstaff. It's ok to be professional but yet warm and friendly. A waiter should be able to read his/her guests and act accordingly