Trump Tower final update
The scaffolding still surrounds Chicago's Trump Tower
but I walked through it's doors for the first time on Saturday night and I'm sad to say was disappointed.
They are still pouring concrete up top, which was a strange feeling walking into the Lobby. The residences (starting at $850,000 with plenty left) are not open yet, but the hotel, bar and restaurant called Sixteen
First of all I would say that the Lobby and bar decor looks cheap, it's probably not, but that makes it worse. The restaurant on the 16th floor is a lot better, with an impressive wine cellar catching the eye on exit from the lift. The restaurant bar is not over welcoming, but that would be most restaurant bars, and the restaurant is split into three areas. This I would say is a sensible move on Trump's part, possibly
thinking ahead to nights when the fine dining crowd move onto the next hot spot in town. Presently we were told every Friday and Saturday is booked for dinner until July.
The focal part of the restaurant is a 19,000-crystal Swarovski chandelier (see photo), although the views take most of the plaudits with the restaurant well appointed looking east down the Chicago River with the skyling bustling on each side.
So I liked the look, I did. But the food and it's prices I was less enamoured with. The wine list was very overpriced, and starters ranged around the $20 mark, with main courses at about $40. That is a lot for even some of the superlative Chicago restaurants. Set meals were available with wine pairings but we each chose of menu, each selecting different dishes and we agreed neither were great.
Chef, Australian Chef Frank Brunacci does change the menu every day apparently, which allows one to come back and spunk another $300 but all in all it was an un-fulfilling experience not enhanced by a jobs worth waiter.
We ended the night on the mezzanine level bar called Rebar
, which had a multifarious collection of people, not unexpected late at night in a hotel bar but the space was lacking in individuality and service. Nevertheless the city views out of the 30ft floor to ceiling windows will probably encourage people to come and spend $15 on a cocktail.