Every week in 2017, we select aN influential Chicago restaurant, study their menu, and choose one item we believe is particularly unique.


Chicago's food scene has never been stronger. Brisan is proud to highlight brilliant amuse-bouches, beverages, hors d'oeuvres, entrees, or desserts from the hardworking, creative chefs working in our home turf.  Our #represent campaign is our way of doing "shout outs" to deserving chefs and to express excitement of being located within Chicago's very own restaurant district.


Why is Brisan the force behind this? Well, we're food & beverage experts with a speciality in culinary trends. Click here to learn more about Brisan. 

Our goal, as always, is to inform and inspire.
— Theresa Cantafio, Marketing at Brisan
Please note: Brisan is by no means affiliated in any way with the restaurants listed on our website.

#represent July 2017

#represent July 2017

July 2017


Yukon Fries / Soy Dusted / Bonito Flakes / Tofu Mayo

CHEF Andrew Brochu


Before Roister opened just over a year ago, it was already on food critics', food journalists', and competitors' list of Chicago restaurants to watch.

Owned by the Alinea Group, Roister is under a ton of pressure to perform and demonstrate thoughtful food prepared by a tremendously skilled staff. Their french fries dish is simple, yet anything but basic. Here's our breakdown explaining why these fries are pretty spectacular and how they seamlessly hit important culinary trends:


  • Yukon Fries - Calling our origin and ingredient source. This provides the diner with some upfront transparency that they demand.
  • Soy and Tofu  components - Alternative meat ingredients, meatless-Monday's, and a focus on non-animal meat protein, is a huge sustainable,  global culinary trend. Smart chefs are demonstrating that removing the veal and beef from a dish, and replacing with vegetables or tofu doesn't mean you have to compromise on flavor. 
  • Bonito Flakes - Japanese influence can be seen with this ingredient. Bonito flakes are also a natural way to achieve a slight umami flavor reaction, without using lab-made MSG...and who doesn't love umami?

Golden Ostera Caviar / Coconut Dashi / Lychee / Sea Grape

Chef Noah Sandoval


Oriole has received tons of awards since their opening. They earned two Michelin stars within the first year of opening and were named Best New Restaurant by Chicago Magazine. Below we highlight several key culinary trends Oriole is hitting with their summer menu:



Calling Out Color: "Golden" Ostera Caviar


Coconut Trend: "Coconut" is a huge buzzword right now. Of course coconut is a classic ingredient used in numerous ethnic cuisines, but the enormous coconut craze makes it seem almost as if coconut was rediscovered about five years ago. This trend has already trickled down to numerous categories outside of the food segment (especially personal care).

Click here to better understand how fine dining trends typically trickle down the market.

Japanese Influence:

Dashi: A traditional Japanese stock made using fish, kelp and seaweed. Dashis have an earthy, savory, and umami flavor. There are tons of creative twists to put on a classic dashi. In this dish, Chef Sandoval incorporates coconut.

Lychee: A Japanese fruit, small and rounded with sweet white scented flesh, a large central stone and a thin rough skin.


Novel Fruit Varietals: Sea Grapes, Coccoloba uvifera aka baygrape. Typically harvested in mid-late summer, sea grapes are small green fruits. They grow in clusters and turn a purple hue as they ripen. Each grape contains a big pit that makes up the bulk of the volume.


Milk Chocolate / Huckleberry / Preserved Shiitake Mushroom

pastry chef Karen Urie Shields


This dish is a terrific demonstration of three large holistic trends we are seeing with fine dining right now:


1. Distant cue to childhood sweets (with approachable flavors); 

Instead of using a bitter dark chocolate fit for a sophisticated palette or trendy “cacao” or “cocoa nib”, Smyth uses arguably the most child-friendly chocolate, milk chocolate.


2. Daring use of savory in confectionery concepts;

Chef Karen steps up the mild milk chocolate component with the pronounced, earthy-savory flavor of preserved shiitake mushrooms.


3. Virtual return to nature.

Numerous 2017 menus from influential restaurants have a high frequency use of terms like: "foraged", "wild", "soil" (Alter in Miami, FL refers to charred cauliflower as "Cauliflower Soil"), "vegetable leaves" (instead of calling out lettuce varietal), etc.

Additionally, fruits that are indigenous to un-landscaped, wild habitats — such as huckleberry — often cue "nature". Huckleberry can spark thoughts of forest preserves in Montana, hiking, "how to survive in the wild 101's" get the picture.


More about this restaurant:

Smyth = The fine dining branch, located on the first floor— with 5-course, 8-course, and 12-course tastings.

The Loyalist = Thoughtful, more approachable á la carte menu, located in the basement. But don't get fooled, their food and beverage program is on-point and is sure to wow even the fanciest self-proclaimed "foodie".


Want a free copy of our 2017 Culinary Trends report? Cool.
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