There is perhaps no chef rocking the Chicago scene more than Trevor Teich right now. The local product, known for his stellar dishes that appeal to the fun-loving diner as much as the critic, has been enjoying plenty of success with Claudia. The Bucktown restaurant opened in 2021 to critical acclaim, with guests noting the wonderful fine dining experience brought to all those wishing to enjoy it.
Now, nearly a year after its opening, Claudia is expanding its menu even further to encourage folks to step out of their comfort zone. The restaurant has announced a new mini tasting menu – properly titled The Lounge Tasting Experience – which features some of Teich’s finest work. The five-course menu includes dishes like “Snails in the Woods,” a braised-and-tempura fried snail dish served with shaved truffles, herb “moss” and edible flowers, and a Bento Box with tuna-wrapped foie gras with egg yolk confit, chile threads and togarashi, with other sides as well.
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“This new experience speaks to the approachability of Chef Trevor and his belief that fine dining should not be pretentious, but experiential where guests are made to feel special,” a press release from the restaurant announced.
The experience is one of several served at Claudia, which began as a seasonal pop-up in West Town that aimed to bring luxury dining to a new audience. After a brief opening in 2019 in the West Loop that saw a premature closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eatery found new ground in the Bucktown neighborhood, opening on the popular Damen Avenue in October 2021. Both Teich and Claudia have earned rave reviews online, from both foodie websites and local critics at the Chicago Tribune.
Claudia is perhaps best-known for its lack of – what Teich calls – “stuffiness,” as the restaurant hosts no waiters or fancy monologues to explain every dish. Customers instead purchase “experiences” ahead of time, placing a deposit down to secure entry, and enjoying a roughly 90-minute show that brings a wide array of dishes to enjoy. While they wait, customers can enjoy watching their chefs cook through a glass-enclosed kitchen, watching exactly how the sausage gets made, no pun intended.
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“Chef Teich aims to tell a story through food, with each dish being crafted as a delicious and engaging ‘chapter,’” the press release says. “Guests are meant to feel like they are being taken on a delightful journey throughout their evening.”
For those interested in the experience, reservations can be made online via the restaurant’s website. A $100 deposit per person is required, which will be applied towards the $175 bill at the end of the evening.
Teich is truly making a splash on the Chicago food scene. One can only wait with a hungry pause for what he'll do next.
Photography by: The Bar at Claudia