WESTMONT – With a $10 million ground floor renovation project just completed, the Hilton at Oak Brook Hills recently unveiled their new dining concepts. Gone are the stuffiness that accompanied previous renditions and in its place are fresh ingredients, innovative menus and scenic views.
Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry has combined locally sourced foods, hyperlocal produce some of which originates on the 150 acre hotel property, creative magic in the kitchen and of course, honey from the resort’s own beehives which Chef lovingly tends.
As with most hotel dining, three meals a day is the standard and while a Pub style restaurant is also on premises, I loved my visits to B. Options include B. Patisserie for coffee and morning snacks, B. Lounge for afternoon and evening cocktails and drinks and the newly remodeled and opened B. Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and incredible panoramic views.
A contemporary wine wall is both decorative and functional separating the lively bar seating side from the reserved and quieter inner room. I have consistently chosen the tables on the bar side of the wine wall specifically for the views!
In addition, terraced cocktail seating or small group gatherings can also enjoy the floor to ceiling glass and magnificent panoramas with sunrises, sunsets and snowfalls reason enough. Appetizers and beverages are available in this area so a glass of wine and a pizza at sunset make for a perfect evening.
A look out the floor to ceiling glass provides you with not only the best view in Westmont, but the best view for many miles around.
If breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, you’ve got three options available. Grab a pastry and cup of coffee or a juice at B. Patisserie where all pastries are baked in-house. Feeling a bit hungrier, the breakfast buffet option is also still available.
But my favorite choice is the ala carte menu, which has several enticing dishes. My go to is the Braised Pork Belly which combines a generous portion of rich and flavorful pork belly with potatoes, sweet drop peppers and a bit of honey to create a pork belly hash. A couple of cooked to order eggs along with two thick slices of country ham creates a memorable dish and one of the finest I have eaten anywhere.
Ricotta pancakes incorporate house-made ricotta cheese into the batter for new levels of light, smooth and creaminess and are topped with blueberry compote. Sausage ‘n Biscuits has one of the highest sausage to gravy ratios I have experienced and with a bit of pepper, it rivals many southern style presentations, especially with light and flakey biscuits.
A hearty Surf & Turf Eggs Benedict tops an English muffin with a crab cake on one half and a slice of prime sirloin on the other along with sautéed spinach, poached eggs and a velvety béarnaise sauce. This option will stay with you throughout the day.
Lunch and dinner menus have several items in common with the Noodle Bowl section being unique to lunch only. Lunch goers have a choice of four Noodle Bowls – chicken, zucchini, short rib or shrimp, each being paired with corresponding ingredients.
The Shrimp Bowl is served with rice noodles on the right, shrimp on the left and a center section devoted to bok choy, onions and fresh herbs. The server will then bring the dish to life by pouring the associated stock tableside. Kudos to the presentation and assembled flavor palate.
All dinners begin with a complimentary bread plate with house-made ricotta and local honey. Simple, yet a fantastic start to your cocktail and menu perusal.
There are several starter options listed under Share. Lamb Meatballs with pomegranate molasses and dates come four to a serving and are easily shared.
Chips are house-made and topped with blue cheese, candied bacon and honey generating a rich salty, sweet and creamy flavor combination. Grilled Oyster Mushrooms are charred and as flavorful and hearty as a nice steak and coincidentally, are served with B. steak sauce, a close cousin to A-1.
Salads are a thing of beauty and allow the local sourcing to really shine through by way of freshness and ingredient combinations. All of the salads I experienced can easily be shared by two. The Garden Salad has a half head of lettuce topped with corn niblets, crisp jicama, garbanzo beans, fennel, paper thin carrot slices right off the mandolin, cucumber, mighty vine tomatoes, fresh herbs, croutons and served with mustard herb vinaigrette. Feels like you’re on the farm!
The Bean Salad substitutes haricot verte, wax beans, picturesque watermelon radish, prosciutto, poached quail eggs, ham, herbs and a pecan vinaigrette. Here, the saltiness of the ham and prosciutto pairs nicely with the creaminess of the poached quail eggs and the al dente touch to both the wax and French green (haricot verte) beans. Tomatoes were gently roasted preserving flavor, sweetness and form and then beautifully garnished with thin wisps of watermelon radish.
During renovation, a high-end pizza oven was installed in plain view and as such, pizzas and burgers are both available at lunch and dinner. Pizza crust is nicely charred and has a great chew. I personally loved the strongly flavored sauce. The Charcuterie Pizza brings together Tasso ham, salami sopressata, capicola, caramelized onion and a sharp provolone along with the aforementioned sauce. Starter, snack or a side, you choose.
The B. Burger is a handful with country bacon, smoked butterkase cheese, tomato marmalade, onion confit, mustard aioli topping your cooked to order burger along with a buttery soft brioche bun. While the number of ingredients may dissuade some, I found the layers of flavor complimented each other perfectly and created differed tastes with each bite.
While fish, pasta and steak options are available, the Lamb is strongly recommended. Featuring four Vicking Farms grilled lamb chops, the perfectly charred chops are topped with a light glaze of honey & cider gravy and served with roasted B. potato along with a small crock of Tuscan kale with lemon and garlic. This is the farm to table version of meat and potatoes!
Desserts are a complex assemblage of beautifully combined ingredients as in the Springtime Sangria. Red wine granita (think shaved ice) is served over crystallized rose petals and adorned with candied rhubarb and raspberry sauce and plated with triple sec semifreddo (think creamy ice cream). Can’t say I’ve had this one at home! Refreshing and delicious!
Chocolate lovers have homework to do as in the Study of Chocolate Textures which is perfectly presented sampler plate. Chocolate pot de crème rich and luxurious, pistachio chocolate biscotti chips with brandied cherries are placed inside a shell of soft chocolate and warm chocolate cake with a dulce de leche center rounds out the dish. This homework assignment gets an A!
With seasonal ingredients, change is inevitable as local produce comes in and out of season. These menus will undoubtedly rotate giving rise to continuing new and innovative creations season by season. Future plans call for almost an acre of rooftop gardens managed and farmed by Omni-Ecosystems out of Chicago if the proposed property development is approved. This will be a major expansion to the current gardens – both flower and produce, which are currently being sourced.
Weather it’s starting your day with morning coffee, a pastry and a meeting, or finishing your day with a glass of wine, an appetizer and a pizza along with the most relaxing scenery for miles around, the newly rebranded and reopened B. is a great addition to the dining and is welcoming for all guests, hotel and neighbors!
WHERE: Hilton Oak Brook Hills, 3500 Midwest Road, Westmont
HOURS: Monday – Sunday 6:30am – 11pm
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: 630-850-5555 http://www.blocalbfresh.com
NOISE FACTOR: Lively
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