"Global Palate: Aria brings global comfort food
to the Fairmont Hotel"
|Chicago Magazine, May 2003
Chicago Style, March 2003
By J.P. Anderson
Hotel restaurants are
hot. Once the domain of dull food and cring-worthy
decor, Chicago's hotel dining scene now draws rising
star chefs and hip foodies. Suddenly, gems like
the Hotel Burnham's whimsical Atwood Cafe and the
Park Hyatt's chic NoMI have become some of the hardest-to-get
reservations in town.
The latest to arrive is Aria, in the elegant Fairmont
Hotel. The four-star property recently pulled a fast one
on its conservative clientele by opening this surprisingly
sexy dining room and lounge, which belends a clubby atmostphere
with a polished, multicultural menu. The result is a refreshing
addition to Chicago's hotel dining scene...."
"The adventurous menu fits Aria's global-chi feel. Inspired
by his experiences working in kitches in Japan, Thailand,
Malaysia and other far-flung locales, chef James Wierzelewski
set out to create traditional dishes from those countries
that appeal to Midwestern tastes. "People want comfort
food," said Wierzelewski, "but they're also reaching out
for what's happening in the rest of the world. What we're
doing here is global comfort food...."