Schwa Michelin Restaurant

Located on the fringe of Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, it’s easy to miss but hard to forget. Stepping through the storefront entrance, the city dissolves into an intimate world where the artistry of fine cuisine unfolds throughout the evening. The barrier between patron and chef fades. Dinner becomes a night to explore and fully engage the senses A fluid menu of vivid courses, crafted by a crew of culinary artists under the direction of Chef Michael Carlson, who work to their own rhythm to re-imagine the possibilities of global, seasonal ingredients. A kitchen where every ingredient is respected and every choice is intentional. This is Schwa. Welcome.

There comes a point when pared-down style jumps from being easy-to-miss and becomes hard-to-forget. When a utilitarian and self-consciously bare-bones interior becomes attractively modern and industrial. When a lack of any FOH staff makes the service seem playfully all-hands-on-deck. The explicit rap music in the background reflects the deeply talented chefs’ ethos, going well beyond laissez-faire to reach the point of “we don’t give a damn.” You probably won’t either once you taste the food—not every dish works, but when it does, the result is sublime.

The team makes its mark on this menu by way of the inventive “Welcome to Schwa” dish, unveiling a spicy Bloody Mary-inspired drink and crisp, savory waffle. The latter is intended to accompany the highlight of the course, namely: two rows of vibrant purées that spell out the greeting in Morse code. Such technical trickery continues into a plate of homemade pappardelle, laced with beurre monté and paired with peas and uni bubbles; or poached foie gras, delicately laid over trumpet mushrooms and mango gel.Aged Parmigiano Reggiano with caramelized banana, nori, and Manuka honey presents an enticing blend of sweet and savory.

Chicago Multi-Entry Multi-Directional Visitors Guide © Simon Newbound

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  • Tuesday17:30 - 21:30
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  • Thursday17:30 - 21:30
  • Friday17:30 - 21:30
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