Jodi Fyfe, owner of Paramount Events, believes in the natural progression of things. After a successful five years building her catering business, she moved her company into a 40,000-square-foot building in the West Lake District last summer. Needless to say, she has made the most of the space, first creating an office for her 80-person staff, and then opening dual event venues The Lakewood and HighGround. Next came Eden, the restaurant she and her husband, chef/partner Devon Quinn, had envisioned for almost a decade.
“Having [a restaurant] within the same realm of our other business made a lot of sense,” Fyfe says.
The 100-seat, white-washed eatery, which opened last month, serves new American and Mediterranean fare crafted by Quinn and Chef de Cuisine Miles Schaefer (Sepia, Soho House). The menu is clean and fresh, with housemade bread and produce sourced from the space’s very own onsite greenhouse.
Here’s what to expect at Eden:
< Sweet escape: With its exposed brick archway, bright lights and sparse greenery, the 2,000-square-foot spot serves as an oasis from the city’s harsh temps. “No matter what the weather is outside, I want people to come in here and feel warm and cozy,” Fyfe says. “I think most restaurants nowadays are really dark — I like having it light, bright and easy.”
Jump start: The umami doughnut ($8) is a house favorite for its sweet and savory taste (not to mention the braised strip loin and raclette cheese filling). “That’s Devon’s creation,” Fyfe says. “It’s a fun item and we sell out of them every single night.”
> Al dente: When it comes to the housemade pastas, Eden offers a take on classic Italian dishes — like agnolotti from Piemonte and lasagna from Emilia Romagna. Our favorite? The pork tagliatelle (right, $19), made with marcona almonds, arugula and slices of crisp green apples for a tart finish.
Top it off: Since the dishes are heavily based on seasonality, Quinn says the menu will continue to evolve. But we hope at least one thing stays the same: the desserts. Try the housemade doughnuts ($8) topped with a chocolate cremoso, salted caramel, peanuts and ricotta, or the tangy lemon-Granny Smith apple namelaka ($8) with olive oil cake, Calvados apple brandy and hazelnut praline.
Open Thursday-Saturday 5-11 p.m., and Sunday-Wednesday 5-10 p.m. (closed Monday). 1748 W. Lake, (312) 366-2294; Edeninchicago.com
Pictured at top: strip loin, $38