If food is like art, that makes chefs the artists — but at Temporis, they’re more like scientists. Co-chefs Evan Fullerton and Sam Plotnick experiment with ingredients, flavors and presentation — like capturing smoke in a glass dome that’s lifted at the table to reveal cheese and fruit — in a 10-course tasting menu at the West Town restaurant, which opened last month.
Here’s what to expect at Temporis:
Intimate interior: The small space seats only 20, but that number feels just right — this is far from a mass-produced dining experience. The modern interior is all gray and marble, with custom walnut tables housing secret compartments; one such compartment gets filled with live microgreens from the basement hydroponic garden, to be snipped and added to dishes throughout the meal.
On rotation: The menu evolves dish by dish, rather than changing drastically a few times a year. On the current menu: Sunflower in Five Forms, a conceptual dish made of ingredients from the same plant family like sunflower, endive and chamomile; rabbit alongside carrots, radish and other greens that a bunny might nibble on; and a delicious venison shank with chocolate milk stout, granola and pomegranate. For dessert, foie gras ice cream with a French cannelé pastry.
Dish it out: If it seems every plate, bowl and platter was specifically designed for the dish it holds, chalk it up to Fullerton and Plotnick’s culinary creativity. “We had some downtime while we were waiting for permits to come through,” Plotnick says. “So we spent days browsing the internet looking for [dishware] we thought was cool.” One online find: ceramic amuse bouche spoons handmade in Estonia.
Final sip: Beverage Director Donald Coen creates a list of wine pairings ($95) for each menu, and the staff doesn’t skimp on pours. A cocktail list offers great alternatives (or additions) — we especially love the Frankenspritz ($14), a mix of prosecco, Malört and grapefruit liqueur that feels like Pop Rocks on the tongue.
$110/person, open Tuesday-Saturday, accepts reservations 5-9 p.m., 933 N. Ashland, (773) 697-4961; Temporischicago.com
Pictured from top: foie gras ice cream, aged cheddar and quince with smoke, greens from the hydroponic garden and king crab with trout roe and dill pollen | Photos by Neil burger