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1466 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Critic’s Notes

This singular haute BYO may be named for a neutral vowel, but there’s nothing neutral about the food. Schwa’s distinctive style stems from deft sweet touches in savory courses (cardamom marshmallow in an antelope-carrot dish) and mad-scientist combinations that work (carbonated pear with caviar, white chocolate, malt, and basil). Ingenious tasting menus make $130 seem like a bargain. The casual, almost flippant (and obnoxiously loud) atmosphere belies the seriousness of the food, made by chefs who also serve adequately as waiters and negligently as reservationists.

Dishes We Liked

(All dishes are part of a tasting menu.) Sardines with brioche, black garlic, and white asparagus; quail egg raviolo; tagliatelle with rabbit, foie gras, gooseberries, and Taleggio; carbonated pear, olive oil powder, osetra caviar, basil, malt, and white chocolate; candied pork belly with strawberries, fava beans, and beer; antelope with carrots, gingerbread, and cardamom marshmallow; honey, yuzu, and chamomile dessert

Additional Information:

Price: $100-plus
Cuisine: Contemporary
Neighborhood: Bucktown/Wicker Park
Noteworthy: BYO (up to $5 corkage)
High noise level
Telephone reservations
Hours: D Tue-Sat.
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