Chicago’s Custom House Restaurant

Glazed Bacon/White Polenta
Button Mushrooms
I want to share the experience of dining in Chicago, one of my favorite food towns. It’s not just about the food, but also the big personality of this metropolis and the service, ambiance, architecture, and lights of the Windy City.
Chef Shawn McClain’s Custom House is located at 500 S. Dearborn, on the edge of the Loop. In the 1890s, the area was called the Custom House Levee District, known for its bordellos, saloons and pawnshops; hence the name. With its floor to ceiling windows this restaurant has a sleek cool elegance. It features Regional American fare with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients.

Werp Farms Beets
Crispy Lardo/Pistachio
Blue Cheese/Arugula

Standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories high, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest building in the world: seen here from our table.

Heirloom Beans
Homemade Tortelli
Buffalo Milk Ricotta/Green Beans
Parsley Walnut Pesto
Horseradish Cream Puffs

Bone In Short Rib

Pommes Anna
Housemade Bacon

Another Order of Horseradish Cream Puffs

Veal Cheeks
Tomato Anchovy Preserve
Bone Marrow Crostini

Artisanal Cheeses

Enjoying the Evening
As the Sun Goes Down
Black and White Ice Cream Float
Chocolate and Wattleseed Ice Cream
Mini Black and Whites

French Press Coffee
End to Another Fabulous Chicago Meal
A friend of mine is on her way to Chicago for business and asked if I had any recommendations for dining in the city. Another of my favorites is Joe’s Stone Crabs on the corner of Grand & Rush, which I wrote about in April and, of course, Charlie Trotter’s. For an authentic Chicago-Style lunch, don’t miss Hot Doug’s!

We also love Bistrot Margot, in Chicago’s Old Town, a blog post for another time…
Have a great trip, Susan!

23 thoughts on “Chicago’s Custom House Restaurant”

  1. I second that! Your pictures are brilliant; I can almost taste your meal. I wish I could for real 🙁 I’m going to try and recreate those horseradish puffs because they sound amazing. Wish me luck!

  2. This looks so amazing. Horseradish cream puffs, sounds like something made for my boyfriend (plus he is from Chicago). I really want to go there and visit. So thanks for the recommendation.

  3. looks like you had a great time… gorgeous pictures, i can ALMOST taste them… dreaming again, LOL… thanks for sharing…

  4. Chicago is my favorite city! I grew up in IL and we went there all the time! I love your photos…looks like a great place to dine!

  5. Wow, I wouldn’t know what to sample first as it all looks delicious! Thanks for visiting my blog and I am enjoying yours immensely!

  6. What a great post, your pictures are amazing, the food looked exquisite! The horseradish creampuffs, brilliant! Who thinks of this stuff? Just another reason why “Chicago’s my kind of town!”

  7. Hi lori
    it made an interesting read. Sometimes, the places like Chicago has unique charm and i love the way you have described its custom house restaurant beauty.

  8. Chicago is an amazing food town. I’ve lived in and around the Chicago for 8 years and have only visited a small fraction of the great restaurants offered. That looks like a great meal. I never heard of Custom House, but from your description and photos, it looks amazing!

  9. I am completely drooling over my keyboard looking at these photos and your description of the food. And I think I will be having dreams of those horseradish cream puffs. Whatever were they like? I am so intrigued!

  10. Thank you so much everyone. From your comments, I am so glad to know that I was able to capture the feeling of dining downtown Chicago, and do justice to the chef’s awesome dishes. I really appreciate hearing for you.

  11. Oh My! Another one of these jaw dropping stomach hunger craving pages! Whether it’s the pics or the wording that was put together oh so well just to explain the juicyness of the food, It Sounded Gooood To Me 🙂 and with that in mind I think we should all have a moment of silence and really think when we can take a trip down the best place to eat in your town or at a vacation getaway!
    Well, let me know what you guys think because I am surely ready to enjoy a national tour of foods:)! Thanks for the info!

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