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About this Business
- American, Contemporary
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
From Our Editors
At Deleece Restaurant, fillets of caramelized salmon and cuts of heritage Berkshire pork don’t just sit on plates—they transform into edible works of art. The chef drizzles dishes with swirls of pear-ginger sauce, sprinkles microgreens over geometric plates, and coaxes crabmeat into gravity-defying towers. The mastermind behind these globally influenced creations is Chef Ernesto Palaia, who also works to fill meals with organic produce and heirloom varieties. In addition to featuring upscale meats—Indiana duck breast, Amish chicken—Palaia’s menu plumbs the ocean for fresh seafood such as Blue Hill Bay mussels and plump diver scallops, which he prepared for Ben Hollis when the television host visited Deleece for a W.I.L.D. Lakeview feature. Palaia’s contemporary seasonings for these dishes range from lemongrass-chili aioli and lime-agave-nectar yogurt to fig-mostarda sauce.
Despite the sophisticated nature of its culinary offerings, Deleece maintains a down-to-earth atmosphere in its new location next to the Mercury Theater. Owners Lynne Wallack and John Handler preserve the warm, neighborhood feel of their previous location—where they resided for 16 years—with the help of staff members such as Joe, their expert bartender. He and his staff craft specialty drinks ranging from a summery lemon-basil manhattan to a wintery spiced cherry bourbon, which can soothe throats raw from shouting advice at movie characters at the Music Box Theatre a few doors down. Tipplers can also sip more than three dozen wines and beers from Belgium and Ireland or brewed right at home in Illinois and other Midwestern states.