Most modern cuisine is a continuation of classic dishes, just as a computer is a slightly modified typewriter and a washing machine is a river in a box. Revel in palatable progress with today's Groupon for contemporary American cuisine to bluestem. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get $70 worth of prix fixe menu choices, valid in the dining room only. The prix fixe menu offers a three-course meal ($60), five-course meal ($70), and 10-course meal ($100), which include choices from:
- A salad course
- An appetizer course
- A fish course
- A meat course
- A dessert course
Groupon holders who choose the $60 option may apply the remainder of their Groupon's value toward drinks and menu items, and those choosing the $100 option are responsible for paying the difference.
- For $12, you get $25 worth of contemporary American cuisine, valid in the lounge only.
Helmed by chef Colby Garrelts, a five-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef Midwest nominee, and Megan Garrelts, an accomplished pastry chef, bluestem crafts an upscale, contemporary take on classic American cuisine. In the brick-walled dining room, guests select from the seasonally adjusted prix fixe menu, which, like a go-kart ride through a farmers' market, can result in a myriad of culinary combinations. While the prix fixe menu typically includes vegetarian options, guests are also welcome to discuss any dietary restrictions or a fierce aversion to the color purple when making their reservation, allowing bluestem's kitchen to accommodate appetites of all varieties with unique dishes.
Begin coursed meals by sampling from bluestem's refreshing salads, such as the summer greens mix, tossed with radish, fennel, sherry vinaigrette, and goat-cheese truffles. Cold appetizers include the heirloom tomato gazpacho, while the fresh fish and meat courses offer creations such as the diver scallops or the vintage-beef duo. Dessert offerings such as the bittersweet-chocolate sponge leave teeth singing sweet songs of satisfaction. During meals a sommelier greets each table, offering help with menu selections, investment-portfolio management, and wine pairings chosen from the globe-spanning wine list.
For a casual outing, the chic lounge treats diners to an upscale yet laid-back ambiance, highlighted by the polished-yet-familiar lounge menu. Large plates showcase chef Colby's fine take on bar staples, with offerings including the shrimp and grits, peppered with spanish sausage and parmesan cheese, and the marinated hanger steak ($14), accompanied by pomme frites, field greens, and chimichurri sauce ($14). The lounge's charactered hardwood floors, exposed mechanical ducts, and comfortable lounge seating cultivate a relaxed atmosphere, while the expansive bar offers a full selection of distilled drinks to lubricate conversations or squeaky garage doors.
Husband-wife team Colby and Megan Garrelts met in Chicago at the five-star, five-diamond TRU. After traveling to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the culinary duo opened Bluestem Restaurant, using it as launch pad for their explorations into progressive American cuisine. Locally grown produce joins with sustainable seafood and meat in their recipes—lauded by the James Beard Foundation and Zagat. And the menu makes every dinner a multi-course story, where smoked lamb belly with barbecue spice precedes beef with fermented grains and whipped bone marrow, before themed desserts pair strawberries with angel-food cake for a perfect ending.
In Bluestem's lounge, guests sink into a more relaxed dining environment, sampling such plates as hanger steak frites and garlic pomme frites while sipping wines and craft cocktails. Whether perched in the lounge, at the hardwood bar, or at an ironed tablecloth, simple elegance abounds. Small table lamps cast warm, homey glows or exposed brick walls that allow diners to work on perfecting their chewing technique.