High and Mighty

Sixteen shines under new chef Thomas Lents

The up-close views of the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower are stunning.

But a colorful mosaic of gazpacho (pictured; $29) was what held our gaze during a recent evening at Sixteen, on the 16th floor of the Trump Hotel & Tower.

The rosy purée had been blended for more than 10 minutes, until ethereally silky, and dotted with pearls of cucumber and avocado, tomato seeds, flowering herbs and poached langoustine. A bonus was served alongside: a pan-roasted langoustine head, its savory insides meant to be scraped onto a round of tomato bruschetta.

The restaurant's chef, Thomas Lents, started in January, and his summer menu shines with clever combinations and technical dexterity gleaned from his time as chef de cuisine of Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas.

Lents infuses that gazpacho with tomato stems for added intensity. He marinates pig heads in Irish whiskey, green garlic and herbs for three days, ultimately transforming the meat into a remarkable, pan-seared puck, crisp outside and melting within ($25). Halibut rests in a complex broth: lobster consommé with saffron, orange and chorizo oil ($46).

Finish with a sweet from Sarah Kosikowski–perhaps a raspberry-filled cylinder of Manjari chocolate with roasted raspberries and Darjeeling ice cream ($15).

Sixteen, 401 N. Wabash, 16th Fl.; 312-588-8030 or sixteenchicago.com