Sixteen | River North, Chicago

Dine on Chicago history at Sixteen

The Ferris wheel. Frank Lloyd Wright. Wrigley's Gum.

You undoubtedly recognize these hometown heroes. Now, at Sixteen, you can eat them.

Yes, eat them. Or at least culinary interpretations of them–as well as other iconic Chicago people and places–as part of Sixteen's "Story of Chicago" menu, crafted by chef Thomas Lents.

To set the scene, historic images of Chicago are projected around the dining room. There's a gloriously Jazz Age soundtrack. The menu unfolds into a beautiful faux map of the El, complete with two different "lines," red and blue (actually, two prix fixe menus, priced at $150 and $210).

The fun begins with a model Ferris wheel laden with small bites inspired by exhibits from the World's Columbian Exposition. A course informed by the history of rail travel showcases a "refrigerated boxcar" (a carved block of ice) carrying spicy beef tartare topped with a quail egg. The reversal of the Chicago River comes in the form of a heated cocktail (complete with Malört) that flows upward through a complex glass vessel.

The Chicago Fire is represented by smoky, ash-coated venison, topped with blood orange and nasturtium. Three presentations of partridge celebrate Chicago architects Daniel Burnham (under a classic glass dome), Frank Lloyd Wright (naturalistic, with endive) and Mies Van der Rohe (a modernist presentation with grapefruit and celery).

Wrigley's "Spearmint"

Dessert courses interpret iconic Chicago treats: Lemonheads, Mar-O-Bars (the original Snickers) and Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. The last is uncannily perfect, a shell of chocolate surrounding a soft sorbet that explodes in your mouth–exactly like you popped in a stick of gum. It's double the fun.