Dining at Viceroy Chicago
Viceroy Chicago has partnered with local gourmands, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Chicago-based Boka Restaurant Group who will manage all dining venues at the hotel.
SOMERSET is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and weekend brunch) serving approachable American cuisine from Chef Lee Wolen of Boka Restaurant Group. The interiors are inspired by a new-fashioned take on American Country Club culture and an exterior patio offers al fresco dining in season.
Set on the 18th floor, our rooftop pool and lounge serves craft cocktails and delicious bites from Chef Lee Wolen with unobstructed views of Chicago’s picturesque skyline and Lake Michigan.
MEET THE CHEF
Chef Lee Wolen is no stranger to
the celebrated Chicago dining scene.
Best-known for overseeing the kitchen
of Boka Restaurant Group’s flagship
restaurant Boka, he was named “Chef
of the Year” in 2014 by Chicago Tribune
and was nominated for a James Beard
Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2016
and 2017. Under his reign in the kitchen,
Boka has also maintained their Michelin
Star status in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
We had the chance to sit down with Chef Lee Wolen to learn more about his cooking philosophy, what diners should look for when experiencing Somerset.
Q:What was the first dish you
learned to cook and what are
some of your favorite early
A:The first dish I learned to cook was
a ham and cheddar omelet. I used to
watch Julia Child with my grandma on
the weekends and since then; I knew
I wanted to be a chef.
Q:What are your favorite
ingredients to cook with
A: It changes all the time. Five months
ago if you asked me, it would have been
beets. Two months ago, it was octopus.
Right now, it’s lamb tongue. We’re corning,
then grilling it on the menu at Boka. One
of my favorite things to cook always will
be pasta, from start to finish; it’s just so
versatile. There will definitely be a few
pasta dishes on the menu at Somerset.
Q: What inspires you to continue
to create new dishes?
A: Eating out, seasonality and cookbooks.
At my restaurant Boka, we have walls
of cookbooks. It’s my favorite part of the
kitchen. I do not drink, so occasionally
guests bring cookbooks to the kitchen
Q:What should diners expect
when visiting Somerset?
A: Somerset will be located on the ground
floor of Viceroy Chicago, which in my
opinion is one of the best locations in
the city. The food will not be a major
departure from my type of cuisine at
Boka, but will be slightly less complex.
There will be a wood grill and a small
rotisserie…I want to create delicious,
flavor-forward and approachable dishes.
Right now we’re playing around with
a whole roasted fish and proteins plated
tableside (or by a waiter in-room for
room service), homemade ricotta gnudi,
and wood-grilled vegetables.