Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Contemporary American from Jason Paskewitz (Wave, SushiSambaRio).
For three years chef Jason Paskewitz struggled to turn the former Jazz Record Mart space on Wabash into the expansive Jackson Park. But when that project finally tanked last year, he set his sights on something cozier. Gemini Bistro is all about comfort, from the warm chocolate-and-caramel color scheme to the deep, dark booths to the American bistro menu. A cream-free tomato soup (served with a bite-size grilled cheese sandwich) packed the concentrated flavor of a consomme into something much heartier; a salad of roasted beets and microgreens atop a schmear of goat cheese was similarly clean, simple, and successful--if scanty. And the scallop entree, three pan-seared bivalves on a rich mashed potato puree with a lemon beurre blanc, was small but excellent, a sophisticated balance of texture and flavor. The menu skews for the most part toward bistro standards like steak frites, roasted salmon, organic chicken, and an eight-ounce burger on a pretzel roll.
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