Caviar!

The culinary equivalent of a confetti cannon, this celebratory indulgence not only calls for a glass of Champagne, but also the perfect occasion.

How about tonight?

Because with more and more Chicago chefs adding caviar to their menus, those delicate black pearls are more approachable (and affordable) than ever.

This may seem paradoxical: caviar, after all, has long existed as a status symbol for people who insist on such things, usually delivered with some $30 crackers and a soupçon of pretension.

That’s hardly the case nowadays, but the question remains: Why?

Caviar is literally roe, or fish eggs. But not just any fish eggs. Traditionally, caviar comes from sturgeon: species like beluga, osetra and sevruga. But due to scarcity, other kinds of roe, like salmon and trout — though not “true” caviar — have become more popular of late. Here in Chicago, chefs are experimenting with all manner of roe, and they’re all delicious. Just remember: “real” caviar means sturgeon, and nothing else.

As for how to enjoy it? You’ll want it chilled, first and foremost. Don’t be afraid to sample it on its own (small bites help you experience and explore flavors), but whatever you do, don’t miss the accoutrements: dolloped on a chip, topped with crème fraîche, or lightly smeared on a piece of grilled rye bread.

There is absolutely no wrong way.

Feeling fancy yet? From three-tier fish egg towers to that one caviar pie you probably saw on Instagram, here are our favorite caviar offerings around the city.

Caviar service from Booth One with a glass of champagne

Booth One
Lettuce Entertain You’s sexy remake of the storied Pump Room at the Ambassador Chicago has jumped to the top of our list for impressive date nights spots. The restaurant offers a traditional caviar service features Golden Osetra from Kaviari in Paris with classic garnishes like fluffy eggs, crème fraîche, cooked-to-order buckwheat blinis, brunoise red onion and brioche toast.

www.boothone.com
1301 N. State Pkwy., Downtown (map)