Surprise! It turns out this intimate West Town fine dining establishment has some culinary curve balls in store.
The tables at Temporis have a secret compartment. We discovered ours shortly after being seated in the intimate space, when our server reached into the hidden cubbyhole and produced a tiny square plot of micro-greens along with a note that said: “these will come into play at some point during your meal.” And they did—to delicious effect.
The room at Temporis itself is something of a cubbyhole, a small secret in the heart of West Town. It takes the idea of intimate fine dining to a new level, with only 20 seats a night, most of them at tables for two. It all makes Temporis a textbook fine dining choice for romantic dinners.
Chefs Sam Plotnick and Evan Fullerton’s eleven-course menu is themed—and the theme is always changing, which adds a little excitement. On our visit—you won’t know about the menu ahead of time—the night was all about “rabbit,” both literally and in dishes that followed a foresty motif.
It took until the middle of our meal (the “rabbit” course) before we needed to add the mysterious micro-greens that, until that point, had acted as a centerpiece for the table. The rabbit is served in a small cast iron skillet, with meaty hunks of loin, a tender leg and a flavorful little rack of ribs you that you can eat in one bite, surrounded by tandoori spice, carrots, greens and beans. Your server will cut microgreens for you (feel free to take more after you begin your dish—we certainly did). Other menu standouts on our visit included a starting bite of king crab with briny trout roe and dill pollen and a wild mushroom consommé, with port-glazed mushrooms and scallions; the umami blast was so perfect, we were wishing for a bigger bowl.
The meal ended on a heavy note, with two scoops of foie gras ice cream neither my date nor I could finish—paired with a canelé and passion fruit reduction, it was savory and thick and hard on the stomach. Elsewhere, other dishes were too small—not just that crazy-good consommé, but the Meyer lemon sorbet with basil and almond (only three tiny bites). We didn’t leave hungry, but dish size felt inconsistent from plate to plate; we weren’t sure if we’d be scarfing down the next course in mere minutes, or savoring it like the rabbit.
With a menu as ambitious as this (Hamachi with sugar cookie crumble, anyone?) there are always going to be some foul balls. With time, Plotnick and Fullerton will likely iron out any kinks in their first solo dive into the fine dining scene. For now, Temporis provides a surprising and intriguing option in an intimate setting—perfect for a fancy and fascinating night out.
Atmosphere:Very new fine dining, with plenty of grey colors accented by wooden tables. It feels clean and pristine, with little décor—minimalism is the thing here.
What to eat: The menu is constantly changing, but we loved the consommé, the king crab and the rabbit.
What to drink: Go for the pairing, which has been smartly thought out—particularly clever was the combination of the Burgundy Pinot Noir with the mushroom consommé. Five wines served throughout an eleven-course meal were $75 per person.
Where to sit: Grab a table near the front window; tables along the length of the restaurant lead to the bathroom and are a bit darker.
933 N Ashland Ave
|Opening hours:||Tues–Sat 5–9pm|
|Transport:||El: Blue line to Division. Bus: 9, 66.|
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