Dana hotel and spa and The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group announced the opening of two new, show-stopping food and beverage concepts: Portsmith, an upscale seafood restaurant with Executive Chef and Partner Nate Henssler at the helm, and Leviathan, a vibrant bar serving intriguing and visually stunning cocktails by acclaimed barman Benjamin Schiller. Debuting mid-summer, the launch of Portsmith and Leviathan joins Apogee, the recently opened, sophisticated rooftop lounge at the award winning, luxury boutique hotel.
Taking dana hotel’s food and beverage program to even greater heights with the goal of presenting newly inspired experiences for guests and locals, the decision to further its budding partnership with Chicago’s preeminent restaurant group stems from the hotel’s desire to continuously evolve and exceed guests’ expectations. The unity of the two leading hospitality companies reinforces the luxury boutique property as an ultimate destination for Chicagoans and visitors to the city.
Located on the ground level, Portsmith is a destination that transcends guests into an elevated dining atmosphere nestled within dana hotel and spa. Named for the idea that seafood is common in most port towns and that a chef is a food “smith”, or craftsman, the restaurant displays a stellar collaboration of chefs and partners from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, with Executive Chef Nate Henssler, Executive Pastry Chef Chris Teixeria and Beverage Director Benjamin Schiller.
With an East Coast culinary background, Chef Henssler brings his experience and talents to create a menu that pushes the boundaries. Chef Henssler began his journey with The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group at Homestead on the Roof, and previously cooked in kitchens all over the world. His seafood expertise was especially honed in culinary positions at both the Las Vegas and Chicago locations of Joe’s, a Lettuce Entertain You seafood concept. Pulling from flavors of his past, he highlights different products from the sea, crafting them into simple variations of familiar dishes. Using the freshest ingredients and classic cooking techniques, menu standouts include diverse oyster preparations, Crispy Octopus, Foie Donut, Turnips and Miso Butter, Fish and Chips, and Fried Fish and Waffles for a brunch delight.
James Beard Nominee Chef Teixeria brings two pastries to the dinner menu: Bonito Flake Sourdough where old world meets west coast, and Cheddar Parker House Rolls where new world and east coast inspirations align. Chef Teixeria’s dessert menu is a play on “The Seven Seas” with items each hailing in concept to an ocean region. Desserts include Phyllo Cake, Ground Pistachios and Frozen Yogurt drawing inspiration from Greece, while Crème Fraîche Cake, Vanilla Diplomat and Chocolate Sorbet pays homage to Teixeria’s New England roots.
Designed by award-winning Chicago design firm, blocHaus, Portsmith is an open and bright space, taking design cues from Coastal New England. Nuanced nautical elements intermingle with the refined seafood menu from Chef Henssler, and touches of oceanic hues contrast the rich woods of an old fisherman’s boat. Custom light fixtures mimic the precious pearls of an oyster shell found along the coast, while glistening custom tile emulates the iridescent qualities found in merging schools of fish.
Portsmith provides a comfortable experience ushered by professional servers guiding diners through a tour of flavors and preparations. Portsmith will be open seven days a week, serving coffee and pastries Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (debuting late summer), and dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant will be open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dinner being served on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The patio will be open based on demand, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Leviathan, a mythically-inspired bar serving visually stunning cocktails
Perched above Portsmith—dana’s mezzanine level bar—Leviathan is named in reference to a mythical sea monster. Attached to Portsmith by a stairwell, this physical connection inspired the teams to tie the two concepts, but distinguish this cocktail themed bar with a more mysterious, sexy edge from the bright rooftop, Apogee. Created by renowned barman Benjamin Schiller, the cocktails at Leviathan evoke darker imagery, with garnishes and glassware akin to dragons and sea monsters.
If one were to equate the cocktail program to a season, Leviathan would be a dark Autumn’s night, punctuated with earthy flavors, smoke, spice and sea air. The visually stunning portfolio of cocktails maintain a balanced, yet flavorful taste profile, straying slightly from the bright, opulent presentations imbibers have come to expect at Apogee. Leviathan’s namesake house cocktail is representative of the overall feel of the spirited bar, combining Gin from the North Atlantic Hebridean Isles, Demerara Rum, Ginger, Star Anise, Bonito Flakes and dried Pennyroyal, all served in a custom glass created by Ben Tullman of Ignite Studios.
Also designed by blocHaus, the moody cocktail lounge is inspired by the creativity and innovation in Schiller’s cocktails. With inspiration from the mythical prose surrounding the Leviathan creature, blocHaus drew in subtle design features, translating these myths into a vibrant space. A dragon scaled bar front sits adjacent to tables laced with gold Viking symbols and underneath custom light fixtures, created to emulate a dragon’s claw pulling pearl from the sea. This modern, yet lustrous space is as interesting as the cocktails served.
Leviathan will be open Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m., and closed on Sunday.
Portsmith and Leviathan join Apogee, an elevated rooftop bar, as new concepts developed in collaboration with The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. The three outlets comprise an exciting food and beverage reboot by the property, amplifying dining and imbibing options for both visitors and Chicagoans alike. The opening of Portsmith and Leviathan also bring the hotel’s all-encompassing events to the next level, with customized culinary design and precision, along with theatrical mixology and professional service. Together, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and dana hotel and spa have the capabilities to deliver memorable, unparalleled events.
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