As the leaves turn color, Chicago’s Travelle Kitchen + Bar, located on the second floor of the award-winning Langham Hotel, celebrates the fall season with a new name, evolved menu selection, and a newly designed beverage program.
With the seasonal change comes an evolution underway at the restaurant, inviting diners to partake in a more casual experience, complemented by a fresh, approachable cuisine that celebrates Chicago and the Midwest. Formally known as Travelle, the restaurant now goes by Travelle Kitchen + Bar and the new menu features dishes inspired by Executive Chef Tim Graham’s Midwestern roots, culinary familiarity, and background in refined, modern technique.
“For years I’ve taken the approach of educating myself by thoughtfully researching the origins and particular style of a specific cuisine,” Graham says. “I’m thrilled that The Langham team has allowed me the platform to create a menu using seasonal ingredients and truly showcase the type of cooking that is second nature to me.”
With new brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, the dining room has an array of shared snacks, starters, flatbreads, sandwiches, entrees, Chef Graham picks, and more to satisfy any diner’s craving. Chef Graham’s favorite dishes include the BBQ Octopus with pork belly, and Sea Island red peas; Carrot Salad with roasted chile dressing and sunflower seeds; Butter Poached Halibut with chorizo, potatoes, and corn chowder; Roasted Bone Marrow with short rib gravy and housemade giadiniera, and Spicy Half Chicken with Nichol’s Farm corn, and honeycomb.
For guests interested in exclusive group dining, Travelle Kitchen + Bar features a “Family Table” menu, allowing diners the opportunity to customize each course according to desired tastes and preferred seasonal items. Before the scheduled dinner, Chef Graham will schedule a conversation with the guest to create a truly tailored and bespoke menu.
Recently appointed beverage director Priscilla Young leads the newly designed beverage program with a focus on the true appreciation of cocktails’ past, while honoring Midwestern roots, and having fun with modern techniques. Formerly at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, Young joined the team in August, bringing with her 15 years of experience and an aptitude for understanding the versatility of spirits. The new cocktail list named the “Cocktail Library” is divided into Classics, Midwest Originals, Modern, and then options broken down by flavor profile. Each cocktail description incorporates details honoring the origin of the cocktail with the year it was crafted, the name of the creator, and the cocktail book from which it appeared. For the Classics, imbibers can expect the White Lady made with London dry gin, triple sec, lemon, and egg white; Cask-Aged Cocktail: Negroni with Plymouth gin, Campari, Cocchi de Torino, 56 Nights, and 1344 Hours; and Lion’s Tail made with Bulleit bourbon, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, and Lime Aromatic Bitters. The signature Midwest Originals include Corn Bread & Butter with brown butter fat-washed Middleton, Wisconsin moonshine, cranberry, and orange marmalade; and Blutopia made with Oxley, Cocchi Americano, lavender-cacao, lemon, sugar, and Pernod Absinthe. Then there’s the Modern section with inventive choices like the American Trilogy consisting of Dickel Rye, Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, sugar, and orange bitters.
“The new drink menu was inspired by tradition and innovation with a mix of classics and fresh, innovative drinks,” Young says. "I crafted the cocktails with both locals and visitors in mind and I wanted them to get a sense of Chicago and adventure by appealing to all five of their senses. To do so, we use homemade infusions, syrups, and bitters that are reflective of the Midwest and feature exotic ingredients from around the world that are reminiscent of previous travel experiences.”
Rather than switching out cocktails seasonally, the Cocktail Library will continue to grow with new libations added regularly. The bar’s spirits lists will feature an extensive selection of whiskey, including bourbon and rye, as well as Scotch and Japanese whisky. Wine and beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to choose from New World wines and a variety of craft beer selections.
Guests can now enjoy libations at the bar alongside a brand new bar food menu, which includes regionally inspired dishes such as Toasted Corn Ravioli with a red sauce; Wisconsin Beer-Cheese Fondue with the option of a “Saints” or “Sinners” take and consists of a blend of Havarti, aged Gouda, Pleasant Ridge and Tank 7 Ale; and BBQ Lamb Ribs with spicy dip, arugula, and pickled grapes.