While restaurant operators were more optimistic about sales growth in coming months, their outlook for the overall economy remained cloudy, Hudson Riehle, the association’s head of research, said in an October statement.
At NoMI, located in the Park Hyatt hotel, where room rates start at about $395 a night, LaRoche said his restaurant’s menu has taken on more of a local flavor recently.
He tries to use as much locally grown food as possible, he said, much of it purchased at Green City Market, a nearby farmers market open May through October.
Recently added items on NoMI’s menu include an $18 Burrata salad featuring Bordeaux spinach, shaved heirloom apple and honey-pinenut vinaigrette, LaRoche said.
Another popular salad, he said, is the roasted pear and Jamon Iberico, at $17.
Thinking creatively and progressively with food is crucial in the city’s restaurant business, LaRoche said.
“There’s a lot of competition in Chicago,” he said. “There’s a tremendous amount of talented chefs here.”