One of Joho's signature techniques is the pairing of highly sophisticated and down-to-earth ingredients in the same dish. Rustic meets refined. A slab of foie gras fit for the likes of Cardinal Richelieu might find itself paired with earthy, pitchfork-toting peasant fare such as turnips, for example. Humble cauliflower straight from the potager gets creamed and topped with imported Beluga caviar. If Joho's cuisine seems effortless, it's not. "It takes many years to really develop your palate and your own cooking style," says Joho. "It's not something that can be learned from a book or improvised. I taste food all day long."

The ambience at Everest, although hardly cutting edge, is perfectly lovely, and of course the gasp-inspiring view of glittering Chicago is almost enough to make you forget about exquisite dishes such as Joho's salmon soufflé, or his line-caught Atlantic cod with fresh morels and asparagus.

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Since opening Everest, Joho has also created several other successful restaurants, including the more casual Brasserie Jo in Chicago and its sibling in Boston, and the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas. This one's on the 11th floor of the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas, which I suppose means my rule of thumb will have to be broken once again.
CHEF'S PICK
Domaine Weinbach GewÜrztraminer Réserve Personnelle 2001 ($22)

This exotic beauty pairs well with Everest's roasted Maine lobster in Alsace Gewürztraminer butter and ginger.


WINE LIST


Everest's wine list - overseen by Alpana Singh, who happens to be the youngest Master Sommelier in the United States - boasts the largest selection of wines from Alsace in America. Here are a few choice Alsatian bottles, as well as a few Alsace-inspired New World wines.