From Phil Vettel's original four-star review, published April 7, 2011: Taste, as a jazz musician once noted, is manifested in the notes one declines to play. In that regard, Danny Grant is a taste master. The original chef de cuisine and now executive chef at Ria, the magnificent dining room within the Elysian hotel and residential complex, Grant creates dishes that are marvelously complex but not overwhelming. At a time in which the food world is focused on big, bold flavors (not that I disapprove), Grant reminds us of the joys of nuance. Ria is the restaurant that Charlie Trotter was originally signed to run, and the dessert program was briefly under the direction of Mindy Segal. Though both departed amicably while the project was yet in development, their participation was common knowledge. Thus Grant, along with pastry chef Stephanie Prida, faced sky-high expectations before Ria's June 2009 opening.
The Dover sole, black trumpet mushroom and parsley at Ria in the Elysian Hotel (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)