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Trump Tower Chicago’s New Lower-Priced Restaurant Opens Today

Can Terrace 16 recover the business which Sixteen lost?

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Terrace 16
Sixteen [Official Photo]
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

In a week when talk focused on a Virginia restaurant refusing to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and when a Chicago bar banned MAGA hats — only to retract the action — the new restaurant inside Trump International Tower & Hotel Chicago opens. Terrace 16 opened Friday morning and replaced Sixteen, which in its heyday was one of the best and most luxurious restaurants in the city, as well as the Terrace at Trump outdoor cocktail bar and small-plates spot.

The reasons for a rebrand aren’t clear, but it’s a good bet it’s a blend of reducing prices and the need to freshen things up after Sixteen’s 10-year-run. And there’s also that contentious relationship between President Trump and Chicagoans.

The prices are much lower at Terrace 16 compared to Sixteen which closed in April inside the 92-story building in River North. The most expensive item is a $52 bone-in ribeye. That’s a contrast with Sixteen which offered a $175 tasting menu. The new menu includes items like a play on Garret Popcorn Shop’s caramel and cheddar cheese Chicago Mix. Terrace 16 uses truffled cheese and salted caramel. There are also oysters, wagyu beef carpaccio, and sweet pea garden toast (Sixteen’s returning chef Nick Dostal’s spin on avocado toast) as appetizers. Main dishes include a $26 cheeseburger, squid ink chitarra (fruits de mer, tomato, espelette), and broiled black cod (cippolini onion, summer squash, scallion sauce). Compared to the old menus, these items are better suited for the 200-seat terrace.

Food items at Terrace 16.
Trump Tower Chicago [Official Photo]

Donald Trump Jr. was in town on Thursday to chat with Alderman (42nd) Brendan Reilly in front of today’s opening. The president’s son and Reilly talked about how to better lure tenants to the building, something they’ve struggled with, as previous materials omitted the Trump’s name. Reilly told multiple media outlets that he “encouraged them to pursue restaurant tenants rather than bar and nightclub.”

Beyond a Chicago magazine interview with Dostal — which head-scratchingly ignored addressing any controversy surrounding Trump — none of the players involved in the restaurant have spoken with the media. Trump has led the charge to use “Chicago” as a racially charged euphemism when talking about gun violence. While current staff is tight lipped, Dostal’s predecessor, Thomas Lents has spoken a bit. Lents left the restaurant last year to move to Detroit. He told Eater National that even before the election that there was an “element of notoriety” working at the restaurant. While he patted the protesters on the back and said he understood why they were angry, he said the protesting only affected restaurant staff: “they were the ones that were seeing their incomes drastically reduced, or the success of the restaurant reduced.”

Lents confirmed what Sixteen kitchen workers had said: Business had dropped 30 to 40 percent year over year. When Lents left, Sixteen was a two-star Michelin restaurant. It retained the rating under Dostal as one of five Chicago restaurants with more than a two-star rating. That critical acclaim didn’t translate to post-election customers. Now the tower is taking a gamble that a new name, redesigned 20-seat indoor bar, and menu will bring back business. Or maybe it will distract diners enough for them to forget whose name is stamped outside the building in giant letters.

Take a look at the menu below. Terrace 16 is now open and reservations are available via OpenTable.

Terrace 16, 401 N. Wabash Avenue on the 16th floor of the Trump International Tower & Hotel, (312) 588-8030, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Terrace at Trump Tower

401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 588-8000

Terrace 16

401 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 588-8030 Visit Website


401 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 588-8030 Visit Website