According to its website, Dyne has “a globally accented Iberian and Asian menu drawing vibrancy from the culinary brightness of both its chefs and city.”
Other phrases used to describe this restaurant include “union of ideals from various regions” which shouts “fusion” to me.
Located in Yorkville, on Avenue just south of Davenport, Dyne occupies the space that previously housed Malena. Not much has changed in terms of décor.
The menu is divided into a few sections – “Cold” (which includes items such as mussels, jellyfish and lobster), “Hot” (including pork belly, ravioli, shortibs), “Fish” and “Meat”. The prices are on the high side (no surprise given its prime location) with appetizers hovering between $10 to $20 and entrees averaging around the $25 to $30 range.
If you really want to splurge, they have something called the “Chef’s Last Meal” which includes a 34oz bone-in ribeye, fingerling & bone marrow mash, chili garlic egg rice, butter poached lobster and foie gras for $325. Decadent, eh?
Mike and I shared two appetizers – one hot and one cold. The first dish we tried was the Crudo – hamachi, tuna, pickled onion, pea shoots and black vinegar ($20). It consisted of 3 pieces of hamachi and tuna each. The fish was fresh and the preparation was simple allowing the fish itself to really shine. It was a solid dish but nothing memorable.
Our hot appetizer was the Calamari – with black calamansi aioli and pepper chili ($13). I’ve never seen calamari presented this beautifully!
There was definitely substance to the presentation too. The calamari was tender (not at all chewy) and I loved the aioli which gave the dish a nice creaminess. The pepper chili added a nice kick and overall it was a very enjoyable appetizer.
For my main, I ordered the Duck – with cherry, chorizo and chocolate ($32). The duck was perfectly cooked with the meat very moist and tender. The addition of the cherries was a classic pairing that complimented the duck well but I couldn’t detect any chocolate. It must have been very subtle.
The sides which came with the duck were also done well. There was small pile of delicious and garlicky shredded greens which I failed to identify. It tasted very familiar though! It’s funny how something so familiar can suddenly become so difficult to identify once the appearance of it has changed. I’d be a huge fail on the Top Chef/Hell’s Kitchen blind taste tests.
I also enjoyed the ancient grains that it came with, which had been cooked with bits of chorizo. It had a bit of sweetness to it too and you know how much I enjoy a good sweet and savoury combination.
Mike went for the Hamachi – with candied lemon, king oyster + cloud mushrooms and Yukon chips ($28). It was lightly seared with the fish still raw in the middle. Like all the other proteins we had at Dyne, it was well cooked.
As for the candied lemon which topped the dish, I didn’t find that it added very much in terms of taste. It was more decorative in nature. Overall, it was a solid dish but similar to the crudo, I didn’t find it to be very memorable.
There are quite a few desserts to choose from here. Options include a cassava cake, flan, enseimada (baked pastry) and gelato. We decided to go with the Torrija – caramelized brioche with whipped cream, sweet milk and dulce de leche ice cream ($9). The caramelized brioche was essentially French toast and on its own wasn’t anything spectacular. I would’ve preferred it a bit crispier. However, I really enjoyed it when eaten with the dulce de leche ice cream but let’s be honest, ice cream makes everything taste better!
Overall, we had a good meal at Dyne. While nothing was bad, I don’t feel there were enough memorable dishes to bring me back a second time.
At a glance:
• The menu is inspired by Iberian and Asian cuisines
• Located in Yorkville – on Avenue just south of Davenport
• Appetizers around $10-$20; entrees hover around $25 to $30
• It was a good meal but there weren’t enough memorable dishes to bring me back
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars