The last time I visited the Ambassador East hotel on Chicago’s Gold Coast was probably 18 years ago for a birthday party for my aunt’s 60th birthday in a private dining room. I remember it being kind of Hunt Clubby with red the main color and horses the main décor. Who knows if that is accurate but it certainly isn’t now. It’s a very chic and cream-colored Ian Schrager production, beyond the brick façade, in the airy high-ceiled lobby – and the Pump Room, which I imagined to be full of wood and more red and horses, was full of sleek furniture, a sunken dining area, and round sculptural lighting that reminded me a bit of giant Jax (see photo above). The food was good – we had a prix fix three course menu for $22 which came with an appetizer (I had the tuna tartare – a moist red mound atop creamy avocado in a gingery reddish broth), main course (I had a light salad with greens in a truffle vigagrette and warm lightly cooked shrimp ) and dessert (decadent – homemade salted caramel ice cream with a dollop of crème fresh atop a puddle of chocolate sauce, house-made caramel corn and candied peanuts). Later we visited a room off the lobby that double as a coffee house by day and a bar by night with interesting art (photo portraits of a porcelain-skinned woman who looks Old World until you realize that she’s wearing very modern garb including, in one photo, a headband that’s a series of aluminum pop cans.