What to order off-menu around Chicago
Wanna stop agonizing over encyclopedia-length restaurant menus? Use our best new dining-out tip: Eat what’s not on the menu.
Ask your server if the chef will surprise you with something she’s excited about that day. Maybe she’s got a secret stash of morels that are just begging to go with pasta. Or maybe she’s working on a new dish and needs a guinea pig.
Here’s where to try it around town:
At TWO: Seasonal crepes At his Near West Side spot, chef Tom Van Lente fills his paper-thin crepes with just about anything. Ask him to go to town with fall ingredients like duck confit, candied nuts and a honey-orange reduction. 1132 W. Grand Ave.
At IPO: Catch of the day Chef Fernando Coppola grew up eating homemade Mediterranean food, and he adores adding garlic and tomatoes to his off-the-cuff creations. But his ultimate passion is fish, so ask for his freshest, most interesting seafood of the moment. 172 W. Adams St.
At The Pump Room: Veggie entrées Gold Coast chef Moosah Reaume composes new dishes with whatever produce is best that day--and if that means roasted squash gets to be an entrée, so be it. Ask your server for Reaume’s veggie reco, and take solace in the fact that it will no doubt employ Thai aromatics and fresh citrus. 1301 N. State Pkwy.