Chicago’s top 11 new restaurants
Tacos, hot dogs, steak and sushi
Not knowing the hot new restaurant in Chicago is like not knowing the up-and-coming congresswoman in D.C., or the golden-touch agent in Hollywood, or the best Elvis impersonator in Vegas: Your cocktail-party conversation is nil and you’re missing out on some seriously good crushed peas with burrata. Here are 11 recent openings you need to try now.
What it is: Master sommelier, Check, Please! alum and Boarding House proprietor Alpana Singh?s sophomore spot. The clubby restaurant/bar is directly across the street from the Art Institute, yet it?s not a tourist trap, so file it under ?take visitors here.?
What to order: Start with deep-fried chicken skins; end with a bourbon banana split. 130 S. Michigan Ave.
What it is: The first Midwestern location of a popular East Coast chain that deals in St. Louis-style Q. The sprawling Lincoln Park space has been home to several nightclubs, but this time around it?s family-friendly fun with menus for kids and gluten-free eaters.
What to order: Twice-cooked lamb shoulder with crispy, seared fried rice and a Korean glaze. 923 W. Weed St.
What it is: A groundbreaking concept in the landmark Belden-Stratford building in Lincoln Park. A new chef takes over with a fresh menu every two to three months.
What to order: Through May, dig into L.A. chef and forager extraordinaire CJ Jacobson’s prime NY strip with aronia berries and olives. 2300 N. Lincoln Park West
What it is: After a decade as the River North staple known for truffle fries and David Schwimmer sightings, this Nate Berkus-designed spot reopens this weekend with a new, sexier Kara Mann-imagined vibe.
What to order: Our cauliflower obsession continues with Rockit's chicken-fried version. 22 W. Hubbard St.
What it is: Open for just under a year, this simple and serene Evanston restaurant has already earned major acclaim with Brian Huston as a nominee for James Beard’s 2015 Best Chef: Great Lakes.
What to order: Fish--walleye, halibut or sole--and a side of super-crispy potatoes with “garlic schmaltz.” 804 Davis St., Evanston
What it is: A beautiful French bakery, brasserie and bar attached to the new Hyatt Centric hotel--and the only place in the Loop where bearded hipsters are talking bikes and burrata with finance types and politicians.
What to order: The French dips and cheeseburger are pretty epic, but if it’s your first time? Steak frites, baby. Go classic or go home. 100 W. Monroe St.