August 1, 2013
230 W. Kinzie St. 312-464-9544
Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff's restaurants have inspired many admirers, and this bustling shared-plates spot serving simple pastas, roasted veggies and bone marrow on toast was his first.
440 N. State St. 312-464-1400
At River North's only gay bar, expect the bartenders to call you "honey" and the entertainment to range from karaoke to DJs.
52 W. Illinois St. 312-222-1888
Chicago's own reality TV couple, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, put their heads together with the team behind Paris Club and Hub 51 (see below) for this sophisticated Italian restaurant serving antipasti, seafood, steaks and pastas all meant for sharing.
51 W. Hubbard St. 312-828-0051
At this sprawling bar and restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You's Melman siblings, RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman, there's something for everyone on the menu, from sushi to tacos to burgers.
59 W. Grand Ave. 312-645-9500
This restaurant serves up a massive menu of traditional Indian fare, including specialty dishes baked in a tandoor oven.
Stout Barrel House & Galley
642 N. Clark St. 312-475-1390
It would be easy to mistake Stout for just another bar working the "upscale tavern" template, but a late-night license and to-go sliders served until 3 a.m. set it apart from the pack.
111 W. Kinzie St. 312-880-1511
This massive multi-room restaurant and bar with a throwback theme and sign-less entrance proves that the speakeasy trend is far from over.
401 N. Wabash Ave. 312-588-8030
The majestic views of the Chicago River and downtown landmarks such as the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower from this dining room only add to the decadence of a special-occasion meal here.
108 W. Kinzie St. 312-329-9555
At this lively Mexican-inspired kitchen, sustenance ranges from half a dozen variations on guacamole to tequila-based cocktails that go way beyond the margarita.
203 E. Ohio St. 312-245-3003
The build-your-own bento boxes at this counter-service shop—a sibling to West Town's larger Arami—are a welcome cure for the common cubicle lunch.
311 W. Chicago Ave. 312-643-3200
This cheekily named bar inherited the late-night license of predecessor Martini Ranch but swapped out the desserty drinks with tacos, tortas and tostadas and plenty of tequila with which to wash 'em all down.
676 N. St. Clair St. 312-202-0001
While the setting—stark white with art-decked walls—may be minimalist, the inventive French-inspired plates served at this high-end dining room are anything but.
Flour & Stone
355 E. Ohio St. 312-822-8998
Despite what you might assume from its tagline--"Chicago's Brooklyn-style pizzeria"—this isn't your typical NYC-style by-the-slice joint. Thirteen-inch pizzas feature a crispy crust and premium ingredients ranging from oyster mushrooms to artichokes to roasted red pepper.
Piccolo Sogno Due
340 N. Clark St. 312-822-0077
This sibling to West Town's Piccolo Sogno—which translates to "little dream" in Italian—serves roasted meats, pastas and seafood that are as equally dreamy as the original.
228 W. Chicago Ave. 312-280-4960
Midwestern craft beers and stick-to-your-ribs fare such as buttermilk mashed potatoes, maple-brined pork chop and beer-battered cheese curds take center stage at this casual hangout.
110 W. Illinois St. 312-644-0500
This sleek restaurant and lounge remixes traditional Asian flavors in everything from contemporary sushi to signature cocktails.
110 W. Hubbard St. 312-222-1331
This two-floor hangout features oysters, salads and flatbreads for snacking, but the most appropriate thing to order might be the Hemingway daiquiri, seeing as the ornate decor was reportedly inspired by the famous author's travels.
212 E. Ohio St. 312-664-0212
One meal of Roman-style pizza and spaghetti carbonara at this cozy Streeterville newcomer will transport your tastebuds to the trattorias of Italy's capital city.
222 E. Ontario St. 312-649-9010
In one of the few dining rooms in town that still requires men to don jackets, chef Roland Liccioni cooks elegant multi-course French fare worthy of a splurge.
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