Hot List - August 2006

10 places everyone’s talking about—and dining at—in AUGUST. In order of heat.

10 places everyone’s talking about-and dining at-in AUGUST. In order of heat.

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Custom House

DAVID BURKE’S PRIMEHOUSE
Put a New York chef’s name on a manly steak house and all will pay homage.
(The James, 616 N. Rush St.; 312-660-6000)

CUSTOM HOUSE
Shawn McClain proves that sleek and snazzy plays as well in Printers’ Row as it does in River North.
(Hotel Blake, 500 S. Dearborn St.; 312-523-0200)

SCHWA
Schwa seems to have cornered the “three-star BYO with only 28 seats and a unisex bathroom” market.
(1466 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-252-1466)

MULAN
Yupscale Pan-Asian food in Chinatown could turn the whole beloved neighborhood into this year’s Bucktown.
(2017 S. Wells St.; 312-842-8282)

AVENUE M
You know a spot is hot when it’s been open for three months and the hipsters still haven’t moved on.
(695 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-243-1133)

CAFE BIONDA
The music throbs, the plasma screens scream, and the red sauce runs freely through the South Loop.
(1924 S. State St.; 312-326-9800)

FRASCA PIZZERIA AND WINE BAR
The only thing hotter than the reservation book is the woodburning oven.
(3358 N. Paulina St.; 773-248-5222)

ELEVEN CITY DINER
Apparently grumbles about this deli’s gruff service aren’t stopping people from eating there.
(1112 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-212-1112)

BILLY BERK’S
Patrons know what they’re getting: outsized comfort food and over-the-top singing servers.
(3 Old Orchard Shopping Ctr., Skokie; 847-763-4600)

HAMBURGER MARY’S
Andersonville’s outpost of a saucy franchise is all about feeling good-hence dishes like “her hot legs.”
(5400 N. Clark St.; 773-784-6969)

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