A Rosebud Steakhouse Tater Tot
Urban chic, Midwestern heart: That’s Chicago. Lately, the quickest way to that heart is through the Tater Tot. The beloved staple of grocery freezers and high-school cafeterias has moved into upscale restaurants, where chefs who grew up on Tots are now dragging them along into adulthood.
Rosebud Steakhouse (192 E. Walton Pl., 312-397-1000) elevates its version with truffle oil and grated Parmesan. Park Tavern (1645 W. Jackson St., 312-243-4276) goes trend-happy with its poutine-like Animal Tots, which somehow stay crispy under pulled pork, cheese curds, a fried egg, and Bell’s Kalamazoo gravy. Nightwood (2119 S. Halsted St., 312-526-3385) doesn’t even bother pretending to be ironic about it, offering straight-up delicious house-shredded crispy nuggets at brunch, and Trenchermen (2039 W. North Ave., 773-661-1540) fashions Pickle Tots, which come with chicken bresaola and red onion yogurt sauce in a pretty presentation. Comfort food in posh packages—sounds like a city we know.
Photograph: Anna Knott