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6. Vera

 
Paella at Vera

Vera’s paella with rabbit thigh, duck confit, duck chorizo, and pickled chilies

6. Vera

Everyone loves a good husband-and-wife restaurant story, but Mark and Liz Mendez’s labor of love is no folksy pipe dream. It’s an urbane, carefully planned venture with multiple means of seduction. Sitting at the walnut-topped cheese bar with a nibble of Cinco Jotas ibé rico ham and a glass of tempranillo would be enough of a draw for most, but then there are slate tables loaded with orange-soaked fluke crudo, spicy anchovies with pickled garlic, a showstopping vinegary paella, and one of the best cheese plates in Chicago. You will feast with abandon. And when you return from the bathroom, the staff will have neatly refolded your ridiculously sauce-stained napkin— incontrovertible evidence of your gluttony—as if to say: We know. And we understand.

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Price symbols indicate the typical cost of a meal (without tax, tip, or alcohol) per person.
¢ … under $20 | $ … $20 to $29 | $$ … $30 to $39 | $$$ … $40 to $49 | $$$$ … $50-plus

 

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