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Found

Photo: Anna Knott

Does anybody ever leave this place? Half of Evanston seems to be lingering at courthouse benches abutting Found’s U-shaped bar, on the 19th-century settee in the lounge, and in the library-like dining room. They nibble lamb meatballs with pistachio chimichurri, sip grenache blanc, and chat while another wave of hungry diners lurks near the door, cursing the no-reservations policy.

Found’s popularity is no accident: Amy Morton spent years planning her socially conscious American bistro, and she nailed pretty much every detail. The vintage-thrift decor is part of the charm—if an eccentric academic married an interior designer, this would be their living room—and ebullient servers don’t hurt. But the whole operation draws its power from Nicole Pederson’s bold small plates. Her bright fried oyster tacos mingle with crisp bacon nubs and tomatillos, her twice-fried chicken wings exude a sweet tang, and her knife-and-fork shredded pork shoulder sandwich with sweet potato mash and gravy is a hefty open-faced revelation.

Found already has the kind of enthusiastic menu and following that any restaurant would kill for. Chances are, once you get a seat, you won’t leave either.

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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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