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With Flames and Finesse, Bad Hunter Makes Veggies Sing

Executive chef Dan Snowden presides over a wood-burning grill in this veg-focused West Loop newcomer.

Dan Snowden preparing fry bread stuffed with dill, sorrel, and spring onions; corn-and-shiitake-filled dumplings; beet tartare with flax seed crisps
Dan Snowden preparing (from left) fry bread stuffed with dill, sorrel, and spring onions; corn-and-shiitake-filled dumplings; beet tartare with flax seed crisps Photo: Jeff Marini

The first time Dan Snowden cooked over an open flame, at least in a restaurant and not on a trout-fishing trip with his friends, was as a line cook six years ago—and he was terrified.

“How long does it take to get the fire right? What if I let it burn out? If it goes cold, I’m screwed,” he recalls thinking. “But after a while, it just becomes second nature.”

Good thing. As the executive chef at Bad Hunter, a new, vegetable-focused West Loop spot with a wood-burning grill as the centerpiece of the kitchen, Snowden will use fire to lend an appealing char to fresh produce. The fare will range from elemental—root vegetables slow-roasted overnight in the wood grill’s embers—to cheffy: beet tartare with flax crisps, say, or cucumber à la plancha.

With its seductively comfortable dining room and low-octane wines and cocktails, Bad Hunter wants you to nosh, sip, and stick around.

802 W. Randolph St., 312-265-1745

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