Courtesy of Sprout
Sprout (1417 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-348-0706). Contemporary.
$$$$ ($50-plus per person for a meal, without tax, tip, or alcohol)
Dale Levitski, the executive chef, works wonders with seasonal ingredients, making the most (and then some) of their flavors and textures.
He recently replaced the extravagant tasting menu with Sprout’s original choose-your-own three-course adventure, where you might have to decide between a salad of fennel and pear in a mint vinaigrette and a smoked ruby trout smartly paired with pink grapefruit.
Stellar entrées have included venison with huckleberries and crisp-skinned snapper with deep-fried pickled daikon. The always blissful cheesecake recently sported lemony flavors and pink peppercorn pound cake. Dinner here is a real pleasure, especially if experienced in the stone-walled front room, one of the city’s most romantic spots for fine dining. Global wines, accessibly priced.
Dishes We Liked: foie, date, onion, brioche, caramel ($16); trout, endive, radish, apple, autumn olives ($12); venison, potato, huckleberry, beet, bacon, Gamay wine sauce ($35); quail, flageolet, sausage, black garlic, lemon ($32); butternut squash cheesecake, bay leaf ice cream, fig, apple ($12)
New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, as well as on our website. Listed restaurants are rated from one to four stars, where one is good, two is very good, three is excellent, and four is superlative. Nightwood’s rating decreased from two stars to one; Sprout’s rating increased from two and a half stars to three. The updated reviews appear in the April issue, on newsstands now.