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What You Need to Know About the Chicago Dining Scene this Week

The Michelin Bib Gourmand list is out, which means we’re approaching the starriest day of the year.

Yeast-raised chocolate-glazed doughnut at Stan’s   Photo: Anna Knott

Openings

Knife (4343 N. Lincoln Ave.), the long-awaited steakhouse from Timothy Cottini and David Byers (of Fork fame), brings Chicago’s meat mania to Lincoln Square. The restaurant opened last week after an unfortunate delay—a brief but threatening social media feud with celebrity chef John Tesar, who runs a steakhouse with the same name in Dallas.

On Friday, Dark Matter Coffee opened its latest outpost—Meddle Coffee Bar (601 W. Jackson Ave.)—in the West Loop, spitting distance from downtown. This location sports a psychedelic interior, with colorful murals erupting from subway-tiled walls.

It’s a big week for Italian in Chicago: Bar Lupo (217 W. Huron St., River North) opened its doors on Monday. The spot is the first in Brian O’Connor’s planned restaurant empire. Expect a warm, neighborhood environment replete with homemade pastas and sausage.

Meanwhile, in Avondale, Pisolino (2755 W. Belmont) opened on Tuesday in the space that once housed Pork Shoppe. For now, the menu encompasses breakfast and lunch, with a selection of pastas, paninis, and Pugliese-style thick-crust pizza—dinner service coming soon.

Celebrity barbecue guru Myron Mixon opened his first Chicago restaurant, Smoke Show Barbecue (3801 N. Clark St., Lake View), on Thursday. If you want to see how the sausage gets made (or, at least, how it gets smoked), you can snag one of 12 seats over the glass-enclosed pit.

Stan’s Donuts hits the street today with its first food truck—a big pink van that will rove Chicago dispensing sugary goodness. Expect a smaller selection than you might find at a brick-and-mortar Stan’s. You can track the truck through Stan’s Twitter, where the hashtag #stansvan is no doubt already trending.

Morsels

It’s safe to eat at the Angry Crab (5665 N. Lincoln Ave., West Rogers Park) again, as the flagship of the boil-in-bag seafood hotspot has been cleared by the Health Department after a series of failed inspections. Last week, inspectors found some pretty egregious refrigeration issues, noting one cooler clocking temperatures as high as 70 degrees. The spot’s Wicker Park location was unaffected by the closures.

Rejoice! Michigan-based brewing outfit Jolly Pumpkin is coming to Chicago, with plans to open a pub in Hyde Park (5251 S. Harper Court, to be precise) by next summer.

The Michelin Guide dropped its annual Bib Gourmand list, the precursor to its annual passing-out of stars. The 52 restaurants on today’s list get a nod for their combo of great food at a value, and three places jumped on this year: the Bristol, Dos Urban Cantina, and San Soo Gab San. Also, nine of last year’s honorees were dumped from the list, including A10, Beatrix, and Spacca Napoli. Sometimes this is because of a closure (as in the case of Carriage House), but the same thing happened to both Dusek’s and Parachute last year, and they got a Michelin star instead. The big guide drops November 2, and you can see the full list of honorees at the Tribune.

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