One Moment in Crime
In a pre-Mob, precorruption chapter of Chicago history, horse thieves used to hide in the woods of what is now Beverly in the mid-19th century, giving the area a name that a brewpub will resurrect: Horse Thief Hollow (10426 S. Western Ave.; no phone yet). Planned for a fall opening, the 5,900-square-foot, 90-seat space will have a smoker for barbecue and brewery equipment for 15 to 20 taps’ worth of beer. Housemade sausages and brewer’s bread made from spent grains will be featured on the menu of sandwiches and smoked meats, along with a Friday fish fry. “Charcuterie, burgers, salmon burgers—all that kind of stuff. Really well-made casual food for between $8 and $15. That’s what I’m looking for,” says Neil Byers, a partner. This place is a constellation of three things there seems to be no end of in Chicago: beer, meat, and stories of crimes past.
Chicago’s Best New Restaurants
Although open tables last more than ten seconds there (but not much), Goosefoot (2656 W. Lawrence Ave.; 773-942-7547) claimed the top spot in Chicago magazine’s ranking of the 20 best new restaurants of the past year. The entire story has been published online, along with a few lollipops:
• The eight best new bargain restaurants
• Six great dishes at new restaurants that didn’t quite make the list
• Six openings to watch for in the next few months
• An online-only Q&A with the chefs at the top five new restaurants
• An online-only history of Randolph Street as a dining destination
And don’t miss your chance to vote on Facebook for where you plan to eat next.
Gift of the Maggi
Mario Maggi, the chef at the upcoming northern Italian restaurant Briciola (937 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-0889)—which we first heard about on Eater—shared a glimpse of his menu with us:
• Roasted artichoke on arugula pesto
• Hummus made from cannellini beans, rosemary, and garlic, served with piadina (Italian flatbread)
• Panzanella. “It will be old bread. It will be mushy. This is the original. You drain, and you squeeze, and mix with the salad,” Maggi says.
• Stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto, fontina, spinach, and porcini sauce
• Paccheri, pancetta, sage, and Parmesan cream sauce
• Three-cheese tortelloni with brown butter and ground hazelnuts
• Octopus carpaccio with arugula, hearts of palm, and basil oil
• Milanese pork chop, pan-fried in clarified butter, with fresh tomato, arugula, and Parmesan
• Salmon in potato crust drizzled with truffle oil
• Tiramisù. “My own recipe for 37 years,” Maggi says.
Briciola is scheduled to open in the next few weeks in Jam’s original location, and will serve dinner immediately. Weekend brunch to follow soon after—to capture whatever brunch mojo still lingers in that space.
Karl Boston started cooking at age 12 to escape the TV dinners he was getting while staying with his dad. That escape led to a winding career that now brings him and his wife, Aida, to City Farms Market & Grill (1467 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-883-2767), a farm-to-table comfort food restaurant we first heard about on Thrillist, now open in the Lake View space that housed Rockin’ Taco. After a thorough renovation incorporating tabletops made from an old high-school gym floor and benches made from wood from the Fullerton Avenue bridge, City Farms opened this past Thursday for counter-service lunch and full-service weekend brunch, with a menu including Karl’s upside-down bacon burger, a 21-day-dry-aged-beef patty that cooks on top of a Berkshire bacon patty. The couple plans to start serving dinner, featuring roast chicken and various meatloafs, by next week. Not long after that, Aida will launch Beyond Borders, a food truck with sandwiches and salads. Funny to think that if it all succeeds, the Bostons have awful Salisbury steak and instant mashed potatoes to thank.
“The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off it.” —Jackie Gleason (1916–1987), American comedian and actor
Addison Street Cafe & Grill (7544 W. Addison St.; 773-589-2100) opened for business three weeks ago as a “small little diner flashback to the fifties,” as Cindy Pierce-Rubino, the “manager-slash-waitress,” calls it. Flashback prices—maybe not all the way to the 1950s—heighten the effect. “The most expensive item is steak and eggs—it’s $8.55,” Pierce-Rubino says. Italian beef and burgers are made in-house, and starting May 1, it will be open 24 hours. Sounds like a kick, hepcats.
Updated Review: Shanghai Terrace
New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, and 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. Shanghai Terrace’s rating increased from two and a half to three stars in the May issue, on newsstands now.
Shanghai Terrace (The Peninsula, 108 E. Superior St.; 312-573-6744). Pan-Asian.
$$$$ ($50-plus per person for a meal, without tax, tip, or alcohol)
This romantic re-creation of a 1930s Shanghai supper club, complete with dark lacquered wood and dim, moody lighting, is Cantonese-style fine dining at its most elegant. It’s refined escapism. The menu is steeped in tradition—excellent dumplings, rich abalone, and exemplary bird’s nest soup—but flexible enough to offer new classics such as garlic lobster with cheong fun (rice noodles) and wok-seared peppered beef tenderloin. The waitstaff is obliging without being obsequious; the cocktails and teas are worthy of the home country. All in all, proof that a time-honored focus on quality makes for an unforgettable dining experience.
For the dishes we liked best, click here.
Faraz Sardharia, who has an Indian father and a Pakistani mother, opened Tandoor Char House (2652 N. Halsted St.; 773-327-2652) on February 7 in Lincoln Park, serving items from both parents’ traditions. The family has been catering for 25 years (which is also Sardharia’s age), and now he and his brother, Fahim, are focusing the restaurant on items cooked in the tandoor, such as chicken tikka masala and kebabs. Sides include chutneys, raita, and the spicy carrots called achar, a family specialty. “It made our mom’s cooking so famous,” Sardharia says. Desserts at the 15-table BYO include kheer and homemade kulfi, a pistachio-almond ice cream. Sardharia also owns the Edwardo’s Natural Pizza franchise next door, but he uses fewer Sardharia family recipes there.
- Pollack grazes on grass-fed beef at Indie Burger.
- Evergreen dishes up the shrimp toast with the most.
- Suzy Crofton decides Crofton on Wells needs a breather.
- Jack Weiss adds a familiar face to the Coco Pazzo kitchen.
- Pollack gets hooked on the po’ boy at Fish Bar.
Follow Pollack on Twitter.
On the Blog
- Kendal Duque and the Chicago Firehouse crew have something cooking for the former Grace O’Malley’s space.
- Lincoln Park’s Café Bernard makes way for the Frenchie Chez Moi.
- It’s Chuy Valencia out, Natalie Oswald in at Chilam Bilam.
Things to Do
1. Hit up Highland Park’s inaugural Restaurant Week. Throughout the foodfest, which runs April 19 to 29, 36 of the suburb’s restaurants—including Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House, Turtle’s Cupcakes, and 2nd Street Enoteca—will offer special menus or discounts.
2. Treat your gluten-challenged friend (or yourself) to a fried-chicken feast this Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Ina’s (1235 W. Randolph St.; 312-226-8227). A plateful of crispy goodness without a morsel of wheat, rye, barley, or oats runs $32. Call for reservations.
3. Savor this New York Times article, which quotes Chicago’s own Jeff Ruby, on the one and only Charlie Trotter.
- The Point (401 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-666-1600), an industrial-chic bar from the owner of Matilda and Clutch, is open.
- The all-day diner Eggy’s (333 E. Benton Pl.; 773-234-3449) is now cooking in the burgeoning Lakeshore East neighborhood.
- Southport & Irving (4004 N. Southport Ave.; 773-857-2890), a wine-focused American bistro, opens its doors Friday at 8 p.m., immediately following a trial run with friends and family.
- Fiorenza Ristorante Autentico Italiano (7404 W. Madison St.; 708-366-1400) debuts its menu of Italian classics on Friday.
Dot Dot Dot . . .
Team Dish salutes Ria chef Danny Grant, named one of this year’s best new chefs by Food & Wine. . . . Brandon K. Wolff, who most recently was a sous chef at One Sixtyblue, is the new executive chef at The Signature Room at the 95th. . . . A toast to Pops for Champagne on its 30th birthday. . . . According to Time Out Chicago, City Provisions Deli (1818 W. Wilson Ave.; 773-293-2489) will launch Friday and Saturday dinner service (with a $50 prix fixe menu) on April 27. . . . Rudy Malnati confirmed the rumors that Pizano’s plans to take over the former Crust space at 2056 West Division Street. . . . The owners of Lake Forest’s South Gate Café announced that when the restaurant reopens in mid-May after renovations, it will be called Market House on the Square and Dominic Zumpano will run the kitchen. Zumpano says his menu will feature Buffalo chicken balls, a reinvented Waldorf salad, summer squash shepherd’s pie, and disco fries. . . . The Stew reports that Le Titi de Paris will end a nearly four-decade run in Arlington Heights in June.