What:Margaret Pak and Vinod Kalathil share the cuisine of his native Kerala at this sunny new Avondale restaurant, open for lunch and dinner.
Why:At the long-awaited brick-and-mortar eatery, which began in 2019 as a stall at Politan Row, you can order plates like spiced fried chicken bites and pan-fried fish with chilled yogurt rice, or grab an Indian-inspired beer or cocktail at the bar or lounge.
Where:2601 W. Fletcher St., Avondale Website
2 The Oakville Grill & Cellar
What:An airy wine-country-inspired eatery from Lettuce Entertain You and chef Max Robbins (Longman & Eagle)
Why:Expect twists on old-school faves, like a napa cabbage Caesar, plus lots of California bottles (natch).
Where:163 N. Green St., West Loop Website
3 Pizza Matta
What:A carryout and delivery joint from Giant and Chef’s Special
Why:Make takeout night fun with build-your-own pizzas, pepperoni salads, and Superman ice cream.
Where:3211 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square Website
4 The Pearl Club
What:Remember Emmit’s Irish Pub? This bar, which replaced it, is not that.
Why:You’ll find a much fancier ambience and classy cocktails, like a clarified ube colada.
Where:495 N. Milwaukee Ave., West Town Website
What:The steakhouse boom continues; this one, from DineAmic Hospitality, has an Italian-tinged menu and throwback vibes.
Why:Split truffle mushroom lasagna and a tomahawk steak with Gorgonzola fonduta while taking in the scene.
Where:318 N. Sangamon St., West Loop Website
6 The Bellevue
What:The new restaurant in the Tavern on Rush space is open for lunch, dinner, and prime Gold Coast people-watching on the sidewalk patio.
Why:Expect approachable classics, like French dips and shrimp de Jonghe, and a sleek new design.
Where:1031 N. Rush St., Gold Coast Website
What:The Korean American restaurant reopens after a fresh remodel.
Why:Take in the Korean art elements and order the funky Korean twist on salad Lyonnaise with doenjang, chicharrón croutons, and a soy-marinated egg.
Where:401 N. Milwaukee Ave., West Town Website
8 Bronzeville Winery
What:Lamar Moore takes over the kitchen at this wine-focused restaurant.
Why:Pop in for sliders with bacon jam and steak frites with patatas bravas.
Where:4420 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Bronzeville Website
9 Estereo FM
What:A second location of the breezy Logan Square bar
Why:By day, find Four Letter Word baristas slinging coffee and Cafe Tola empanadas; by night, sip easy-drinking cocktails.
Where:1001 W. Fulton Market, West Loop Website
10 Thomas & Dutch
What:A casual eatery in downtown Evanston from Farm Bar
Why:Nosh on Midwest dishes like fried walleye with celery salad, made with ingredients from the restaurant’s own farm.
Where:703 Church St., Evanston Website