Baby backs at Lillie's Q
Baby back ribs at Lillie’s Q


MASTRO’S STEAKHOUSE Never have so many packed in so tightly to throw back clever cocktails and colossal steaks. 520 N. Dearborn St.; 312-521-5100. Penny Pollack’s praise of Mastro’s in Dish »

GIRL & THE GOAT Girl & the Pig. Girl & the Lamb. Girl & the Chicken. If Stephanie Izard wants to expand, the possibilities are endless. 809 W. Randolph St.; 312-492-6262. Read our review »

DAVANTI ENOTECA It’s no coincidence that the most likable restaurant in Chicago right now also has the best wine bargains. 1359 W. Taylor St.; 312-226-5550. Read our review »

THE FLORENTINE New York–based BLT group snags local boy Todd Stein. In Chicago, BLT may as well stand for Book Lunch Today. JW Marriott Hotel, 151 W. Adams St.; 312-660-8866. Q & A with Stein »

CHICAGO CUT STEAKHOUSE File under: White guys in suits partying like it’s 1999. 300 N. LaSalle St.; 312-329-1800. Pollack’s first impression of Chicago Cut »

DEL SEOUL Korean barbecue as tacos; Korean barbecue as banh mi. We thought pizza was the world’s most versatile food. 2568 N. Clark St.; 773-248-4227Our preview of Del Seoul’s arrival in Dish »

LILLIE’S Q The constant crowds prove that good barbecue knows no season. 1856 W. North Ave.; 773-772-5500. More on Lillie’s Q, as well as two other best new barbecue joints »

THREE ACES Seems like only yesterday that Taylor Street meant iconic Italian—a gastropub later and it’s hipper than thou. 1321 W. Taylor St.; 312-243-1577

REAL URBAN BARBECUE Another veteran of the competitive circuit puts down roots (i.e., his smoker). 610 Central Ave., Highland Park; 224-770-4227

OWEN & ENGINE The magic is in the ampersand: fish & chips, bangers & mash, bubble & squeak. 2700 N. Western Ave.; 773-235-2930. Check out photos of Owen & Engine in our nightlife photoblog, Seen on the Scene »

RELATED: December’s Hot List »


Photograph: Anna Knott