1. Best New Restaurants

From an unassuming shopping mall in Westmont to a four-star jewel on a Fulton Market side street, the year’s best are in. Chicago magazine makes the picks.

2. Pattern of Misstated Facts Found in Opinions of Renowned U.S. Judge Easterbrook

The Seventh Circuit judge and U. of C. prof has been the subject of criticism, and problems turn up in 17 cases. Injustice Watch dives deep.

3. Chicago’s “Reverse Migration” Impacts the Black Community

Many have moved to towns like Joliet for lower crime and cost of living. But tensions are rising at their destinations. The Chicago Defender follows their path.

4. Chicago Has a Controversial Plan to Prepare Students for Life After High School

CPS wants high schoolers to have a plan for after they graduate—in order to graduate. But is it legal? Pacific Standard explores the idea.

5. Frontera Grill: It Was 30 Years Ago Today

Rick Bayless took over a PBS cooking show in Bowling Green, Ohio, aimed at the growing population of migrant workers there. And launched his career from there. Fooditor talks with Bayless, his wife Deann, and Frontera chef de cuisine Richard James.

6. Kids Poisoned by Lead in CHA Housing; Landlords Still Get Paid

$5.6 million in federal money, to be exact—almost $1 million despite existing code violations or lawsuits filed by the Department of Public Health. The Tribune investigates.

7. Osama Alomar Describes the Syrian Conflict One Very Short Story at a Time

He was a major Syrian writer, then a Chicago cabbie, working with his translator in his cab between fares. Now his star is rising in America. The Reader profiles the author of The Teeth of the Comb.

8. Safer, Faster, Smarter? The Road Ahead for Illinois’s High-Tech Highway

The Jane Addams is on the way to becoming a rare “smart” highway. But does a smarter highway just mean more traffic? WBEZ looks to its future.

9. United Airlines Is Not Alone

Is the airline’s behavior just another facet of the divide between the very wealthy and everyone else? Helaine Olen makes the case in the New York Times.

10. Another Way Illinois Shoots Itself in the Foot When Defunding Colleges

While other states are looking toward higher education for economic development, we’re starving our schools—and their communities. Chicago magazine runs the numbers.