Photo: courtesy carriage house

Straight out of a South Carolina recipe book and onto your plate, this cripsy fried chicken thigh is a delight—and don't forget the house hot sauce! 

Carriage House (1700 W Division St., Wicker Park, 773-384-9700). Southern.

(two stars)


Mark Steuer’s satisfying—and deafening—ode to the low-country cooking of his South Carolina childhood gets so much right, the noise is but a minor inconvenience in this modern-homey space. All you’re going to talk about anyway is the impeccable fried chicken thigh resting in a reservoir of honey, or maybe the brawny clam boil swimming with tasso ham, meaty clams, and Vidalia onions. Steuer deftly amps up everything from coleslaw (topped with tiny pork rinds) to cornbread (with rhubarb preserves). The operation, staffed by a well-trained and gracious crew, runs out of magic at dessert. Skip it and order another Carolina Cocktail.

Dishes We Liked: Skillet cornbread ($7); pork and beans ($13); picnic board ($16); Charleston she-crab soup ($6); low-country boil ($34); mushrooms, truffle, egg, grits ($13)

New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, as well as 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. Carriage House previously was not rated. The review appears in the August issue.