Making it onto Chicago’s list of best new restaurants is hard enough. Graduating to the all-star roster—the monthly recommended dining listings—is even harder. Here’s how the numbers break down from 2005 through 2014.
How many of this year’s best new restaurants have you been to?
Named for a Japanese folk hero who came to Earth in a giant peach, Momotaro represents a major step for the Boka Restaurant Group (a.k.a. Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz). It’s larger than Girl & the Goat, louder than GT Fish & Oyster, and pricier than Balena—and more modern than any of them. The hot … Read more
Not much of it makes sense on paper. Pineapple and a hen egg on a mung bean pancake? Coffee-cured cobia with grapefruit purée and heirloom radishes? Dolsot bibimbap with barbecued tripe and Brussels sprouts, for the love of all that’s holy? This is what we used to call “fusion,” and if that word has deteriorated … Read more
When a chef leaves a restaurant in its first year, eyebrows usually shoot up. Whispers echo. Biases harden. But when Joey Schwab replaced departing executive chef Nick Lacasse in February, the event barely qualified as a hiccup. Nothing has dimmed the bright flavors emerging from this little slice of the Mediterranean or the enthusiasm of … Read more
Salero West Loop 621 W. Randolph St. 312-466-1000 Website Spanish $50 to $60 Executive chef–partner: Ashlee Aubin Most people think of Basque cuisine as a freeform party, every fork vying for the same plate of serrano and Manchego, sweating glasses of sangría constantly being refilled, cost be damned. Owner Franco Gianni (Tank Sushi, Wood) … Read more
Intro Lincoln Park 2300 N. Lincoln Park West 773-868-0002 Website American $65 to $95 Current chef: CJ Jacobson If dinner can be compared to theater, think of Intro as a can’t-miss limited engagement. Rich Melman took the space that formerly housed L2O, the restaurateur’s seafood jewel, and turned it into a showcase for young … Read more
RPM Steak River North 66 W. Kinzie St. 312-284-4990 Website Steak house $60 to $65 Chef: Doug Psaltis “You’re here to spend money and enjoy yourself,” our waitress told us shortly after we sat down. Crass? Perhaps. True? Definitely. Lettuce Entertain You’s glam steak house, like the best of the genre, revels in conspicuous … Read more
Community Tavern Portage Park 4038 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-283-6080 Website American $35 to $45 Executive chef-partner: Joey Beato Between entrepreneur Quay Tao’s restaurant savvy (Portage) and Joey Beato’s kitchen smarts, this neighborhood boutique steak house scores as a blast from the past with a modern edge. With birdcage chandeliers over its cozy 35-seat bar, … Read more
Boltwood 804 Davis St., Evanston 847-859-2880 Website Dining Guide listing American $30 to $35 Chef-owner: Brian Huston You may eat at this seasonal restaurant in downtown Evanston and immediately forget everything about the room. It’s minimal and communal and, apart from the noise, pretty unremarkable. But you won’t soon forget Brian Huston’s food—as satisfying … Read more