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The Dining Room at Moody Tongue

Photos: Jeff Marini New American 2515 S. Wabash Ave. Bronzeville Website Chicago has been slow to hop on the haute beer-pairing trend. Until last November, there was really just Band of Bohemia, Ravenswood’s Michelin-starred “culinary brewhouse.” Then Moody Tongue Brewing Company debuted its minimalist dining room (a more casual bar is next door), where brewmaster … Read more

Wherewithall

Clockwise from right: 3 Sisters fried grits, oil-poached kampachi, rigatoni with corona beans Photo: Jeff Marini New American 3472 N. Elston Ave. Avondale Website Could chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark possibly create another restaurant as charming and resourceful as Parachute, their beloved Korean-American spot on Elston Avenue? The proof is just a few doors … Read more

Lao Peng You

Eric and Daniel Wat Photo: Jeff Marini Chinese 2020 W. Chicago Ave. Ukrainian Village Website Brothers Eric and Daniel Wat offer seven varieties of jiaozi, the pleated Chinese dumplings they learned to make from their grandmother. Some contain beef and cilantro, others pork and chive, still others zucchini, carrot, and egg. All are elevated by … Read more

Tzuco

Pulpo enamorado Photo: Jeff Marini Mexican 720 N. State St. Near North Side Website The opening of Carlos Gaytán’s triptych of Mexican establishments, all at the same address, threw down the gauntlet: The lauded chef, formerly of Mexique, was back. There’s Panango, a grab-and-go bakery; Tales of Carlos Gaytán, which sounds more like a Netflix … Read more

Galit

Tahini hummus Photos: Jeff Marini Israeli 2429 N. Lincoln Ave. Lincoln Park Website Zach Engel’s move from New Orleans, where he won a James Beard Rising Star Chef award while at Shaya, to Chicago, a city without a major Israeli restaurant, was momentous. Engel reconnected with his college friend, now his business partner, Andrés Clavero, … Read more

Gaijin

Photo: Jeff Marini Japanese 950 W. Lake St. West Loop Website The restaurant’s name, which means “foreigner” in Japanese, might read like a hedge against accusations of cultural appropriation. And yet chef Paul Virant’s faithful interpretation of okonomiyaki — the thick, crisp-edged savory pancakes that are as iconic to the city of Osaka as deep dish is … Read more

Claudia

Seasonal panna cotta Photo: Jeff Marini New American 540 W. Madison St. West Loop Website Chef Trevor Teich’s beloved pop-up BYO has moved from a rented space on the West Side to a rented conference room in a West Loop skyscraper, so it’s still kind of a pop-up. But what a pop-up it is. Teich offers … Read more

Mako

Photo: Jeff Marini Japanese 731 W. Lake St. West Loop Website Chicago’s omakase scene has exploded of late, thanks to newcomers like Kyoten’s Otto Phan and Kikko’s Mariya Russell (see No. 2), but the face behind Mako will be a familiar one to many. B.K. Park, the well-loved chef-owner of Juno, has peppered Mako’s menu … Read more

Jeong

Salmon tartare Photo: Jeff Marini Korean 1460 W. Chicago Ave. Noble Square Website When chef Dave Park opened Jeong in April 2019, it was an instant hit: polished, assured, delicious. But over the course of its first year, the restaurant has become even more exciting, unpredictable, nervier. Take the tteokbokki, a fine-dining twist on a … Read more

Tortello

Photos: Jeff Marini Italian 1746 W. Division St. Wicker Park Website If the flour-dusted pasta cook in the front window doesn’t lure you into Tortello, the counter-service restaurant’s breezy vibe should. This place has the feel of a storefront pastificio on a side street in Rome, complete with a powder-blue Vespa hanging from the ceiling. … Read more