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Gogi

  Gogi 6240 N. California Ave. 773-274-6669 Korean $30 to $40 Chef: Chris Kim Website   Anyone who’s into Korean barbecue will likely remain loyal to his go- to place. But Gogi, the brainchild of a former rock promoter named Pete Cho and his mother, Stella, entered the debate with a friendly, modern approach that … Read more

Bests of the Bests

Tanta Best Meat Dish Rib eye a lo pobre Wet-aged beef in chorrillana sauce topped with a fried egg Kinmont Best Appetizer Salmon tartare A fine dice mixed with kicky condiments and ready to spread on housemade crisps Travelle Best Dessert Nutella baklava Delicate phyllo filled with Nutella ganache and chopped walnuts The Radler Best … Read more

Baffo

  Baffo 44 E. Grand Ave. 312-521-8701 Italian $60 to $70 Chef: Eli Anderson Dining Guide listing Website   If Eataly, with its clogged aisles of giddy tourists, is Disneyland for food fans, then Baffo, the 65-seat white-tableclothed pasteria downstairs, is the refined counterpart that Euro Disney was meant to be. You’re in for laid-back … Read more

A10

  A10 1462 E. 53rd St. 773-288-1010 Italian/French $30 to $40 Chef-owner: Matthias Merges Dining Guide listing Website   Matthias Merges (Yusho, Billy Sunday), Charlie Trotter’s right-hand man for 14 years, opened A10 on November 5, the same day his mentor died. In doing so, he simultaneously paid tribute to Trotter and stepped outside the … Read more

Stella Barra Pizzeria

  Stella Barra Pizzeria 1954 N. Halsted St. 773-634-4101 Pizza $20 to $30 Dining Guide listing Website   Jeff Mahin Jeff Mahin, the Lettuce Entertain You chef who practically perfected the doughnut at Do-Rite, works similar magic on crust at this sleek artisanal pizza parlor, a sibling of the two in Southern California. He and … Read more

Dusek's

  Dusek's 1227 W. 18th St. 312-526-3851 New American $35 to $45 Chef-partner: Jared Wentworth Dining Guide listing Website   Not long ago, a place like Dusek’s would have registered as little more than a blip on the radar. “Serious” diners wouldn’t have paid much mind to a casual, beer-focused neighborhood establishment that served things … Read more

Beatrix

  Beatrix Aloft, 519 N. Clark St. 312-284-1377 American $35 to $45 Chef-partners: John Chiakulas, Rita Dever, Susan Weaver Dining Guide listing Website   The current line on Lettuce Entertain You is that the restaurant group has recaptured the hip reputation it once enjoyed. Most attribute the renaissance to the offspring of its chairman, Rich … Read more

Nico Osteria

  Nico Osteria Thompson Hotel, 1015 N. Rush St. 312-994-7100 Italian $50 to $60 Chef: Erling Wu-Bower Dining Guide listing Website   For most restaurateurs, Nico would constitute a masterpiece, the shining culmination of a career. For One Off Hospitality, an extraordinary empire that’s ruled by Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, Terry Alexander, and four other … Read more

Tanta

  Tanta 118 W. Grand Ave. 312-222-9700 Peruvian $30 to $40 Chef: Jesus Delgado Dining Guide listing Website   Oh, Gastón Acurio. You’re a superstar with 32 restaurants in 12 countries, so this probably means little to you, but on behalf of Chicago, please accept our apology. How ready we were to skewer you like … Read more