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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

Brindille

  Brindille 534 N. Clark St. 312-595-1616 French $70 to $80 Chef-partner: Carrie Nahabedian Dining Guide listing Website   While this boîte didn’t wow us when it opened last April, Carrie Nahabedian (Naha) stayed the course, and Brindille has matured into a destination for French cuisine in style and comfort. From soothing decor to tables … Read more

Cicchetti

  Cicchetti 671 N. St. Clair St. 312-642-1800 Italian $40 to $50 Executive chef: Michael Sheerin Dining Guide listing Website   This sharp venetian-inspired osteria from Dan Rosenthal (Trattoria No. 10) suffered the unfortunate luck of opening at the same time as Nico Osteria, a higher-profile restaurant similar in concept and vibe. But with Michael … Read more

Kinmont

  Kinmont 419 W. Superior St. 312-915-0011 Seafood $55 to $65 Chef: Duncan Biddulph Dining Guide listing Website   Stifled yawns greeted the first news of an entirely sustainable seafood restaurant opening in River North. Even knowing the brain trust from Element Collective (Chris Dexter, Chris Freeman, Jared Van Camp, and John Warken) was behind … Read more

Mott St.

  Mott St. 1401 N. Ashland Ave. 773-687-9977 Contemporary $30 to $40 Chef-partner: Edward Kim Dining Guide listing   Edward Kim’s adventurous ode to a night market somewhere between Bangkok and Seoul—and follow-up to Ruxbin, his beloved BYO down the street—wins the award for this year’s most idiosyncratic opening. Crab brain fried rice? Kimchi empanadas … Read more

The Winchester

  The Winchester 1001 N. Winchester Ave. 773-698-8703 American $25 to $35 Chef: Greg Bastien Dining Guide listing Website   Former Sepia general manager Chris Pappas and the Dawson designer Dan Sheehy teamed up to create possibly the best neighborhood spot in the city: perky room, sweet staff, ridiculously inexpensive, open all day. And Greg … Read more

Travelle

  Travelle The Langham, 330 N. Wabash Ave. 312-923-7705 Mediterranean $50 to $60 Chef: Tim Graham Dining Guide listing Website   And so, hotel dining. Not the trending newbies accessible through a street-level revolving door, but bona fide Hotel Restaurants that require an elevator to whisk you upstairs, where a gracious host awaits. Such is … Read more