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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

42 Grams

  42 Grams 4662 N. Broadway New American $203.68 Chef-owner: Jake Bickelhaupt Dining Guide listing Website   Less kooky than Elizabeth and less affordable than EL Ideas—and more polished than both—42 Grams acquits itself well as Chicago’s latest upscale dinner party restaurant. You and seven others sit at a deep stainless steel countertop abutting the … 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