Everyone knows you should either go big or go home, but if you do go home you should tell people you totally went big. Now in our home, big-ly: Sawtooth.
Serving traditional Vietnamese flavors with decidedly modern flair, Sawtooth's an enormous, bright, 220-seat bi-level resto-lounge with orb-like bocci lights dangling over mod orange chairs, cream & chocolate booths, and a semi-private 10-person communal table made from suar wood; the operation's named for one of the owners favorite Southeast Asian herbs, which everyone there claims they're just holding for a friend (except for Claire Danes, but who can say no to an Australian rogue). The shared plates menu'll change frequently, with smaller options including peanut-sauced charbroiled pork rice paper rolls, crispy chicken wings in jalapeno-garlic sauce, and grilled prawns with cherry tomatoes and lemongrass, which everyone is also holding for a friend (cause it prevents scurvy, Claire). More substantial fare includes steaming bowls of pho upgraded with filet mignon; roasted quail stuffed with shrooms, lotus seed, and lime; and hot & sour calamari w/ bell peppers and fresh pineapples, who Dole out some serious 'tude.
Those thirsting for more will find a global wine list focused on organic and biodynamic offerings, plus eight craft taps, including Left Hand Sawtooth (no relation), Goose Island Sofia, and Metropolitan Krankshaft, which brings to mind something else everyone knows -- if you went home without having gone big, you'll be left to crank shaft.