It's been a busy month of chasing around hybrid pastries -- but that doesn't mean we've taken our eye off of the other tastiness popping up around Chicago. In our ongoing effort to keep you fed (and quenched), here are eight new eateries around town worthy of your belly's attention.
Coming on the heels of Gallery Bar in River North, the part-bar, part-art gallery FAME aims to keep your eyeballs occupied with pop art and graffiti murals, as well as your tastebuds with small plates of tuna tartare nachos (served on plantain chips) and bao-bunned BLT’s. Wash it all down with a bacon-fat infused Manhattan or Bloody Mary, because combining pork with booze is truly an art form.
Tucked into The James Hotel, adjacent to Burke’s Bacon Bar, Jimmy is a retro cocktail bar with a Soho sibling in NYC. Walnut paneling and beaded curtains convey a '70s atmosphere where you can dip into cocktails like the Dirty Little Secret (vodka, vermouth, Burke’s steak sauce) or the Black Sabbath (bourbon, rosemary syrup, black berries) -- all to be enjoyed with bites like Beef Wellington.
The Revel Room
Matt Eisler & Kevin Heisner (Trenchermen) and the Five Star Bar folks have turned the former Empire Liquors space into The Revel Room, a shabby Parisian pub with vinyl booths, Victorian oil paintings, and a back room library (don’t worry, no one will be reading in this bar, the books are wooden). The Bangers & Lace ciccerone has curated an extensive canned beer selection (Oskar Blues, Ballast Point, Half Acre), while cocktails come courtesy of a Bar DeVille vet.
If you’re searching for a refined restaurant that doesn't require an ascot or monocle, here’s your spot. Help yourself to deviled eggs with bacon and truffles, a short rib burger on homemade brioche courtesy of Chef Lawrence Letrero (Untitled, Tribute), or a chocolate cassava cake from Pastry Chef and Four Seasons alumna Hetty Arts.
From the owners of South Loop Market, expect brick-oven flatbreads and a spread of hot and cold tapas (fried quail, bacon wrapped dates, rosemary baba ghanoush) to be enjoyed patio-side with a lineup of sparkling wine and craft brews. Male capri pants are optional.
Standard Market Grill
Migrating from Westmont for their second restaurant, Standard Market is serving up American standards like
Ted Nugent the steakhouse burger, which is made with a blend of chuck, brisket, and sirloin on a pretzel bun, with onion rings on the side. Pair it with any of 16 local beers on tap, a Stumptown coffee, or hand-dipped milkshake.
Asian street food abounds at this eatery from the owners of Nori Sushi, ranging from basics like ramen and robata grilled rib eye, to more adventurous choices like spicy basil frogs legs and fried caterpillars, the sum total of which will leave you with One Big Belly.
Looking to cover every inch of the Mediterranean Sea inside The Langham Hotel, Travelle’s dinner menu has select seafood like brown butter scallops and smoked salmon or, for those who prefer turf, Harissa-spiced beef tartare on bone marrow toast.
1. Fame Bar2015 W Division St, Chicago
2. Four Belly3227 N Clark St, Chicago
3. Jimmy610 North Rush St, Chicago
4. The Revel Room1566 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
5. The Refinery1209 N Wells St, Chicago
6. Kurah1355 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
7. Standard Market Grill444 West Fullerton Parkway, Chicago
8. Travelle330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago
Fame is part art gallery/ part bar. They're keen on mixology and for refreshing and delicious eats.
Four Belly is an Asian street food-inspired grub hub in Lakeview.
This unpretentious place boasts fancy cocktails, beautiful decor to make you feel more mature than you are, and an impressive bar menu.
RR is the Wicker Park bar that you'll find yourself at every... single... Friday for brews, cocktails, and a fist-pumping crowd.
The Refinery is a great, friendly grub spot with American fare and an endless list of libations.
Kurah is a great Mediterranean joint with tapas options, a brick oven for ultimate freshness, and specialty cocktails.
SMG (now in two locations) is a great American food haven, and it doesn't hurt that they're serving up over a dozen beers on tap.
This super-elegant spot inside The Langham has one of the absolute best views right in the heart of Chicago -- courtesy of those floor-to-ceiling windows -- and has enough curated cocktails (our favorites are the Trinidad James, London Dove, and Beet It) and fried pinwheel pasta, the seriously addicting bar, to make enjoying the skyline for hours totally doable. Oh, and there's also a live harpist, a killer Mediterranean menu, and chicken wings that are on fire (literally!).