You're almost always down to try new things. You are, after all, the mayor of Toronto. We've got eight for you today in Chicago, all of which're sadly more about eating, and less about things you saw people do on The Wire.
It doesn’t get more “diner” than City Dough, right down to the stools and awesome 'EAT' sign. Speaking of EAT...ing: pancakes stuffed with vanilla cream, a grilled chicken pesto on focaccia, pulled pork Sloppy Joes, and a bevy of scratch donuts, pastas, and breads.
The owner of Andersonville's Bar Ombra, Anteprima, and Acre ventures into Wicker Park with a car (hopefully, it's mad far from Andersonville), and an 80-seat, old-world Italian brunch and dinner spot. Help yourself to grilled boar sausage, marinated chicken bites covered in honey, sage, and rosemary, plus Chianti-braised short rib with Brussels sprouts.
Summer House Santa Monica
Get a taste of SoCal without all the traffic and (gross) big boobs at this whitewashed 200-seat beach house, which sports a 60-wine-strong list from Santa Barbara and Monterey, plus eatables like yuzu-soy-glazed ahi tuna, and a hot mess of fries topped with braised pork, fried egg, blue cheese, truffle jus, and chives.
Hunter & Tails
The owners of Bullhead Cantina are sticking to the neighborhood with Hunter & Tails, a gastropub boasting 20 draft beers (Two Brothers, Left Hand, Great Lakes), and another 40 in bottles and cans. The farm-driven menu, like Jean-Claude Van Damme, provides Bang mussels with Butcher & Larder sausage, line-caught fish with chowder, and a braised pork shoulder in a red wine reduction.
Unite Urban Grill
Chef Bradford Phillips (Pump Room) prepares an eclectic mix of grilled meats to... meet your carnivorous desires, including smoky chicken wings tossed in chipotle pepper & coffee-barbecue sauce, and a Painted Hills NY strip steak with Worcestershire glaze. Available at the wraparound bar are local craft beers and specialty drinks like the Noble Square, a seasonal vodka cocktail that fuses star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
Bites Asian Tapas
Choose your own small plate adventure at this Asian eatery, provided that adventure is brunch -- they've got pulled pork-topped cornbread waffles with BBQ sauce. And for dinner is spicy miso ramen and grilled ribeye tacos. And for drinking? A Sriracha- and wasabi-infused Bloody Mary.
Urban Belly moving into BellyQ
GET. IN. BILL KIM'S BELLY!... and order up some braised pork ramen in a newly consolidated Urban Belly/BellyQ storefront. A new addition since leaving the Avondale space is the beverage program, including a selection of Japanese beer, bombers, and Funaguchi Sake.
A collaboration between the folks at Trencherman, Barrelhouse Flat, and Pleasant House Bakery brings savory meat pies to Restaurant Row. Whether you're a one-man wolf pack or four wolves running around the desert together, stop by the neighborhood bar for Steak and Ale pie and Three Floyds on tap.
1. City Dough2955 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago
2. Azzurra EnoTavola1467 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
3. Summer House Santa Monica1954 N Halsted St, Chicago
4. Hunter & Tails2700 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
5. Unite Urban Grill1450 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
6. Bites Asian Tapas3313 N Clark St, Chicago
7. Urban Belly/BellyQ1400 W Randolph Street, Chicago
8. Lone Wolf806 W Randolph St, Chicago
City Dough is perfect for those days when you can't decide between breakfast or lunch. Try the steak breakfast tacos or their Gouda Burger on for size.
Check out this new Italian addition to the Wicker Park food lineup. They are serving up some great Italian comfort food.
From Lettuce Entertain You, Summer House Santa Monica brings Chicago a much-needed dose of SoCal flavor. The restaurant goes full force with its Angeleno theme, from the beach house-meets-garden party decor to the expansive list of California wines. Seafood and vegetable plates shine on the menu -- which also includes tacos, sushi, and burgers -- but the most notable dishes, like wild mushroom enchiladas and king crab orecchiette, are found under the speciality "Things We Love" section. Pro tip: top off your meal with a bacon chocolate chip cookie from the bakery counter at Summer House's sister restaurant, Stella Barra Pizzeria, which is right next door.
You know you're in the right place when the beer menu is even longer than the food menu. Hunter & Tails is a new establishment and they are serving up some great things, like grass-fed beef burgers and mussels.
Unite Urban Grill just opened its doors and is ready to welcome you in for warm meal. They are serving up some serious hanger steaks and other comfort foods.
Bites is serving up tapas from all across the globe. From Mexico to Japan to India to Vietnam, order as many little plates as you can to travel around the world via your taste buds.
Urban Belly/BellyQ uses a ton of fresh locally sourced ingredients and combines them into some great Asian BBQ dishes. You can have your meat as rare, or as over-cooked as you want because, well... you are the chef.