How to Have a Romantic Date at a Fast-Food Joint
If there's one thing Chicagoans take seriously, it's pizza, and the early buzz -- and already significant wait times -- indicate that this lauded Roman import is going to settle in nicely among locals. The unique artisanal pies, which feature a thick-yet-airy crust, are cut by the slice with scissors (al taglio style), and come with toppings such as potato, mozzarella, rosemary, chicken, artichoke, olives, and black pepper.
Deemed Chicago's first and only caviar bar, this casually elegant homage to the decadent delicacy now operates in the former Bar Marta space. The concept is open all day, and serves breakfast comfort foods like khachapuri cheese bread, duck confit biscuits and gravy, and sweet corn & wood-grilled vegetable ramen, but not surprisingly, the caviar bar is the real star here. Indulge in varieties like Imperial Siberian, Baeri Royal, and classic white sturgeon, as well as oysters, smoked fish, and whitefish crudo.
With the arrival of this New York-based chain's first Chicagoland location, the city’s fast-casual burrito game just got a whole lot beefier. Enjoy yours filled with carne asada, carnitas, pollo asado, or vegetarian-style, or as a plato or salad. They have quesadillas and tacos, too, as well as Jarritos sodas and Mexican beer.
Executive chef/partner Jason Paskewitz breathes new life into the old Pearl Tavern space with a modern French brasserie focus, a revamped interior complete with a 40-foot marble-top bar, and a sweeping 120-seat riverwalk patio. Stop by for grab-and-go fare, like an avocado tartine or pain au chocolat, or sit and linger over three presentations of Hudson Valley foie gras (seared, grilled, and fried), dover sole meunière, and creative sips, like the tequila-based Koi Pond, crafted by GM and beverage director Steve Carrow.
While Riot Feast winds down, Chicago's latest themed pop-up, an ode to the Netflix hit Stranger Things, gears up for its limited-time run. The TV-inspired bar is the brainchild of the team behind Emporium Arcade Bar, will run through the fourth week of September, and features blinking Christmas lights, a maple-infused cocktail called "Eleven's Eggo's" (garnished with a waffle wedge, of course), a table bolted to the ceiling, and more.
As if Apogee wasn't reason enough to visit the Dana Hotel this summer, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group swoops in with its additional two concepts within the hotel: Portsmith, a fresh, modern seafood joint, and Leviathan, a moody, sea monster-themed bar inspired by French artist Gustave Dore. Get your fill of tuna tartare, crispy octopus, and turbot with Meyer lemon and summer truffles at Portsmith, and transition over to Leviathan for its namesake cocktail, a tantalizing concoction of Bruichladdich Botanist gin, El Dorado rum, North Shore aquavit, ginger syrup, lime, Angostura, shaved bonito flake, and mint. Or go for the dark-and-fruity Midguard, which is comprised of scotch, cabernet reduction, blackberry, walnut, and fig.
Unless you've been living under a rock (like the folks who waited until the day-of to procure eclipse glasses), you've probably caught wind of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago's $100 million revamp, which brought with it a marble-clad Italian and steak concept and an equally glam bar from Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group. Treat yourself to chef Gregory Elliott's curated selection of prime and dry-aged meats, ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms drizzled in an nduja vinaigrette, garganelli with lamb Bolognese, English peas, and fiore sardo, and wash it all down with a glass (or three) of wine.