Flaming Blowtorches And Savory Donuts At The Gastro Garage Pop-up
Michelin-starred Turducken, anyone? Chef Ryan McCaskey busts out all the stops for his gourmet Thanksgiving feast. In addition to the bird-in-a-bird-in-a-bird, there will be French onion soup and green bean casserole. A children’s menu and wine pairings are also available.
When it comes to preparing a quality bird, few do it better than chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones. For Thanksgiving, he breaks out the big gun known as a deep-fried turkey surrounded by mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. The four-course, family-style meal finishes with squash pie and elderflower water truffles.
Call this the bargain-hunter’s Thanksgiving. Get treated to a smoked turkey platter featuring a hickory-smoked turkey breast, cornbread, and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberries for the low, low price of $17. That leaves plenty of pocket change for a Lone Star or KY High Holiday (bourbon, honey, lemon, and Redd's Apple Ale).
Sure, your mom can prepare Thanksgiving dinner for you, or you can let chef Pete Coenen do it and the corn bread stuffing definitely won’t be soggy. His family-style is stacked with mushroom porridge or spinach and chicory salad, roasted turkey, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, and pumpkin cheesecake. Wine and beer pairings are available, but they’re going to cost you.
This Frenchie bistro is going all-American for Thanksgiving with a family-style feast featuring chef Matt Ayala’s take on green bean casserole, cheesy potato gratin, baked Brussels sprouts, roasted turkey, and pumpkin pie.
Price: A la carte
Manga! Wait, wrong toast. Oh well, who says you can’t eat pasta on Thanksgiving? Have a very Italian-American holiday with butternut squash soup with pancetta and cinnamon cream, roasted heirloom carrot salad with whipped goat cheese, risotto with braised pork belly, and rosemary roasted turkey breast with focaccia stuffing.
Belly up to the “longest Thanksgiving buffet with a view,” a view that's not your uncle Morty's hideous sweater, but instead, it's of lobster mezzalune. For those who want to travel the more authentic route, the buffet will also feature a turkey carving station roasted butternut squash soup, sweet potato puree, bourbon glazed carrots, and pumpkin. PS: The game will be on in the lounge.
Back by popular demand, it’s a very Longman Thanksgiving. The Logan Square favorite carries on its annual tradition by carving roasted heritage turkey and serving it alongside green bean casserole, bourbon and orange cranberry sauce, as well as chestnut foie gras stuffing. The recommend pairing with the bourbon sauce is more bourbon.
Price: A la carte
Your Thanksgiving wish is about to come true. Thanksgiving pizza: It’s happening and will be covered in smoked turkey, cranberry, white sauce, mozzarella, and provolone for $10. Feel free to pair that masterful creation with $4 Strongbow, $4 Heineken, or $4 Jameson Black while watching the Steelers play the Colts.
Price: A la carte
This Thanksgiving, it’s time to get classy. Ain’t no grandma’s canned cranberry here, just turkey roulade ($45) with green bean casserole and sweet potato gratin upstairs in the dining room or turkey breast with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and Brussel sprouts ($35) downstairs at Eight Bar.
Don’t be confused by the smell of saffron and excess of sangria, this is indeed Thanksgiving dinner. It consisted of for courses that fuse Turkey Day classics with Spanish flavor, including turkey a la planxa, glazed with cranberry, and served with sherry pan gravy and Beauregard sweet potatoes as well as charred Brussels sprouts with Iberico bacon, hazelnuts, a white anchovy aioli and lemon zest vinaigrette.
There will be no steak at this steakhouse -- well, unless you really want it -- instead the River North hot spot is offering up a four-course Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixin’s -- dried fruit stuffing, whipped potatoes, and green bean casserole. It starts with pumpkin bisque and aged Parmesan risotto and ends with roasted and fried Slagel Family Farm turkey as well as pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream.
Hey, Chef Patrick Russ, can we start with dessert? It’s not that roasted squash bisque, roast turkey, braised short rib, and wild mushroom pasta doesn’t sound delicious, but that pumpkin-sweet potato pie is calling us.
Signature, that tourist-laden spot on the top of the John Hancock Building, is not usually on the top of the list when it comes to go-to dining destinations, but it makes a strong case with its Thanksgiving buffet. The spread features a prime rib carving station, Plainville Farm roasted turkey with caramelized onion cranberry stuffing and herb-glazed carrots, seared Australian lamb chops with pappardelle and Bolognese, as well as pan-seared scallops with butternut squash purée.
1. Acadia1639 S Wabash, Chicago
2. Big Jones5347 N Clark St, Chicago
3. Bub City435 N Clark St, Chicago
4. Cherry Circle Room12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
5. Cochon Volant100 W Monroe St, Chicago
6. The Florentine208 S LaSalle St, Chicago
7. I|O Urban Roofscape127 W Huron St, Chicago
8. Lottie's Pub1925 W Cortland St, Chicago
9. Maple & Ash8 W Maple Street, Chicago
10. Mercat a la Planxa638 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
11. RPM Steak66 W Kinzie St, Chicago
12. Seven Lions130 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago
13. The Signature Room at the 95th875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago
14. Longman & Eagle2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
Tucked away in a nondescript South Loop building, this Michelin-starred restaurant showcases chef Ryan McCaskey's contemporary take on classic American fare. Inspired by Maine, Acadia is unique for pulling off a sophisticated multi-course tasting menu (available in five or ten courses) and an à la carte bar menu that sports an aggressively indulgent burger. Whether you're there for the complete prix-fixe experience or for a cocktail and oysters at the bar, Acadia is definitely a special occasion spot.
If you’re looking for real Southern comfort in Chicago, then Big Jones in Andersonville is for you. The menu is filled with authentic Lowcountry dishes adapted from antique cookbooks, like cornbread muffins taken from an 18th-century plantation recipe and traditional Cajun gumbo. The sustainable menu changes seasonally, but no matter what, expect the signature fried chicken every night. Big Jones’ weekend brunch is also a stunner, especially if you nab a table on the back patio.
Nashville comes to River North through the doors at Lettuce Entertain You’s Bub City, whose award-winning barbecue, 100-plus whiskey labels, and live music can make you forget about that deep Chicago chill. The all-American bar brings the heat from down South with dishes like barbecued brisket (get the burnt ends), fried chicken sandwiches (the Original 8 Buck Cluck is best served with a side of those aforementioned burnt ends), spoonbread, and baby back mac & cheese. To drink, you can sip on anything from a can of Bud to a pour of Pappy Van Winkle himself. Enjoy live country music multiple nights a week, and be prepared for a rowdy dance party.
Only accessible though the Chicago Athletic Association's game room, this sophisticated restaurant boasts a full-restored wooden bar, leather seating, and reimagined classic cocktails. It serves up some of Chicago's best brunch dishes, like the roasted crab cake, smoked nova salmon, or corned beef & duck hash, but lunch and dinner menus, also inspired by historical recipes, are equally worth your attention.
Located inside the Hyatt Centric Hotel, Cochon Volant is a brasserie, bar, and bakery. Its Loop locale and sophisticated bistro feel keep it bustling from lunch through happy hour and dinner service, with a market for cheese, wine, and baked goods for those that are too busy to dine in. The menu is rooted in France, with hors d’oeuvres like foie chicken liver mousse, croque madame, and escargot; raw and cooked seafood like shellfish towers and moules frites; and a section dedicated entirely to steak frites. The wine list, while also rooted in France, travels across old and new world regions.
The Loop’s JW Marriott is home to contemporary Italian concept The Florentine, a restaurant dedicated to feeding the city’s bustling financial district seven days a week. The elegant restaurant is located atop a dramatic staircase ascending from the hotel lobby, and is best for power lunches, business dinners, or post-work drop-ins. Its Loop locale gives it an edge during the busy lunch hour, where the spacious dining room fills up fast with professionals enjoying paninis (with a side of fries) and half portions of pasta (so you’re less inclined to take a midday nap). And for that post-work (or midday, if that’s your thing) drink, the large, sleek bar and extensive beverage list is there to suit your needs.
River North is home to some of the city's most upscale dining and nightlife. The I|O Urban Roofscape on top of the Godfrey Hotel is one such example, with a high-end restaurant and sleek indoor-outdoor lounge, complete with retractable roof. The menu features a mix of modern American snacks and composed dishes, like broiled shishito peppers, smoked avocado dip, lamb lollipops, and a build-your-own-burger option. The cocktail menu is culinarily inclined, and in keeping with the high-end motif, you can (and probably should) treat yourself to The Godfrey Cocktail -- featuring Louis XIII -- for a cool $200.
Born in 1934 as a destination for Chicago’s mobsters to gamble and indulge in prostitution, the modern-day Lottie’s promises its guests beer, bar snacks, and a little slice of history. The pub has, obviously, undergone renovations, but its exposed brick walls, wood paneling, and various memorabilia help maintain its old-time, neighborhood atmosphere. Now offering a full menu of bar food favorites -- chicken tenders, nachos, burgers, pizza, and the like -- and a large selection of cheap beer, the two-story dive draws a mixed demographic to its corner in Bucktown.
Glitz and glamour come in equal measure at this Gold Coast steakhouse, where heavy fabric is draped from the wooden ceiling and candles rest atop dark tablecloths. The menu here centers around items grilled on a wood-burning hearth, such as a 40oz porterhouse and a 28-day dry-aged strip. Not sure which cut to choose? Tell the waitstaff, "I don't give a f*@ck" -- an actual menu item that results in the chef's choice. And when you're finished, be sure to have Pastry Chef Aya Fukai present you with table-side sundae service.
The South Loop’s Mercat a la Planxa brings the Mediterranean to Michigan Ave from its post at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel. The menu is replete with Catalan-inspired tapas and cocktails from famed Spanish Chef Jose Garces. Start with a variety of cured meats (read: Jamón ibérico) and a pitcher of sangria before moving on to tapas like boquerones and pulpo con patatas. Finish with classic large-format items like paella and cochinillo asado (the latter of which must be ordered 72-hours in advance -- it is a whole suckling pig, after all).
Located in River North, this sophisticated steakhouse collaboration between the Melmans, Rancics, and Chef Doug Psaltis effortlessly bridges the gap between old and new school. The black truffle burger topped with rich foie gras butter is one of the most luxurious power lunch options in town, while the expertly crafted cocktails, vegetable sides, steaks, and table-side baked Alaska share the spotlight at dinner.
Elegant yet approachable, this new American clubhouse concept from Master Sommelier Alpana Singh (The Boarding House) is exactly what its Michigan Ave space called for. Chef Chris Curren’s menu is equal parts accessible and inspired, with starters ranging from fried chicken skins and pickles paired with sriracha mustard to Brussels sprout and burrata toast. Entrées run the gamut from comforting short ribs to perfectly flaky black cod with acorn squash, ricotta gnocchi, and Maitake mushrooms. And don't worry, there's alcohol, starting with Singh’s curated list of all-American wines.
This fancy schmancy bar and restaurant on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center boasts panoramic city views through massive floor-to-ceiling windows. The Signature Room is probably Chicago's most jaw-dropping location for drinks, but beware: the prices are steep. It doesn't really matter what you order -- be it a martini and high-end tater tots or champagne and a seafood tower because after all, you're there for the ambience.
Longman & Eagle, the Michelin-starred gastropub in Logan Square, has an exclusive whiskey selection (clocking in at over 400 labels), a craft cocktail menu, and an extensive beer list all fit for the most pretentious of drinkers, in the least pretentious of atmospheres. Longman takes a flavor-forward, honest approach to eating and drinking, and because it doesn’t accept reservations, there is always a wait for brunch, happy hour, and dinner alike. (And it is always worth it.) While whiskey may be king, the regional American fare has just as much to offer, hence the Michelin star. The menu changes often, but expect anything from beef tallow beignets and veal brains to wild boar sloppy joes, chicken and waffles, and a burger that, if you know what's good for you, you will order.