W W hen I visited chef Jason Vincent's Giant in Chicago this past October, someone fucked up the fish.
Now I'm pretty sure Chef Vincent was just falling on the sword for a cook on his staff, but, one of the first things he mentioned to me as he came around greeting tables, was that there was a fish-related issue he was attempting to resolve. "Give me about 30 minutes," he said, "I'm turning it into something else." 
That he did. His on-the-fly remix was a fish chowder, one of the best fish chowders I've ever tasted in my life (and, being from New England, I take that sort of thing seriously). It takes a certain amount of humility as a chef to admit to messing up. But it takes a truckload of skill as a chef to turn that mistake into an unforgettable dish, prepared in the heat of the moment, as a way to salvage it. That combination of skill, creativity, and bald honesty is a big part of why we've selected Jason Vincent as our chef of the year. Oh, and also this: He might just have opened the best restaurant in the country (an easy pick for our Best New Restaurants 2016). 
Galdones Photography
The food is described as "simple, unpretentious Midwestern fare," which speaks to Vincent's tendency to grossly undersell himself.
Courtesy of Giant
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1. Giant 3209 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Chef Jason Vincent, a former Food & Wine Best New Chef, is behind Giant, a tiny 40-seat restaurant in Logan Square. The upscale Midwestern-inspired menu is unpretentious and hearty in nature (opening menu dishes included pecan-smoked baby back ribs, garlic buttermilk potatoes, and biscuits with jalapeno butter) but nonetheless exciting and unexpected. The bite-size fried uni shooters are a standout, made of a crispy, golden exterior and rich, silky interior. The space itself is reflective of the food: quirkily designed but comforting.



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