The Loop's new riverside tavern
No matter what you do in life, it's important to respect your roots, especially if you don't want everyone to call you a racist. A new dining spot giving a nod to the past: Hoyt's Chicago. Named in honor of a Chi grocery operator/hotelier who owned warehouses (which he rebuilt after the Fire) along the same stretch of river, Hoyt's Chicago is a modern 80-seat tavern on the ground floor of Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront, with a central 360 degree bar flanked by textured stone walls and exposed steel, which, in a rare turn of events for a politician, wasn't why he lost his chair. Things kick off with Goose Island mussels (garlic chips, house dried tomatoes, & fennel), a bourbon-roasted butternut squash soup w/ crispy potatoes and mushrooms, and Tabasco-kicked deep fried deviled eggs, though leave them alone with your dinner companions and you may return to find them poached. Heartier mains, meanwhile, include an onion ring-topped burger that also comes w/ aged Wisc cheddar, housemade pickles, and bacon, plus a side of Manchego truffle fries; Nantucket sea scallops w/ butternut squash puree and cauliflower foam; and a potato & fennel salad-kicked seared salmon loin, a condition caused by constant, frantic spawning. For drinks they're relying heavily on American craft brews, and later this spring they'll unveil a 60-seat patio with a river view, providing a welcome distraction if your date's being a real Kunta...oh god, was that disrespectful?