Every month in Chicago brings a spate of exciting new restaurants to town, leaving diners with a sense of feeling left out; what if you made reservations at a normal well established restaurant but never get to experience the hype and excitement of a new restaurant simply because you didn’t know about it. Worry not; below is a list of 5 of Chicago's newest and best restaurants that the city just can't get enough of.
The owners and chefs at Gadabout aim higher than just providing people with a good meal; they aim to build a community that thrives on diversity, respect, and eco-friendly practices; you can purchase a metal straw at the restaurant that you can bring back in on every future visit to get a $1 discount.
Believing that, in their own words, "street food is the culinary embodiment of a city's culture", the chefs have created a global menu designed to give diners a taste of adventure without ever leaving Chicago. And Chicago's own street food culture has a place on the menu; the pan-roasted monkfish is served with a panzanella that includes sport peppers, celery salt, grain mustard vinaigrette, and poppyseeds. Other highlights include pork belly served with kimchi stew, silken tofu, and littleneck clams; a beef heart skewer with a doenjang-lingonberry glaze; and buffalo skate wings, served with giardiniera, pears, walnuts, and house-made buffalo stew. The dessert menu is home to several dishes that strike a balance between sweet and savory, best highlighted by the elote tart: corn custard on an almond masa base, topped with dehydrated corn, chili and black lime meringue, and micro cilantro.
Gadabout is open 7 days a week and accepts reservations.
Good Fortune serves Mediterranean-inspired New American fare in a classy, mid-century inspired dining room. The menu is based on local produce transformed into simple yet elegant meals in a wood-fired oven.
For those who want a taste of the local produce Good Fortune sources, there are a variety of vegetable-based appetizers, including marinated beets served with fennel and pine nuts and a spicy take on roasted romanesco served with salsa rosso and ricotta salata. As for main courses, diners rave about the crispy half chicken that's complemented by cabbage, roasted carrots, and an apple dumpling. For carb lovers, Good Fortune's house-made pastas are an excellent choice, particularly the saffron bucatini topped with seafood bolognese.
The cocktail menu focuses on classics with a twist; currently, they're serving up autumn-inspired drinks like a gin and tonic with sage citrus tonic and a splash of cranberry and Collins, a twist on apple cider and honey and lemon tea concoction your grandmother swears can cure anything.
Good Fortune is open every day except Tuesday and accepts reservations.
Fans of Korean barbecue will find themselves more than satisfied by Perilla's upscale take on the classic DIY dinner experience. The brainchild of chef Andrew Lim and GM Tom Oh, Perilla aims to unite both halves of its founders' Korean-American heritage in its cuisine while helping to revitalize the community. On the menu are classic cuts of meat-- pork belly, short ribs, and ribeye-- and Korean classics like bibimbap. And though classics like scallion pancakes and glass noodles are on the menu, so are new, fresh twists on classic side items, like wagyu steak tartare served with Korean pear and pine nuts or or blistered shishito peppers crowned with crushed hazelnuts and crispy anchovies.
On the cocktail menu are a variety of soju-based drinks; the Perilla Old Fashioned, made with persimmon liqueur, is a standout. For those who'd prefer something a little warmer, a menu of rare teas is available as well.
Perilla is open 7 days a week and accepts reservations; for those who'd rather get their Korean BBQ fix from the comfort of home, delivery is also available via Caviar.
Carlos Gaytán, the first Latin-American chef to earn a Michelin star, brought more than just a taste of home to Tzuco, his follow-up to Mexique; the menu aims to tell the story of his life by preparing the best of Mexican cuisine with French haute cuisine techniques. The restaurant is a love letter to his home country, right down to its name-- it's short for Huitzuco, Gaytán's hometown.
The menu features a variety of uniquely Mexican dishes with a twist; Gaytán was inspired by a long sojourn across his home country after the closing of Mexique. One dish that will be familiar to fans of this former enterprise is the steak tartare, which, in a delightful twist, is served on a bed of guacamole. For guac fans who want their avocado served with an even more surprising protein, the guacamole is topped with grasshoppers and aged cheese from Huitzuco. A variety of seafood-based dishes are available as well; highlights include the ceviche verde, served with cactus sorbet, and the oven-roasted pulpo enamorado.
A more recent addition to Tzuco's repertoire is a weekend brunch menu; Gaytán's knack for serving classics with a twist is on display here just as it is at dinner, with dishes like duck waffles and pan de muerto French toast on offer.
Tzuco takes reservations and is open every evening; brunch is served Friday-Sunday starting at 10.
Aiming to guide diners to the "intersection of eating well, doing well, and being well", Centre Street Kitchen has caught Chicago's attention for its dedication to making the world a better place. This starts immediately after being seated, when members of the staff encourage visitors to share what they appreciate about their dinner companions. On the walls are hundreds of names and diagnoses, all representing people who have battled cancer. A donation of $100 ensures that your loved one's name will join the list; Centre Street Kitchen's goal is 70,000 names and $7 million donated to the Never Had a Bad Day foundation, which serves pediatric cancer patients and their families.
The new-school menu avoids heavy flavors from butter and cream in favor of a focus on seasonal vegetables alongside hearty mains like wild striped bass and smoked Amish chicken for two. For those with a smaller appetite, there are a variety of small plates and sandwiches on the menu, like roasted cauliflower with guajillo glaze and a burger made with a Beyond Meat patty.
Centre Street Kitchen is open 7 days a week; brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 9-4.
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