Because every Chicagoan loves to eat, and that includes more than just hot dogs, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.
Hidden on the 18th floor of a Northwestern Memorial medical building is GreenRiver, a new Irish bar concept from Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer and the team behind New York's renowned Dead Rabbit. Interested in a drink? You've got choices. The cocktail menu, organized by raw ingredient instead of base spirit (see it here), was drawn up by Aviary alum Julia Momose, and features more than 30 forward-thinking concoctions. Order up a Governor of Illinois — a potent mix of Jamaican Rum, Irish whiskey, port wine, raspberry, lime and Orinico bitters — and adjourn to the terrace for primo skyline views.
From the Burlington crew, this snack counter/bar hybrid on a residential strip in Logan Square features draft cocktails and travel-worthy sandwiches in a laid-back neighborhood vibe. Menu's divided into Cold Deli, Hot Deli, Fried and Grilled Cheese. Our sammy pick: the Clam Belly, a fried clam po' boy with bacon and lemon aioli. You'll wanna wash it down with FernetCow, a boozy float made with their housemade Fernet ice cream.
Black Iron Tavern
Black Iron Tavern, the new spot from Chef Michael Taus, might be in the strange limbo of River West, but it's a tavern you'd find on any hoppin' corner in the city. On the menu: adventurous, shareable eats. Stick with the spicy Korean-style wings and you'll be just fine. And with a few TVs posted up in the main bar room and screens out on the back patio, this is an ideal spot to catch the games on Monday, Thursday or Sunday.
Southern seafood boils are having a Chicago moment, and Lowcountry wins best overall. Whether you'll agree really depends on your Wrigleyville tolerance level (i.e. there's nightly beer pong). Even still, Lowcountry is a relaxed enough space, and the food speaks volumes. If it's a pre-or-post-Cubs game meetup you're after, this is your spot. Seafood boils arrive in plastic bags. Bold, rich flavors — just be careful of the spice level. Take your pick from whole shrimp to king crab legs, then choose your rub. Downstairs: five private karaoke rooms you can rent by the hour.
This new elevated Mexican spot has a lot of moving parts: it's a bakery and cafe by day, full-on cantina taqueria at night. As for the inside, it's a gorgeous, sprawling space, which is great for big groups — communal tables throughout make the space cozier than it first seems. If you're there for dinner, start with the Aguachile De Camaron ceviche, which is made with shrimp, cured egg yolk and salsa macha. Then grab some tacos. Comes in two. These are elevated tacos, so expect some kohlrabi with your chicken and wheatgrass in your al pastor. It works. Burritos? They come on the late night menu.