The 9 Best New Tasting Menus at Chicago Restaurant Week
Eat your heart out
Hey Chicago, let’s kick off the year doing what we do best:
Breaking resolutions and eating everything.
Because the reservation lines for Chicago Restaurant Week are officially open.
Starting January 26th, you’ll be maw-deep in two straight weeks of deliciously discounted fare from some 370-plus restaurants all over the city. And you know the score: Special prix-fixe menus start at $22 for brunch or lunch, and $33 and/or $44 for dinner.
If those numbers have you spinning, fret not: we’ve winnowed it down to the nine debutants not to be missed. We suggest you peruse these menus now and make your reservations posthaste.
This Lincoln Park pizza joint just missed our list of favorite openings of 2017, but if we can say anything, it’s chef Jeff Lutzow serves up the platonic ideal of a Neapolitan pie: delightfully crisp and chewy from end to end. Your best bet is dinner, where you’ll get a full 14” pizza (get the Jalapeño Popper pie, trust) with a salad and a cannoli. 1521 N. Fremont St.
Veggie-forward hotspot Bad Hunter will not be offering any pre-fixe dinner menus, but they’re making up for it with dynamite options for lunch and brunch. Foolproof move: the Bad Hunter Burger, the veggie burger that can turn any meat-lover into a convert. Also: don’t miss the tempura-fried lemons, available on the lunch menu. 802 W. Randolph St.
With its swanky Hollywood glam vibes, BLVD is the perfect way to turn your Restaurant Week experience into a date night. The menu is comprised of several shared courses, giving you and yours a reason to sit back and enjoy every bite together. Highlights include the satisfying brandade croquettes and the striped bass served with dukkah, fermented cabbage and eggplant caviar. 817 W. Lake St.
If you haven’t checked out the new Ace Hotel, here’s a good excuse. The team at City Mouse is offering lunch and dinner menus, but only the dinner menu includes the chicken liver ‘nduja. You want that. You also want the eggplant lasagna. Bonus: after the meal, head upstairs to the Waydown for a nightcap. 311 N. Morgan St.
El Che Bar
Nothing better than a hearth-kissed meal in the humdrum days of winter. That’s what’s on deck with El Che’s pre-fixe dinner menu, which we suggest you do like so: start with the french onion empanada then sample the gulf shrimp before moving on to the grilled “bricklayer” ribeye steak. All meals are finished off with a dulche de leche tres leches cake. 845 W. Washington Blvd.
Perhaps the newest entrant to Chicago Restaurant Week we’re most excited about, HaiSous — one of our favorite openings of 2017 — is offering brunch and two dinner option tiers, and you’d do well to try either. While you’ll settle into a delicious bowl of pho for brunch, the dinner options will give you a better scope of chef Thai Dang’s authentic Vietnamese cooking. 1800 S. Carpenter St.
Another of our favorite openings of 2017, Marisol certainly looks the part of the in-house eatery at the MCA. The restaurant, which comes by way of the folks at Lula Cafe, is offering a lunch menu that includes toothsome bites like the burrata toast served with candied squash and charred ginger and porchetta sandwich. All in, it’s the perfect way to end a visit to the museum. 205 E. Pearson St.
People far and wide have been raving about the Loyalist Burger, and here’s your chance to decide for yourself. It’ll be a tough choice, however, since the other option for the main course is the tempura-fried chicken sandwich. Best you grab a dining partner and sample both. 177 N. Ada St.
A sexy spot with occasion-worthy plates, retro-chic Ella Elli is worth checking out if only for the silky, egg-topped avocado toast speckled with everything-bagel seasoning (available on the brunch and dinner menu). 1349 W. Cornelia Ave.
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