osteria del mercato eataly
Osteria del Mercato is the newest dining option at Eataly, and it's delicious
Eataly
By Amanda Topper / November 26, 2019 10:43 am

To keep tabs on every Chicago restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.

Ciccio Mio
(Ciccio Mio)

Ciccio Mio
River North

You’re here because: You’re a fan of Brendan Sodikoff’s restaurants and want to checkout his latest under-the-radar opening.

You’re dining on: Located in the former Radio Anago space, Ciccio Mio exudes the same speakeasy vibe as sister restaurants Maude’s and Bavette’s. The dimly lit space seats 50 and is a great place for a cocktail and a mix of old and new Italian fare. Start with a cocktail like the Amaro Shaved Ice, a Black Manhattan or a White Negroni, paired with a variety of antipasti like the three-meat meatballs or Parmesan herb stuffed artichoke. Pasta, seafood and meat entrees round out the menu. Bucatini topped with Burgundy truffle is a modern option, but classics like vodka rigatoni can also be found. There’s a similar theme across the meat and seafood options, where Chicken Parmesan can be found alongside brown butter Salmon Oreganata.

226 W. Kinzie St.

Gaijin
(Regan Baroni)

Gaijin
West Loop

You’re here because: You want to be one of the first to experience Chicago’s first okonomiyaki and kakigori restaurant from lauded chef Paul Virant.

You’re dining on: Hiroshima and Osaka styles of okonomiyaki, a type of savory Japanese pancake. Osaka style includes a cabbage base topped with your choice of proteins like octopus, pork or tofu, plus traditional toppings like Kewpie mayo and bonito flake. Can’t decide? Try a flight of three. Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is layered rather than mixed, and includes yakisoba noodles plus bacon and egg or a veggie mushroom option. Save room for kakigori, a shaved ice dessert in several flavors like S’more and Sesame Yuzu. Highball cocktails, sake, wine and beer, including a Moody Tongue collab, will help wash it all down.

950 W. Lake St.

Outside Voices
(Dave Rentauskas)

Outside Voices
Logan Square

You’re here because: It’s getting colder and you want to warm up with a glass of wine or three.
You’re dining on: This cozy wine bar from the team behind Scofflaw and Slippery Slope keeps things simple of the food front. Think meat and cheese boards and other snacks. Wine is the true focus here, and you’ll find a focus on “low intervention” options across various styles from Lambrusco to Muscat.

3204 W. Armitage Ave.

Osteria del Mercato
(Osteria del Mercato)

Osteria del Mercato
River North

You’re here because: You’re looking to entertain out-of-town holiday guests who appreciate Italian food and wine.
You’re dining on: The newest concept to open at Eataly is one that further unites Eataly’s restaurant and retail spaces. Diners are encouraged to pick what they’d like from the meat and seafood counters or select from the chef-curated picks of the day, featuring fresh seafood like head-on prawns, trout or a dry-aged bone-in ribeye. Not into the daily offerings? There’s also a full menu of antipasti, pizzas and pastas (both homemade and imported), plus mains like roasted Branzino and a 48-ounce Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Wine lovers will love the option to open any bottle of wine sold at Eataly’s wine shop for $25 over the retail price.

43 E. Ohio St.

Time Out Market Chicago
(Lorenzo Tassone)

Time Out Market
West Loop

You’re here because: You’re up for a fun night out with friends along with 18 of Chicago’s best culinary innovators spread across a 50,000-square-foot space.
You’re dining on: This is Chicago’s biggest food hall to date, and its food-and-drink lineup is impressive. We’re talking chicken katsu sandwiches from Entente’s Brian Fisher, fried ribs from Chef Thai Dang of Haisous, handmade pasta from Tortello, fried chicken and biscuits from Split Rail, and much, much more. Be sure to grab a tiki cocktail from Secret Sound, a bar tucked away on the second floor from Lost Lake co-owners Paul McGee and Shelby Allison. There’s also curated drinks from the city’s top mixologists, wine by the glass and bottle, and local beers across three bars, including a separate rooftop outpost. The sheer size of this place will ensure a varied, delicious experience every time.

916 W. Fulton Market

Moody Tongue
(Moody Tongue)

Moody Tongue Bar and Dining Room
South Loop

You’re here because: You loved Moody Tongue’s old tap room and you’re ready to take that love to the next level at their new South Loop bar and dining room, which is spread across nearly 30,000 square feet.
You’re dining on: Pick your path: Dining Room or Bar. Both are helmed by executive chef Jared Wentworth. If it’s a fine dining experience you’re after, opt for the Dining Room’s seasonal 12-course tasting menu paired with Moody Tongue beers.  Enjoy dishes like scallops with foie gras and king crab with XO sauce inside the handsome dining room. The Bar is your go-to for more casual vibes. Kick back at the giant black marble bar with one of Moody Tongue’s 16 beers on tap, like the Bourbon Barrel Aged Gingerbread Imperial Stout, Sour Watermelon Saison or the Freeze Dried Black Lime Wit. You’re bound to strike up an appetite after a few beers — that’s when the a la carte bar menu comes in handy. Check out the hefty burger topped with pimento cheese and togarashi aioli or skillet fried chicken with foie gras butter and black truffle cavatelli. Don’t worry, the famous 12-Layer German Chocolate Cake is still on the menu, too.

2515 S. Wabash

(Connor Surdi)

Starbucks Chicago Roastery
Streeterville

You’re here because: You’re a Starbucks fanboy/girl anxious to check out the largest retail Starbucks in the world.
You’re dining on: If the lines around the block aren’t any indication, the five-floor Starbucks Chicago Roastery is quite the experience. Part coffee shop, part bakery, part roastery and part bar, the multi-level space has something for everyone. Grab a cup of coffee made with blends exclusive to the Chicago roastery (and roasted on site) or a Smoked Cold Fashioned made with whiskey barrel-aged cold brew, aromatic bitters and smoke. Nosh on baked goods, salads and pizza from Princi Bakery while taking in the store’s centerpiece, a 56-foot gold steel cask filled with roasted beans. The fourth floor cocktail bar features locally-curated drinks like the Roastery Boilermaker with Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew, Koval Four Grain Whiskey, Malort, grapefruit bitters and a sidecar of Rhine Hall Bierschnapps. Come spring, you’ll be able to enjoy it all on the rooftop bar towering over Michigan Ave.

646 N. Michigan Ave.

Pacino's
(Pacino’s)

Pacino’s
South Loop

You’re here because: Chicago can’t seem to get enough Italian food and you can’t seem to shake your desire for comfort food.
You’re dining on: Sicilian-inspired dishes inside the bright white and brass-accented dining room. The latest restaurant in the Roosevelt Collection features a massive menu of antipasti, pizza, pasta and meat and seafood entrees. Start with the Siciliana Artichoke and share one of 12 pizza varieties like the Prosciutto e Rugola with prosciutto, mozzarella, fontina, arugula and olive oil. Pasta options are plentiful like the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with homemade baked gnocchi, marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and garlic, while many entrees come with your choice of beef or veal. Pair it all with a Candied Bacon Old Fashioned or glass of Chianti.

1010 S. Delano Ct.