Table Stakes: August

The 8 best restaurants that opened their doors this month

August 30, 2018 9:00 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.

Bixi (3 images)

Logan Square

You’re here for: Asian-inspired eats and craft beer
You’re dining on: Bao, burgers and handmade noodles, like the belt noodle soup from chef Bo Fowler of Owen & Engine fame. Wash it all down with house beers that feature unique flavors like lemongrass, jasmine tea and Szechuan peppercorns.

2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

Good Measure (3 images)

Good Measure
River North

You’re here for: Upgraded pub fare and minimalist cocktails in a punk-rock themed setting
You’re dining on: Chef Matt Troost’s handhelds take top honors. There’s a deep-fried truffle polish with foie gras onions and giardiniera, a signature house burger, and devil honey fried chicken. To pair? Simple cocktails featuring no more than three ingredients.

226 W. Chicago Ave. (map)

Photos: Richard Shilkus

Brass Heart (2 images)

Brass Heart

You’re here for: A special-occasion tasting menu experience from a Michelin-starred chef
You’re dining on: Dishes featuring a refined take on Chef Matt Kerney’s experience with nose-to-tail cooking at Longman & Eagle. Your choice is simple: regular or vegan tasting menu. You’ll then enjoy 15 courses in the former 42 Grams space, which has been transformed into an intimate 20-seat dining room.

4662 N. Broadway St.  (map)

Neon Wilderness (2 images)

Neon Wilderness
Wicker Park

You’re here for: An after-work drink or casual first date
You’re dining on: Happy hour cocktails, beer-and-shot combos or a glass of bubbly at the friendly neighborhood bar from the team behind Bar DeVille.

1270 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

Twain (2 images)

Logan Square

You’re here for: Nostalgic Midwestern food and drink from husband-and-wife team Tim (chef) and Rebekah (Beverage Director and Sommelier) Graham
You’re dining on: Comfort-food classics inspired by spiral-bound cookbooks like Beer Cheese Soup or Chicken and Dumplings, paired with wine varieties popular from the 1930s to 1960s. Enjoy it all inside a former car garage studded with subtle references to the literature of Mark Twain.

2445 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

Blind Dragon (2 images)

Blind Dragon
River North

You’re here for: Booze-fueled karaoke inside the basement of the FOUND Hotel Chicago
You’re dining on: Asian-influenced drinks are the focus at the upscale karaoke bar and lounge, which is the fourth location of a concept that started in Los Angeles. Try the Midnight Warlock, a margarita spinoff with Asian pear tequila, togarashi and a Chinese 5-spice rim. And if you want to share with the table, order up a Shogun Assassin punch bowl and some straws.

613 N. Wells St. (map)

Photo credit: Anthony Tahlier

Pretty Cool Ice Cream (2 images)

Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Logan Square

You’re here for: Nostalgic frozen treats from Dana Salls Cree and Bang Bang Pie’s Michael Ciapciak
You’re dining on: Custard bars including coffee pretzel toffee and caramel potato chip, or popsicles in flavors like matcha mint and banana horchata.

2353 N. California Ave. (map)

Funkenhausen (3 images)

West Town

You’re here for: A taste of Bavaria in a beer hall setting from Chef Mark Steuer
You’re dining on: The “unconventional” brasserie is an ideal spot for trying a slew of dishes inspired by Chef Steuer’s roots. Try the cabbage roll with beef tartare, gouda, pickled mustard and truffle, or the big-ass schnitzel with charred lemon.

1709 W. Chicago Ave. (map)


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