To keep tabs on every Chicago bar and restaurant 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). Get it.
Photo: Anthony Tahlier
Now that chef Giuseppe Tentori’s has a meat-centric joint to pair with his beloved seafood-centric GT Fish & Oyster, you might say the man knows how to surf and turf. One of the most appealing things about GT Prime is the decor: inside, you’ll find a dark and sexy, baroque-meets-modern vibe that pulls you in before you’ve even met your server. On the menu: six different beef cuts, and each one’s available in two sizes — four or eight ounces — so if you’re looking to try a Bison filet but don’t wanna skip the Wagyu, you can get both (menu here). This style of steakhouse is ideal for sharing, too. Case in point: The Carnivore, which comprises four 4-oz. cuts of GT’s “featured meats.”
Old Irving Brewing Co.
Old Irving Park
After the unexpected death of chef Homaru Cantu in 2015, we didn’t just lose one of the most fearlessly creative culinary minds of our time, but also his then soon-to-be-opened brewpub. A name change and one year later, the other two partners on the project (Jeff Linemeyer and Trevor Rose-Hamblin) have opened Old Irving Brewing Co. And they’re not without a high-profile chef — Yusho’s Matthias Merges was brought on to take care of the food. It’s a big space, so bring friends. As for the beer, they’re brewing up classics with subtle twists. You don’t have to kick off your session with the Precinct — a milk stout brewed up with cocoa nibs, vanilla and chocolate malt — but you won’t be disappointed if you do.
Occupying the former Pizza East space in the second floor lobby area at the always-buzzing Soho House, the newly expanded Allis is an excellent pick for lunch meetings or after-work cocktails when you need a spot that’s relaxed and inviting (or if you’re lucky enough to have the option to work-from-anywhere). You’ll still be able to get the Allis’s popular afternoon tea service, plus a new breakfast and all-day menu that utilizes the club’s wood-fired oven.
Photo: Little Beet Table
Little Beet Table
Health food you’ll dig. No joke. That’s the promise from the Little Beet Table, the veggie-forward restaurant that’s all about making healthy grub not only satisfying, but also accessible. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Chicago needs more restaurants like this — a place built around market greens, not market meat. Opening menu highlights include the seared trout served with roasted french radishes and bok choy, as well as chickpea Caesar salad, because who doesn’t love a good Caesar salad? We’ve yet to try brunch, but that’s available, too. We’ll promise to start the week off right if you do, too.
Photo: Richard Silkhus
A cozy corner craft cocktail bar. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s but another option when it comes to Logan Square’s booming nightlife scene — and while you won’t get every kind of DJ night imaginable, you won’t get a line out the door, either. Instead: properly made cocktails. Beer. A nice slab of pine to hunker down on. And a throwback appeal that’ll make you wanna kick your feet up and stay awhile, as any good corner tavern should do.
Main Photo: GT Prime/Anthony Tahlier