The Four Best Restaurants That Opened in Chicago in April

From glamorous vibes to casual fare, these are the best new spots in the city

May 5, 2023 7:00 am
Cocktails in a row.
Here are four of the best new restaurants in Chicago.

As spring ramps up in the city, the newest restaurant openings are putting their best foot forward: We’re talking over-the-top interiors with glamorous vibes (think a lot of velvet, brass, and mid-century touches), plus casual fare from the coast of India and a new Lettuce Entertain You restaurant that brings the California cool. From fried chicken bites to massive dry-aged steaks, and modern cocktails to Chicago’s largest California-only wine list, here’s what you should be dining on this month.

Seating area in The Pearl Club.
Enjoy the deep emerald and gold tones, crushed velvet and mood lighting.

The Pearl Club

River West

You’re here because: You’re looking to start (or wind down) your night on the west side in this striking cocktail parlor that replaced Emmitt’s Irish Pub.

You’re dining on: Interesting cocktails and comfort food bites from a team of industry vets. The luxurious ambiance features deep emerald and gold tones, crushed velvet and plenty of mood lighting. Classic cocktails are leveled up with unique touches like the Clarified Ube Colada with rum, ube, coconut water and lemon, or Jaylee’s Pimm’s Cup with dragon fruit. Strike up an appetite after a cocktail or two? Nosh on some double crunch chicken nuggets, steak tartare or caviar with housemade chive and shallot potato chips.

495 N. Milwaukee Ave. (map)

The 6 Best Steakhouses in Chicago
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West Loop

You’re here because: You’re never one to miss a Chicago steakhouse meal.

You’re dining on: Italian-American steakhouse fare from the team behind Siena Tavern and Prime & Provisions. Fioretta’s glam, mid-century vibes set the scene for enjoying luxe dishes including seafood towers and caviar zeppole, plus Italian-American classics like chicken parmesan and handmade pastas. The extensive steak menu features wet- and dry-aged steaks prepared in a wood and charcoal hearth, including a 48 oz. steak florentine carved tableside. Olive oil cake and lemon meringue pie are just two standouts from the dessert menu.

318 N. Sangamon St. (map)

Food and drinks on a table. Best new restaurants in Chicago
The Oakville Grill & Cellar is home to the only California-only wine list in Chicago.
Lindsay Eberly x Eberly Film Lab

The Oakville Grill & Cellar

West Loop

You’re here because: Your home away from home is Napa.

You’re dining on: West Coast food and wine amidst a backdrop of California dreamin’ featuring natural woods and greenery. Start with the yellowfin tuna tostadas and the St. Helena vegetable market salad, then move on to a white oak grilled steak or whole roasted rainbow trout. The Oakville peanut butter pie and gooey lemon cake make for a sweet ending, too. Here you’ll also find the largest California-only wine list in Chicago with more than 750 options, plus a private six-seat tasting room where wine aficionados can enjoy pours from rotating wineries.

163 N. Green St. (map)



You’re here because: You fell in love with Thattu’s fare from its early roots at Politan Row Food Hall.

You’re dining on: Cuisine inspired by Kerala, on the southwest coast of India. Husband and wife, Vinod Kalathil and Margaret Pak, opened their much-anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant after many successful pop-ups around the city and recognition from the James Beard Foundation and Food and Wine. Thattu is currently open for counter-service lunch with a lineup of favorites including its black chickpea kadala curry with appam, a delicate rice crepe, plus variations on its fried chicken, available in bite or sandwich form.

2601 W. Fletcher St.. (map)


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