Try a Caprese Milk Punch and Deli Classics at Chicago’s Best New Restaurants

Modern takes on Italian and Persian fare should pique diners’ interests this month

September 5, 2023 7:08 am
Spread of sandwiches and other toppings and drinks across a table
The new Chicago restaurants you should try immediately include Schneider Deli.
Tim McCoy

August brought hungry Chicagoans several new restaurants tipping the scales in the direction of either fine dining or the uber-casual. Intrigued by Chicago’s first Persian tasting menu? Head to Albany Park for a nine-course meal. Curious about that tomato-shaped dessert you’ve seen on TikTok? Stop by the new Italian spot from the team behind Tzuco. If comfort food is more your speed right now, you’ll find that comfort in griddled cheesy tacos and burritos at a new Wicker Park spot in the old Pub Royale storefront, and elevated Jewish deli classics in the Ohio House Motel. These are Chicago’s best new openings this month.

Ummo's Pomodoro e Basilico dessert, with tomato, raspberry & vanilla campote, yogurt mousse, olive oil, and basil sorbet
Ummo’s Pomodoro e Basilico dessert, with tomato, raspberry and vanilla compote, yogurt mousse, olive oil and basil sorbet
© Neil John Burger Photography


River North

You’re here because: You fancy a fancy Italian meal out.

You’re dining on: Modern Italian in the former Rockit Bar & Grill space. The venue is dotted with art and music inspo, but it’s the artfully plated fare that steals the show. Sample interesting takes on regional Italian dishes like the burrata and avocado with 10-year-aged balsamic, housemade mafaldine cacio e pepe, or halibut with summer corn and squash blossoms. And of course you can’t miss that pomodoro-inspired tomato-shaped dessert making the rounds on social media, which features tomato, raspberry and vanilla compote plus basil sorbet. Specialty cocktails also get their inspiration from Italian cuisine; take the caprese milk punch with gin and house balsamic. The second-floor lounge is ideal for pre- or post-dinner cocktails.

22 W. Hubbard St. (map)

Slices of meat between two pieces of bread
Deli favorites include corned beef and pastrami sandwiches
Tim McCoy

Schneider Deli

River North

You’re here because: You’re in search of a lunchtime nosh.

You’re dining on: Chef/owner Jake Schneider brings hungry Chicagoans classic deli eats from a compact space at the landmark Ohio House Motel. Step up to the counter or get your order to go. You’ll find all the deli favorites kicked up a notch, from corned beef and pastrami sandwiches sliced to order to bagels and pastries from the North Shore’s Once Upon A Bagel — plus homemade matzoh ball soup. Schneider’s also serves a lineup of breakfast plates and sandwiches including a tasty salami, egg and cheese.

600 N. LaSalle Dr. (map)

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Desert Hawk

Wicker Park

You’re here because: You’re curious what’s next in the old Pub Royale space.

You’re dining on: Tacos and smash burgers from Cocina Sublime paired with tequila-based craft cocktails. You may have seen Cocina Sublime slinging Mexican comfort food at Marz Community Brewing and Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, too. Think griddled cheesy tacos and quesadillas with asada, shrimp, chicken or veggies, and double smash burgers with toppings like salsa macha aioli.

2049 W. Division St. (map)

Pie slice on a blue plate at a white table
Enjoy Maman Zari’s nine-course Persian tasting menu
S Block

Maman Zari

Albany Park

You’re here because: You’re intrigued by the idea of a Persian tasting menu.

You’re dining on: A nine-course Persian tasting menu (vegetarian or not) with optional wine pairings in the heart of Albany Park. Offerings change seasonally, but the current lineup features branzino with herb smoked rice, mushrooms and saffron beurre blanc, and an eggplant course with pomegranate, walnut and tahdig. Don’t feel like committing to the wine pairing? Wines by the glass and cocktails, like a take on a mojito with mint-honey-vinegar syrup, are also available.

4639 N. Kedzie Ave. (map)


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