Here are a few from the extensive list.
At this no-reservations Bucktown spot, chef Chris Pandel's nose-to-tail talent lets him create irresistible snacks such as sausage-stuffed olives battered and fried like Scotch eggs. Groups of eight to 12 can now sign up for Pandel's bespoke dinners and help him plan the family-style menu.
Longman & Eagle
Harkening back to a time when pubs offered meals and beds, this restaurant will start renting out six rooms. Staying over will seem like a good idea after eating chef Jared Wentworth's gastropub food (Welsh rarebit with a warm pretzel for dipping) and exploring the two-page whiskey list.
The Purple Pig
Jimmy Bannos, Jr., doesn't want people to think his famous restaurateur dad (Jimmy Bannos, of Heaven on Seven) handed him his latest chef gig. "I'm not some spoiled little punk in dad's restaurant. I can cook," he says. And he is boldly turning out meaty delicacies rarely seen in the tony Magnificent Mile area; even the ladies who lunch happily eat his sweet-crunchy pig's ears with pickled cherry peppers. A Euro-centric wine list includes 50 choices under $40.
When Blackbird's Paul Kahan (an F&W Best New Chef 1999) and Avec sous-chef Justin Large took over a beat-up bar in Wicker Park, they insisted it would be little more than a dive serving tacos. That was an understatement. Highlights of the supercool "honky tonk" taqueria include excellent pork-belly tacos and greasy-good queso fundido (a glorious melted-cheese appetizer studded with chorizo). Dim lighting, fashionably disheveled bartenders and country music encourage down-and-dirty drinking of highbrow and lowbrow beers. But there are also exceptional cocktails by Violet Hour mixologist Michael Rubel, best sipped on the patio.
Where to Go Next?
ETA to correct the mis-reference to Nightwood
Edited by Rail Paul, 05 July 2010 - 05:40 PM.