[Photo: Michell Eloy]

Nestled right next music scene mainstay The Empty Bottle sits Bite Cafe, a trendy little restaurant specializing in classic American grub with an upscale touch. Owner Bruce Finkelman (Longman & Eagle, Telegraph, The Empty Bottle) has long been known around the city for his restaurants' rotating menus and dedication to seasonal ingredients. As for Bite, it's no exception to what's proven to be a successful business model for the seasoned restauranteur.

One menu item that's never out of season, though, is Bite's Open Faced Tuna Melt ($11.00). A hearty mound of mayonnaise-drenched tuna salad is dolloped on top of a thick slice of grilled sourdough bread. Tomato slices and pickled red onions serve as a buffer between the fish and an ample heap of cheddar cheese that's melted on top. Chives and more picked onions garnish. As far as tuna melts go, this one's among the best to be found in Chicago. The fish isn't overly fishy, thought it's tempered by what's maybe a bit too much mayonnaise—the only criticism. The cheddar cheese, pickled onions and tomato slices further cut down the distinct tuna taste, enough so to make a post-meal concert at the adjacent Empty Bottle not entirely out of the question (no one wants to stand next to someone with tuna breath). Served with sizable side of french fries, Bite's tuna melt is a filling meal that's works as a precursory stomach coating for a night of drinking next door or a post-bender pick me up the next morning.

Bite Cafe

1039 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (map)


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