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[Photograph: Amber Gibson]

I'd never given much thought to State and Lake at theWit Hotel in the Loop. So when I stopped in with a friend for lunch, I was pleasantly surprised by the menu. A cobb salad gets an upgrade with Sheboygan sausage, and if you're looking for starters, the trio of jars (sweet & sour beets, chunky chickpea with marmalade and chili, and fig and pepper bacon jam) to spread on grilled polenta bread is a must.

The decor is almost like a mancave, with dark wood paneling and roomy leather booths. They even have 60-inch flatscreen TVs that rise like magic from behind the banquettes to show any major sports games.

However, even for two ladies, this is a great meeting spot for lunch in the Loop. They have a variety of options and their sandwiches all sounded stellar. The seared whitefish ($13) was a great choice, and larger than I anticipated. The fish is flaky and juicy, and the spices used in searing lend great flavor to the skin. A generous helping of arugula along with smoked tomato aioli round out the sandwich nicely. I especially enjoyed the pumpernickel oat roll since it wasn't too salty as pumpernickel sometimes can be, and was fluffy enough that you could squish it down to eat the rather large sandwich by hand.

Each sandwich comes with your choice of sides, from fries to healthier options of dressed greens or melon and berries. The greens, with radishes and pea tendrils, were a delicious light side to accompany the hearty whitefish sandwich.

State and Lake

201 N State St Chicago, IL 60601 (map)
312-239-9400
stateandlakechicago.com/‎

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