One of the biggest brunch surprises in the city may very well be what's going on at Cicchetti right now, where the brand new brunch menu features a smattering of outre Italian dishes alongside re-imagined, Italian-tinged American favorites.
Streeterville, North Side
Pastry chef Leigh Omilinsky recently spent several weeks staging at Pierre Hermé in Paris. She now makes the best pâte à choux in Chicago at Café des Architectes.
Little Market Brasserie's menu has a couple touches of Chef Ryan Poli's love of Spain—namely the summer sangrias and ceviche—but the vast majority of the menu is in the style of an "American brasserie." Fortunately, there are also plenty of vegetarian options on the menu.
Brunch at Caffè Oliva, located right on Ohio Street Beach, is as close to a legitimate getaway as I've gotten in a long time, but unlike most beach-centric vacations I've been on, the food here is shockingly ambitious and memorable.
When it comes to brunch buffets, there's a fine line between dignified and hungover-in-Vegas, a line that Howells & Hood tactfully toes. The unlimited Sunday brunch buffet ($29 per person) feels less like a tacky cruise ship spread and more like a thoughtfully curated brunch menu that just so happens to be strewn before you in eye-bulging amounts.
Spring means asparagus, radish, spring peas and a tasty new salad for The Lobby.
The culinary philosophy of cooking locally is nothing new, but it's rarely done with such finesse in Streeterville as at Local Root, a smart addition to a neighborhood mired in quickservice lunches and snazzy bowling alley food.
Not that we need to remind you, but the holiday shopping season has officially started. For many of you, that means some serious shopping in downtown Chicago, both along the Magnificent Mile and State Street. While we won't weigh in on what specifically you should buy, we do know a thing or two about finding a place to eat downtown.
Our College Tour series continues with Northwestern University. With a main campus in Evanston and a downtown campus in Streeterville, there are loads of options.
Pei Wei Asian Market may be more focused than Pei Wei Asian Diner, but it's still going for Pan-Asian, so the four sandwiches on the menu happen to draw inspiration from Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
Last night Sound Opinions held an "End of Summer BBQ" on WBEZ's terrace at Navy Pier. Sure, I love the weekly rock radio show (especially the recent episode on the history of punk), but I was mostly milling around the crowd for the food, which included some of my favorites restaurants in the city. Hoosier Mama Pie Copmany, Butcher and Larder, and Black Dog Gelato.
Carrie Nahabedian has been turning out graceful plates at Naha since 2000, but when she's not serving up Mediterranean-influenced American dishes, you'll find her in Streeterville and the Gold Coast, where she's made her home for the past 12 years
Lobster rolls are expensive. That I accept. But what I can't accept is shredded lobster meat, which is what I sadly encountered recently.
The biggest tourist attraction in Chicago by a large number is Navy Pier, and though it's not my favorite place to visit, it's easy to see why it's so popular. Just don't eat there. With so many enticing and cheaper places nearby, you'll have a much better chance of eating well if you leave.
If you find yourself in Lavazza in Streeterville, odds are you are in need of a caffeine fix. That's cool. I admire a good espresso as much as the next completely addicted coffee junkie should. But you can also score a pretty good lunch here, too.
Of the many great reasons to check out Dose Market, our favorite part is definitely the chance to preview exciting soon-to-open restaurants. The monthly food and fashion gathering in the River East Art Center usually features a sneak peek at new venture or two, and yesterday's event was no different. Guests previewed dishes from the upcoming Pecking Order and Flour and Bones, along with a host of other quality vendors from around the Midwest.
This past weekend, Markethouse in the Gold Coast launched a take-home menu based around charcuterie. You can either pick up some of chef's specialty sausages, or you can place custom orders, mixing and matching types of meat and spices.
Epic Burger opened a brand new location today inside the old post office in Streeterville, it is the fourth location for the rapidly expanding local burger chain. Featuring a well-smashed patty and some pretty amazing fries, this is one location we wouldn't mind seeing a few more of around town.
Chicago bars and restaurants have taken a fresh perspective on sake lately, turning out a growing crop of creative, expressive, well-balanced cocktails that honor sake's delicacy while taking advantage of its broad range of flavors and rich texture. And this experimentation is happening where you might least suspect.