Get your grub on: New restaurants abound in Chicago

2002 11 14 11 39 05 706

It’s the end of the day at RSNA: your feet ache, your head buzzes with new information, and your stomach is growling. It’s time to kick back and enjoy yourself at one of the many fine restaurants Chicago has to offer. Follow on our roundup of the city’s best new dining spots.

Butterfield 8
713 N. Wells St.
312-327-0949 2002 11 12 15 44 20 706
Sunday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Appetizers: $6-$8; Entrees: $15-$25

Butterfield 8 (named after the 1960 film that won Elizabeth Taylor an Academy Award) offers good old-fashioned steaks, chops and seafood, including Windy City originals like Shrimp DeJonge. Start the meal with appetizers such as steak tartare, turtle soup, and oysters Rockefeller. Desserts feature favorites like butterscotch pudding and New York-style cheesecake.

Fogo De Chao
661 N. LaSalle St.
312-932-9330 2002 11 12 16 34 39 706
Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5-10:30 p.m.
$38.50 prix fixe

This all-you-can-eat churrascaria (steakhouse) serves more than 15 different cuts of spit-roasted meat -- including lamb chops, top and bottom sirloin, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, pork loin, pork sausages, and prime rib -- carved tableside by waiters dressed as gauchos. Extras include fried bananas, mashed potatoes, fried yucca, and polenta, plus a salad bar.

953 W. Fulton Ave.
Sunday-Thursday, 6-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.
Appetizers: $7-$9; Entrees: $15-$25

Follia serves Italian fare with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, such as homemade cheeses and pasta. Much of the menu changes daily (there is a risotto of the day, for example), with some entrees such as veal scaloppini with porcini mushrooms, sole with shrimp, tomato and capers, or strip steak with rosemary always available. Deliciously made thin-crust pizzas include margherita (mozzarella and basil) and quattro formaggi (four cheese) baked in a wood-burning oven. The restaurant is bring-your-own alcohol.

2005 W. Division St.
Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m.
Appetizers: $7-$8; Entrees: $15-$25

Fortunato offers rustic Italian cooking. Starters range from braised duck over polenta to roasted mussels and frito misto (fried vegetables). Main dishes include handmade ravioli stuffed with oxtail meat or taglietelle with fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms, and a porcini mushroom sauce. Also available are a variety of seafood, pork, and lamb dishes. Desserts include baked lemon pudding, an orange-almond torta with pistachio cream, and panna cotta made with Nutella.

20 W. Kinzie St.
Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Saturday, 4:30-11:30 p.m.
Appetizers: $8-$15; Entrees: $25 and up 2002 11 12 16 40 58 706

Take a seat at one of Keefer’s cozy booths and prepare to enjoy excellent contemporary American cuisine. Keefer’s menu emphasizes steak, chops and seafood. Offerings include New York Strip steak, smoked grilled pork chop, and grilled tuna steak in an Asian barbeque sauce. Sides range from creamed spinach to cheese-laced potato croquettes. Complete your dining experiences with a selection of tasty desserts -- flourless chocolate cake or bread and butter pudding.

Lula Café
Global fusion
2537 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m.-midnight
Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight
Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Appetizers: $8; Entrees: $15

This Logan Square eatery defines eclectic: it’s a breakfast café, restaurant, club, and gallery. Lula puts a funky spin on standard lunch fare with a spicy, Indonesian peanut butter sandwich or a tamarind chicken sandwich dressed up with fresh basil and tomatoes. Dinner offerings have included cumin-crusted snapper with roasted fennel, and the baby spinach salad with beets, Asian pear, aged chevre and balsamic vinaigrette. Local folk and alternative rock musicians play live on a regular basis.

International fusion/Indian
2813 N. Broadway
Tuesday-Sunday, 5-10 p.m.
Appetizers: $7-$12; Entrees: $15-$25

Red velvet and silk adorn the walls of this sumptuous restaurant, which specializes in Indian-style cuisine. With influences from across South Asia, the menu features entrees like Cornish hen smoked in Darjeeling tea and five-spice lobster. Appetizers include langoustine-pappadam rolls, shrimp pakora, and lumpia (Indian-spiced, Filipino summer roll with a mango-lime sauce).

Napa Valley Grille
626 N. State St.
Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
Sunday, 5-9 p.m.
Appetizers: $5-$10; Entrees: $8-$15 2002 11 12 16 44 53 706

Step out of the cold Chicago winter and into the warmth of California wine country. Napa Valley Grille specializes in "seasonal, rustic, wine-country" cuisine with entrees like ahi tuna, thyme-braised veal, and Dungeness crab cakes. Appetizers range from foie gras to brick-fired mussels. Or try the "Perfect Pair" option, which matches small servings (like forest mushroom strudel) with samples of premium wine.

One North Kitchen & Bar
1 N. Wacker Dr.
312-750-9700 2002 11 12 16 49 19 706
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 4-10 p.m.
Appetizers: $7-$9; Entrees: $8-$15

This well-appointed Loop brasserie serves contemporary American fare. Appetizers range from shrimp "lollipops" and pan-seared scallops to chipotle-rubbed ribs and a salad of smoked trout, candied pecans, and apples. Entrees include a variety of pastas, steaks and fish dishes, with specialties like duck risotto, Alaskan halibut and spit-roasted chicken. Last but not least, the dessert menu offers the ever-popular chocolate cake and apple pie and ice cream.

1301 S. Wabash Ave.
Sunday-Wednesday, 5-10 p.m.
Thursday, 5-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Appetizers: $6-$13; Entrees: $15-$25

Opera puts a contemporary spin on classic Chinese dishes. Specialties include Peking duck, Mandarin diver scallops, and crisp almond prawns. Appetizers and desserts are also a twist on the traditional, such as curried chicken dim sum and a steamed banana and date pudding.

3313 N. Clark St.
773-477-6700 2002 11 12 16 51 05 706
Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
Appetizers: $4-$6; Entrees: $15-$25

This modern Mexican eatery serves a variety of traditional dishes. Specialties include wood-grilled guajillo chile-braised pork shoulder with crimini mushrooms, a stew of shrimp, scallops and crabmeat braised in Oaxacan yellow mole, and tacos al carbon with wood-grilled chicken, skirt steak, or catfish. Appetizers such as chicken and poblano flautas or achiote-marinated roasted pork ribs also tempt the palate.

Hawaiian fusion
720 N. State St.
Monday-Thursday and Sunday, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
Appetizers: $6-$13; Entrees: $15-$25

If you’ve never tasted Hawaiian food, then Roy’s is the place to start. The restaurant combines meat and fish produced in Hawaii with pan-Asian flavorings and classic French preparations. Starters include yellowfin tuna or lobster ravioli and skewered coconut shrimp. About 20 entrees are available, with many out-of-the-ordinary seafood dishes, like ono, Hawaiian snapper, and butterfish. Lamb, duck and other meats are also an option. The Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé is a must for chocolate fans.

644 N. Lakeshore Dr.
Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. (9 p.m. on Sunday)
Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
Appetizers: $6-$12; Entrees: $15-$25 2002 11 12 16 54 56 706

Enjoy dramatic views of Lake Michigan at Wave, specializing in Mediterranean-influenced contemporary American cuisine. The menu favors seafood, though steaks and other meats are also available. Appetizers include chilled prawns, a three-bean salad with feta and crispy pancetta, and seared jumbo sea scallops, while entrees range from pan-roasted halibut and wood-grilled salmon to cheese ravioli and wood-fired filet of beef.

To make restaurant reservations online visit OpenTable, iSeatz, ReservationSource, and SavvyDiner.

By Diana Simeon Spadoni contributing writer
November 18, 2002

Related Reading

AuntMinnie's guide to RSNA dining, Chicago-style, November 25, 2001

Would you like fries with that? Chicago serves up a host of gastronomic delights, November 26, 2000

Copyright © 2002

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