Frontier's antelope meatballs (Photo: Frontier)
Everyone has an agenda when it comes to Chicago Restaurant Week (Feb. 1-10). While some use the opportunity to finally check out restaurants they’ve been curious about for awhile, others go to take advantage of the super-low deals during lunch and dinner. There’s just no other time during the year you can get three courses for $33 at the likes of Benny’s Chop House, Naha or Topolobampo.
But what are some of the more interesting finds this year of the more than 270 restaurants participating? I rounded up the five most intriguing menus of Chicago Restaurant Week, ranging from an all-gluten free offering to comfort food gone wild (game).
4 Suyos. For dinner, the Northwest Side Peruvian eatery amps up traditional fare. The anticuchos is a grilled Slagel Family Farms beef heart that’s marinated in vinegar, oil and aji panca. One of the main courses is a filet mignon that’s also marinated in aji panca, but also Peruvian beer sauce for optimum flavor. It’s served with yuca a la huancaina. And we love how simple the restaurant keeps dessert: Diners get two shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche.
Frontier. Executive Chef/partner Brian Jupiter is completely obsessed with wild game and it shows on the Chicago Restaurant Week menu. Starters like antelope meatballs (with smoked tomato, gnocchi and sage chimichurri) and ground kangaroo chili (with marrow beans and Hook’s cheddar) are followed up by a blackberry BBQ wild boar chop accompanied by sweet potato puree, campfire marshmallows and wilted kale.
Telegraph chef/partner Johnny Anderes (Photo: Telegraph)
Senza. You’ll be hard pressed to find any other restaurant doing a 100 percent gluten-free menu this week. Dinner choices look promising, including grilled lettuce with anchovies and parmesan; parsnip soup with lobster, caviar and truffle; and the signature, house-made Tagliatelle with chanterelle and truffle.
Telegraph. The hip, wine-focused spot participates with three courses for dinner. Highlights on chef Johnny Anderes’ menu include tartine of wild mushroom duxelle, red wine and a poached egg; a flaky fluke topped with Iberico lardo, salsa verde and radish pods; and a delightful Neopolitan icebox cake to end the evening.
TWO. The River West newcomer goes all out for its restaurant week debut. Diners first choose from duck fat potato croquettes with chili herb aioli or onion soup with braised short rib and gruyere. Next, they get a bonus course of risotto topped with house-made bacon, arugula, parmesan and fried egg or duck egg pasta with duck skin cracklings, duck confit and scallions. One of the standout main courses is wild boar sausage with pork neck gravy. And dessert is a winner: Guests choose from home-made pretzel doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and hot chocolate or banana bread pudding with salted bourbon caramel and ice cream.