Dining Chicago

What to Eat This Week: New Restaurant Menu Items at Province, Takito Kitchen, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, bellyQ

There's always something new to eat in Chicago, but especially as seasons change and menus evolve. From shrimp taquitos and roasted winter squash to award-winning burgers and apple pie ice cream, here's what to eat this week.

From smoked salmon salad to barbecue beef short ribs, things are intensifying at Province. The best part is that these are both part of Province's weekday lunch specials. The seasonally focused Latin-inspired restaurant features a variety of hearty comfort foods throughout the week, offering a different lunch selection each day. Start things off with a house-smoked salmon salad on Monday, made with cucumbers, tomatoes, jicama, lettuces, and creamy lemon dressing. Tuesdays feature bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes (sound famliar?) with spicy chips. Wednesday it's roasted mushroom and ricotta salad with roasted onions, oven-dried tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette. Barbecued beef short rib sandwiches take the plate on Thursdays, accented with pickled cabbage slaw and spiced potato chips. Round out the week with a Gulf shrimp sandwich flecked with serrano tartar sauce and a side of buttermilk cole slaw. Aside from lunch specials, Province also offers an array of rib-sticking bar bites, fom goat cheese-based mac & cheese and shrimp taquitos to cheese fries served with goat cheese fondue.

Roasted squash at Takito Kitchen
(Roasted winter squash at Takito Kitchen. You want this now.)

A new fall menu is in place at Takito Kitchen, along with a forthcoming late-night menu. The contemporary, seasonal Mexican restaurant battens down the hatches for fall with an assortment of heady new dishes, such as roasted winter squash with black beans, smoked belly, corn kimchi (yes!), pepitas, and cilantro. Sofrito shrimp finds broiled shrimp nestled alongside roasted yams, sofrito, tomatillo-pistachio salsa, herb salad, and toasted seeds. Alaskan king crab lands betwixt corn tortillas for one of Takito's latest tacos, laden with pickled garlic, jalapeño, lemon, corn, and cilantro. Other new taco options include the chicken mole poblano taco and a vegan taco made with roasted vegetables, seasonal salasa, sesame, and basil. And don't forget the smoked tomato rice, filled out with charred carrots, pea shoots, and corn. A new late-night menu kicks in on Halloween, to be served every Friday and Saturday from 11:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. thereafter. Look for borachitos (crispy sesame sopes topped with chicken and mole), vegetable tostadas, beef barbacoa tostadas, a drowned pork belly torta, papas bravas, and more.

In case you missed this year's Hamburger Hop a couple weeks back, worry not! The People's Choice burger, made by Sandwich King Jeff Mauro, is now on the lunch menu at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. The beef-centric restaurant teamed up with Mauro for the Hop, producing a salacious "crunchy cherry-pepper burger" with creamy Havarti and "engine sauce." 10 oz. of USDA Prime Angus beef is topped with fried cherry peppers, creamy jalapeño-lace Havarti cheese, and engine sauce, essentially aïoli on steroids, made with mayonnaise, garlic, GoChuJang Korean chile paste, capers, rice wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. It's all stacked on a buttery housemade bun. It's the lunch of champions.

Burger at Gibsons
(Crunchy cherry pepper burger for lunch at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse)

As the weather continues to cool, no better place to flock to than the smoky confines of bellyQ. The Asian barbecue temple heats things up for fall by rolling out a new menu of small and large plates. Wood-grilled chicken with peanut noodle salad and spicy maple-glazed pork steak with black beans and smoked tofu are sure to ward off any October evening chills in the most succulent, nourishing ways. If you can restrain yourself from hording, new share plates include stuffed roasted quail with Chinese sausage and sticky rice, smoked rainbow trout with miso and crispy bacon, and mustard-braised Swiss chard with burnt brisket ends. For dessert, there's apple pie soft-serve ice cream. APPLE PIE SOFT-SERVE.

Neighborhoods: West LoopRush & DivisionWest LoopWest Town

Chef Randy Zweiban's organically focused contemporary American restaurant highlights strong Latin accents on the mostly seafood menu.

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Bill Kim of Urban Belly, Belly Shack fame has teamed up with the Cornerstone Group (which also owns Michael Jordan Steakhouse) for an Asian barbecue concept.

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