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Where to Feast on Fried Chicken in Chicago

The sun is shining, the temperature is heating up and cravings for summery classics like fried chicken are at an all-time high, making it an apt time to round up some of Chicago’s finest variations of this all-American specialty. From new dishes to timeworn favorites, here’s where to get your fix right now. Feed: While […]

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Sep 08, 2018 10:26 PM
Dine in Summer Style at These Waterside Restaurants

  Summer in Chicago is the best time of year to dine with a waterside view overlooking sea-sized Lake Michigan, drinking in the panoramic views as you simultaneously drink wine, cocktails and beer. Whether it’s a skyscraper-sized view or a casual cafe, these are some of your best options for beachy views and waterside vibes […]

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Sep 01, 2018 08:05 PM
Weekly Planner: Brunch News Edition

Brunch News Edition Lowcountry Adds Brunch Fasten those bibs, because brunch is served at Lowcountry. The South Loop outpost of the boil-in-a-bag seafood concept, which specializes in Cajun-style shellfish, has added weekend brunch to its popular portfolio. A slight departure from its usual eat-with-your-hands bag-centric menu, the brunch offerings span a spectrum of Southern comforts, from […]

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Jun 18, 2018 09:51 PM

Chefs Make Pizza Cameos

Just because a chef doesn't operate a pizza restaurant and toss dough every day should not bar them from making their own pizza. This is a free country, after all. The opportunity for chefs to design their own pizza is a sacred right. Celebrating that right are Roots Handmade Pizza and The Grid, two restaurants rolling out pizzas designed by guest chefs from restaurants throughout Chicago. Chefs come from all walks of kitchen life, some with a background in Mexican cuisine, some with barbecue, and some with Southern fare. The results are pizzas bedecked with a miscellany of unexpected toppings that go well beyond the standard cheesy, pepperoni hodgepodge.


The Grid's pizza oven
(Wood-fired pizza oven at The Grid. Photo: Blast Marketing & PR)


The Grid is poised to launch Half Baked: A Pizza Series, on November 11, featuring different chefs from around Chicago. Each chef will serve as guest host (as in hosting the menu, not taking people to their tables) at The Grid for a designated night, crafting their own pizzas utilizing the restaurant's wood-fired pizza oven. This thing is a fiery behemoth, a 19-plus square foot cooking chamber that enables chefs to cook up to 200 12-inch pizzas per hour. That's a lot of dough. The pizza series holds court on the second Monday of every month, with Chris Macchia from The Florentine serving as November's inaugural guest chef. As the chef of an Italian restaurant, the man knows his way around a pizza. On November 11, he'll be serving up antipasti plus two different pizzas, a Brussels sprouts pizza with Taleggio, pancetta, butternut squash, fried egg, and black truffles, and a tuna conserva pizza with fiore di latte, capers, tomatoes, gaeta olives, red onions, and marjoram. Next up is Mark Steuer of Carriage House on December 9, throwing down with braised short rib pizza with buttermilk blue cheese, caramelized red onions, fried Brussels sprouts, and spicy cornbread crumbs.


Over at Roots Handmade Pizza, the chef series of specialty pizzas features the eclectic stylings of Antique Taco's Rick Ortiz, Homestead's Chris Curren, and Lillie's Q's Charlie McKenna. It's an apt opportunity for non-pizza chefs to dabble in pizza-making, and for guests to try unusual pizzas. The taco chili cheese curd pizza from Ortiz combines chorizo chili, Brunkow cheddar cheese curds, Chihuahua cheese, Quad Cities mozzarella blend, pickled jalapeños, pickled onions, avocado cream, tortilla strips, black olives, and scallions. Curren's pizza is an homage to the lobster pizza he popularized at his defunct Blue 13. It features Maine lobster, roasted garlic puree, roasted cipollini onions, and Manchego cheese. Then there's McKenna's meat-tastic BBQ pulled pork pizza, loaded with peach wood-smoked pulled pork, Lillie's Q smoky barbecue sauce, and Quad Cities mozzarella blend, all flecked with Lillie's Q Carolina Dirt BBQ rub and some cole slaw.

Tags: PizzaThe GridRiver NorthRootsWest Town

Charlie McKenna (Avenues, Les Nomades, Tru) goes downscale with his award-winning BBQ concept in Bucktown. Craft beers and a full bar complement the slow-smoked pulled pork, chicken, baby back ribs...

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This restaurant from BLT Restaurant Group, inside the JW Marriott, offers a seasonal and substantial menu of Italian-American cuisine featuring top imported Italian pastas, cheeses, salts and meats.

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A concept from the Bedford team featuring small plates from South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Carriage House features a strong bar program. It showcases boutique wines, traditional Southern refreshments like punches, tea...

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The latest iteration of the former Baume & Brix space is a whimsical addition to a neighborhood that takes its nightlife serious. Expect elevated tavern fare curated by consulting chef...

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