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Artango’s Thanksgiving Dinner Will Please the Norbert in Your Life

Artango is making life easier for us by serving food that is going to make all of us happy. Add to that the bonus that we don’t have to cook, or clean up, and we’re all going to split the bill, so it’s actually a very economical way to enjoy each other’s company. On Thanksgiving Day, […]

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Nov 09, 2018 09:37 PM
Sneak Peek: The Darling Also Has a Little of the, Um, Daring

Lindsey Marks – who performs burlesque as Lady Jack – is chatting in front of a large Alice in Wonderland painting in the downstairs dining room at The Darling, on W. Randolph St.. This new space, owned by Sophie Huterstein, who also owns L.A.’s The Wellesbourne, is next door to J.P. Graziano, purveyor of exceptional Italian […]

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Nov 07, 2018 09:50 PM
What Food Pairs with Scotch Whisky? At Chicago’s SideDoor, Lots!

It doesn’t seem that Scotch whisky would be a great pairing with food: the spirit is big, sometimes smoky and seems like it could steamroll all but the most powerful flavors. But you might be surprised how well Scotch can pair with foods. We were eager to try pairing Scotch whisky with Scottish-type food It […]

The post What Food Pairs with Scotch Whisky? At Chicago’s SideDoor, Lots! appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Nov 01, 2018 09:15 PM

Prime Rib Legend Sprouts a SideDoor

How does one of the longest-standing, most legendary prime Rib restaurants in Chicago manage to update itself without altering its integrity? By carving out the west side of the historic building to make way for an American gastropub. Lawry's Prime Rib is the restaurant in question, polishing up a portion of its mansion-like space for a modern gastropub called SideDoor. "We're cultivating the next generation of Lawry's guests," explains Max Maxwell, general manager of the restaurant, and they're doing so by building out a casual eatery filled with sandwiches, charcuterie, cocktails, beers, cheeses and more.


SideDoor
(SideDoor rendering)


As is the case at Lawry's Prime Rib, where buttoned up guests come from near and far for some of the country's best prime rib, the concentration of the food program at SideDoor will tend towards prime beef. The difference is in the casual nature and presentation. Whereas Lawry's boasts all the pomp and circumstance of the McCormick Mansion in which it resides, SideDoor feels like a relaxed lounge, and the food is more small plates. Victor Newgren is the chef behind both concepts, and having worked at Lawry's for five years, he's ready to get crafty with a new menu. "There's a lot of creativity to be had when you're managing $7 million worth of product," he says of the menus at Lawry's and SideDoor, clearly working with the best ingredients available, sourced locally and internationally, including from Maxwell's family farm in central Indiana. SideDoor will have a sizable griddle for burgers, along with a roasted meats board, similar to a charcuterie board except that the meats are served warm. "Lawry's guests never really leave hungry. Hopefully it will be the same for our SideDoor guests," says Newgren. Obviously there will be prime rib sandwiches, because as Newgren explains, "we don't want to lose sight of who we are." There will also be prime rib chili cheese fries.


Andrew Macker is the man behind the beverage program, an important pillar of the operation. As soon as guests enter the SideDoor entrance, marked by a red key on Rush Street, they'll be greeted by a bar area, an extension of the bar from Lawry's on the other side of the wall. An alum of Markethouse and Ada Street, Macker's mixology philosophies skew culinary, having learned "cooking" techniques behind the bar at his previous tenures. He calls it "utilizing the cooking process to maximize flavors," such as taking the same fruits used on charcuterie boards, cooking them down, and adding them to cocktails. Such is the case with his Michigan Mustang, a riff on a Moscow Mule made with seasonal fruits and his own Fernet that he collaborated with FEW on making. There's also a smoked Negroni made by smoking water, freezing it into giant ice cubes, and immersing it in liquor.


On the space at SideDoor, Maxwell describes it as "a little retro, a little classic, but very modern as well." For instance, pressed copper panels on the ceiling and original mansion beams are offset by shimmering new culinary equipment, chic lounge seating, and more. The restaurant is set to open right after Restaurant Week in February, starting with dinner service and adding lunch shortly thereafter.


- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: StreetervilleRiver NorthWest TownStreeterville

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Few restaurants reflect the historic grandeur of the city of Chicago as well as Lawry's the Prime Rib. To step into the dining room is to step into Chicago's past:...

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SideDoor is an American gastropub within a larger restaurant, Lawry's the Prime Rib. In a casual room with an open kitchen on the west side of the magnificent old McCormick...




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