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Where to Eat on New Year’s Day 2018 in Chicago

Soothe your Champagne hangover on New Year’s Day Since you’ll more than likely be hungover from the previous night’s revelry, it’s of the utmost importance that you eat well on New Year’s Day. Plus there’s just something so fitting about starting the new year off with a sensational first meal. Here’s where to soothe your hungover […]

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Dec 30, 2017 07:21 AM
Dining Chicago Makes The Most of Christkindlmarket

In the thick of the holidays, it’s that time of year for shopping, gifting, family and perhaps most importantly: mulled wine. The latter is where Christkindlmarket comes in. Chicago’s iconic German market/festival is back in action for the season, serving up holiday eats through Christmas Eve in the heart of the Loop. Here’s everything you […]

The post Dining Chicago Makes The Most of Christkindlmarket appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Dec 12, 2017 11:36 PM
Weekly Planner: Mezcal Dinner, Feast of the Seven Fishes

Weekly Planner: Mezcal Dinner, Feast of the Seven Fishes Mezcal Dinner at Mi Tocaya Antojeria Wine dinners and beer dinners are a commonplace occurrence around these parts, but mezcal dinners? That’s something pretty new and enticing. At the buzzy Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square, chef Diana Davila is hosting a series of mezcal dinners this winter, […]

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Dec 12, 2017 02:35 AM

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: StreetervilleStreetervilleWest TownStreeterville

This hotel eatery emphasizes locally grown seasonal herbs, produce, meat and poultry on a menu that marries Heartland basics with new cooking styles, distinctive ingredients and influences from around the...


Lawry's is housed in the 1890s McCormick Mansion with its grand, sweeping staircase and beautiful English manor house setting. It's a fitting background for the old-fashioned service where savory roast...

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David Morton and Michael Kornick (DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar) have collaborated once again. This time the location is in a remote part of Bucktown, and it offers Mediterranean-inspired small...

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SideDoor is a restaurant within a restaurant. Specifically, it's an American gastropub within Lawry's Prime Rib, offering a casual, modern alternative to the upscale setting next door. With a focus...




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