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Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Imperial Lamian, Moscow Mules

Moscow Mules for a Good Cause Puppies and cocktails seem like a pretty win-win combination, and The Bristol combines the two for an evening of cuteness, altruism and of socialization. Moscow Mules & Mutts is the apt name for the shindig, taking place March 21 on the second floor of the restaurant from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 […]

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Mar 13, 2018 01:59 AM
Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago

What is brunch without a little booze? And this being winter (albeit a warmer than usual one), a little booze is always a welcome distraction from the season. When it comes to imbibing at brunch, you could stick with the coffee and orange juice route, but the weekend repast is just so much more satisfying […]

The post Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Feb 22, 2018 10:24 PM
National Margarita Day, Arami Omakase, Mr. Brown’s Lounge

National Margarita Day at Tuco & Blondie Now here’s a food holiday we can get on board with. National Margarita Day takes place February 22, and in honor of the sacred occasion, Tuco & Blondie is celebrating with a special margarita flight. The flight contains three 4-oz. margaritas including the smoky Mezcal Margarita, the Black Cherry Margarita, […]

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Feb 16, 2018 05:58 AM

First Taste of Spring in Chicago

It seemed like it would never come, but spring is here. After the endless winter we endured, I thought I'd have to resign myself to butternut squash soup and pumpkin lattes for the rest of my life. But at long last, winter ebbed and in its place: rhubarb, peas, morel mushrooms, asparagus, and a sense of joy. Spring menus are sprouting all over Chicago, laden with vibrant, life-affirming ingredients that make arduous winters worth the strife. Almost. Here's your bucket list for preeminent spring dining in Chicago right now. 

Mussels at Bread & Wine
(Spring-y mussels at Bread & Wine)


Watercress soup with creme fraiche, caviar, and rhubarb is a nice departure from the heavy chowders and stews we've been plying our bodies with the past several months. Morel mushrooms, the funnest of the funghi, pops up in a ricotta gnudi dish along with peas, mint, and Grana Padano, as well as an arctic char dish with asparagus, almonds, and sauce vin jaune. And sometimes you just want straight-up, full-force vegetation. Case in point, grilled asparagus with miso hollandaise, a nice riff on the steakhouse staple. 


Spring preserves and pickles are resplendent at Vie, offering a nice, tangy alternative to typical spring dining. Expect braised Burgundy snails with pickled ramps, steak frites with pickled asparagus, and blue cheese fritters with strawberry jam and pickled fennel. 

Perennial Virant

At Vie's sister restaurant, Perennial Virant, the multi-tasking chef Paul Virant serves spring on a plate in the form of grilled Caveny Farm lamb merguez with buttered peas and pickled asparagus, crispy Carnaroli rice cake with pea shoots and spring onion vinaigrette, and a housemade herb ricotta tart with pea puree and shoots. 

Shaw's Crab House

Not all of spring's cultishly adored ingredients come from soil. Soft-shell crab, smelts, and Alaskan halibut are as indicative of spring as the most bulbous stalk of asparagus. Get your fix at Shaw's Crab House, where Alaskan halibut in a lentil crust is now available through November, along with cracker meal-crusted smelt available through mid-May, and of course soft-shell crabs, on deck May through October, available as a sandwich or platter. 

Bread & Wine

Baby artichokes and ramps ramp up the spring menu at Bread & Wine as part of a seasonal steamed mussels preparation. P.E.I. mussels are adjoined by the spring sensations, along with giardiniera and toast. 

The Drawing Room

While most folks sensationalize The Drawing Room for its venerable cocktails, and rightfully so, the food program by chef Thomas Sheean should not be overlooked. Especially now, what with his new spring prelude menu laden with items such as chilled pea soup with lavender biscuit crumble, ricotta gnocchi with creamed English peas, and Coulotte steak with asparagus Milanese. 

Cafe des Architectes

From appetizers to desserts, Cafe des Architectes does it all. Start with a spring risotto brimming with morels and English peas. Move on to venison with creamed morels, English peas, and huckleberry gastrique. Finish with a rhubarb and raspberry tart or strawberry mousse. Or both. 

Asparagus-poblano soup at Ada Street
(Ada Street's asparagus-poblano soup)

Ada Street

Crispy lamb scrumpets with minted pea puree. Scallops with grilled ramps and chimichurri. Asparagus-poblano soup. Eat all of this at Ada Street immediately. 'Nuff said. 

Tavern on Rush

No better way to kickstart a spring morning than with strawberry rhubarb French toast. Eat it for brunch, then come back for the spring bibb salad at lunch or dinner, a pea-tastic medley of sweet peas, pea shoots, sugar snap peas, Boston bibb lettuce, bacon, mushrooms, and green goddess dressing. 

The Bristol

You can always count on The Bristol to up the ante on fascinating seasonal eats. For example: flash-cooked halibut with minted peas and charred spring onions; New York strip steak with green garlic-miso butter and green garlic bulbs; and braised pork shank with glazed knob onions and mustard-scented lentils. 

Tortoise Club

The special April risotto at Tortoise Club embodies spring to the core. Likely one of the springiest dishes in town right now, this decadent creation includes spring peas, fresh fava beans, asparagus, and ramps. 

Del Frisco's

Steakhouse-style vegetable preparations are always a fun way to experience seasonal cookery. Get thee to Del Frisco's to partake in their lamb with fava bean puree and roasted green garlic chimichurri, their Parmesan truffle spring pea and corn risotto, and the rhubarb sorbet topped with spiked whipped cream. 


Pinstripes rolls a strike with some pretty stellar spring plates. Pappardelle ragu alla Bolognese is made with slow-braised lamb, beef, pork, and morel mushrooms, topped with mascarpone cheese and basil. Then there's the pan-seared scallops with sweet pea puree, watercress, and saffron-caper sauce. 

Paris Club Bistro & Bar

It's a taste of spring in Paris right in the heart of River North thanks to Paris Club Bistro & Bar. Dig into the blanquette de veau with roasted veal loin, veal sweetbreads, morel mushrooms, and sweet peas. 

Matt Kirouac

Tags: spring

A destination spot in Western Springs for finely crafted American cuisine with an emphasis on locally grown ingredients.

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"Now Called Il Porcellino" Rich Melman's sons R.J. and Jerrod had an instant hit with their first restaurant, HUB 51, and they repeat their success at this French-themed bar and...

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Owned by Three Headed Productions (Cans, EvilOlive, Salud,) the award-winning cocktail lounge stays open late night and caters to the area's trendy crowd as well as tourists. A well-thought out...

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Green City Market, the restaurant features seasonal dishes and cocktails. Virant is also responsible for the small-plates menu in the rooftop lounge, J. Parker.

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These unique bowling, bocce and bistro concepts in Northbrook and South Barrington feature 18 bowling lanes, indoor/outdoor bocce courts and Italian/American food and wine. Each also offers an outdoor patio,...

These unique bowling, bocce and bistro concepts in Northbrook and South Barrington feature 18 bowling lanes, indoor/outdoor bocce courts and Italian/American food and wine. Each also offers an outdoor patio,...

Timeless cocktails and cuisine are the focus at this private club-styled restaurant harking back to a gilded era. Setting the atmosphere are classic Chicago paintings, sketches and artifacts, including Mahogany...

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Bread & Wine’s duck confit pierogi, with pickled red onion and herb crème fraiche. (Photo: Bread & Wine) The owners have transformed a former laundromat into a neighborhood American bistro,...

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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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