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A’s List: Great Late-Night Fare Beyond Burgers & Pizza

There was a time when dining out after hours meant your only choices were burgers, greasy slices of pizza or burritos as big as your head. But as Chicago’s culinary landscape continues to evolve, it’s extended to the late-night crowd. These offerings from trendy and classic establishments are made from scratch, creative and certain to […]

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Oct 16, 2018 11:54 PM
Get into These New Fall Favorites

This season promises something exciting for all, whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back evening of cozy dining or flashy night on the town. Beef Wellington is served tableside at Mason. (Photo: Matthew Lowell) Found Hotel. The trendy River North hotel catering to younger travelers boasts two concepts: Mason steakhouse and Blind Dragon. The former pays homage […]

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Sep 25, 2018 05:20 AM
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

The Best Charcuterie Platters in Chicago

Chicago is a meat-loving town, and perhaps no singular dish serves to celebrate the tradition quite like a well-rounded charcuterie platter. From Restaurant Row to neighborhood joints scattered throughout the city, Chicago has no shortage of options when it comes to housemade charcuterie presentations.  

 

The Purple Pig
The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig

There’s a lot to love about The Purple Pig, the wining and dining Mecca on the Magnificent Mile. Chief among them, as the restaurant name suggests, is a particularly impressive spread of meats. The Purple Pig’s charcuterie program is among the best in Chicago, arranged neatly on adorable pig-shaped platters brimming with the likes of testa, blood chorizo, lingua, mortadella, tartufo, jamon serrano and more. Match your meat board with some pork liver pâté and the housemade ’nduja for a memorably meaty meal. 

Table, Donkey & Stick

For years now, Table, Donkey & Stick has reigned supreme in Logan Square for its unique Alpine cuisine. With a knack for hearty, burly fare, it’s a regional style that lends itself well to charcuterie, which chef Scott Manley exhibits a real skill for. Cured meats dot the dinner menu in various styles both traditional and contemporary, from beef tongue pastrami and hopped cocoa ham, to duck liver mousse and schweinekopf, aka pig head. Such delicacies can be sampled at Table, Donkey & Stick as well as they’re upcoming casual spin-off joint, Danke, which is opening this summer inside the Loop’s Revival Food Hall. For example, that aforementioned schweinekopf can be ordered inside a sandwich along with duck liver mousse for added creaminess. 

Community Tavern

This French-accented steakhouse in Portage Park is full of pleasant surprises. Chief among them, Community Tavern’s impressive house charcuterie program is the definition of destination-worthy. It’s all courtesy of chef de cuisine Matt Saccaro, who oversees the charcuterie preparation and presentation of the unique meat board. This includes pork terrine with dried cherries, pistachio, house-cured bacon, and housemade coppa; chicken liver mousse; a dry-cured sausage made from wild boar called salsichia di cinghale; guanciale; and soppresata. 

 

Table, Donkey & Stick
Table, Donkey & Stick

Rootstock 

This Humboldt Park gem is beloved for many reasons, from its approachable and reliable wine list to its dizzying craft beer selection, brunch, burger, and much more. Then there’s the lauded charcuterie platters, which command a loyal fanbase in and of themselves. Selections rotate, but regular fixtures include the likes of chicken liver pate, capocollo di doman (spicy pork collar), chicken mousseline terrine, coppa with red wine and peppercorns, saucisson rouge, and cold-smoked beef belly terrine. 

Chestnut Provisions/Cafe des Architectes

One place deserving of some serious charcuterie cred is Cafe des Architectes, which went to the great lengths of establishing its own charcuterie and cheese company called Chestnut Provisions, wherein an immense array of products are made in-house. Not only does the restaurant utilize these items throughout its regular menu, but customers can even enjoy Chestnut Provisions tasting menus specifically highlighting these ingredients. Said items range from hunters salami and ice wine-venison soppressata to miso-togarashi salumi, bresaola, finocchiona, and pepperone. 

Rural Society

Putting an Argentine accent on the charcuterie presentation is Rural Society, which showcases its assorted housemade sausages as part of an asado mixto platter with charred scallions alongside. Available sausages include a beef and pork version, a provoletta-stuffed pork option, blood sausage with pine nuts and raisins, and lamb sweetbreads. 

Chop Shop

Considering Chop Shop is part butcher shop, it’s no surprise the hybrid concept boasts one of the burliest meat boards in town. Their signature “butcher’s board” contains a variety of meats and cheeses with grilled toast points, house jams, and house pickles. Optional meats include porchetta, speck, rillettes, duck breast pastrami, chicken liver mousse, smoked pork loin, lamb pancetta, and gin and juice elk salami. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Wicker ParkPortage ParkStreeterville

This multi-tiered dining and drinking destination is housed in a 100-year-old former auto body shop. Chop Shop, based in Bucktown/Wicker Park, offers a number of components that complement each other,...

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Husband-and-wife team Joey and Brenna Beato have taken over the reins at Community Tavern in Portage Park. What was once touted as a neighborhood steakhouse when it opened in 2015...

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The Purple Pig is a Mediterranean wine bar helmed by chef/partner Jimmy Bannos Jr. The restaurant offers cheese, swine, and wine, among other standout dishes, showcasing the flavors of Italy,...

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