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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
Best Restaurants in Boystown

With June being Pride Month, there’s no better time of year to spend dining and drinking in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. The vibrant Lakeview area enclave is best known perhaps for its clubs, drag brunches and rainbow pylons, but the neighborhood is becoming a serious dining destination in its own right, thanks to restaurants like these: […]

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Jun 11, 2018 10:32 PM
Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series

Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy hour is the happiest of all when you’re surrounded by bowling alleys, bocce courts, karaoke rooms and dart boards. The West Loop’s brand new Punch Bowl Social, a behemoth dining and gaming complex out of Denver, has jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, […]

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Jun 05, 2018 06:53 PM

Chicago's Best and Brightest Crudite Plates

In the heat of summer, people typically scream for ice cream. But something that’s just as scream-worthy? Crudite. Proving that fresh, seasonal vegetables can be perfect in their simplicity, restaurants throughout Chicago are showcasing produce via assorted crudites with different dips and seasonings. 

 

Bar Marta
Bar Marta

Cafe Marie-Jeanne: Everybody loves sour cream and onion dip. At Cafe Marie-Jeanne, chef Mike Simmons freshens up the iconic party dip with a whole garden’s worth of fresh veggies. The housemade sour cream and onion dip, made with fresh cheese and creme fraiche, comes with whatever assorted items are in season at Green City Market items. On any given night, even during the same week, the roster of crudite provisions may be different. Examples include wild ferns, fennel frond, asparagus, turnip, radish and apple. 

Bar Marta: Cottage cheese has never been cooler than at Bar Marta. This Humboldt Park hot spot makes its own buttermilk cottage cheese as the crudite centerpiece for a beautiful melange of summer vegetables, from slivered summer squashes to cucumbers. 

Ēma: Brand new to River North’s restaurant scene, Ēma couldn’t have emerged at a better time. The Mediterranean-accented restaurant from CJ Jacobson features a variety of light and fresh creations, including a vegetable crudite served with za’atar-spiced hummus. 

 

Stella Barra; photo by Anjali Pinto

Stella Barra Pizzeria: Before you dig into Stella Barra’s famed pizzas, an apt starter would be the restaurant’s colorful crudite. Shaved radishes, cucumbers, carrots, jicama and sweet bell peppers are served with cauliflower hummus and arugula pesto, making for one of the best and brightest renditions in town. 

Acanto: Who says crudite can’t be decadent? One surefire way to up the comfort food factor with fresh vegetables is by serving them with parmigiana crema, like the version being served at Acanto. Along with a melange of tomatoes, carrots and radishes, the crema is accented with lemon oil and red pepper. 

Chop Shop: This Bucktown butcher shop/restaurant/bar may have a reputation for meat, but the kitchen is just as adept at seasonal vegetables. For instance, a smoked pea hummus crudite platter is just as alluring as Chop Shop’s famous charcuterie spreads, outfitted with assorted vegetables and flatbread pieces. 

 

The Kitchen
The Kitchen

The Kitchen: Another spot for hummus and crudite is The Kitchen, one of River North’s go-to destinations for farm-fresh ingredients in stunning presentations. Here, baby fennel, radish and baby carrots are the vegetables of choice, beautifully arranged over a bed of chickpea puree. 

Cafe des Architectes: Proving that crudite can be much more than a smattering of veggies and dip, Cafe des Architectes goes a step further (several steps, actually) by serving baby greens and cheve on a housemade barley cracker and rounding it out with their own Chestnut Provisions lamb salami. 

avec: Embracing its Mediterranean roots, avec goes full-force with its version of crudite. It’s actually a beautiful mezze presentations of chermoula-spiced carrots, marinated artichokes, labneh, cherry tomatoes, pita and beet muhammars, which is a take on a traditional rice dish from Bahrain. 

- Matt Kirouac


A relative newcomer to the burgeoning Humboldt Park dining scene, Bar Marta is a cozy, dimly lit hideaway serving sophisticated American and French fare, with classic cocktails from a mirror-backed...


The former chef of Rootstock hops across the block in Humboldt Park to delve even further into the community-oriented neighborhood ideal.

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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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