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Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago

Best Restaurants for Boozy Brunch in Chicago . Boozy Brunch? 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, […]

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Feb 20, 2017 08:31 PM
Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker, Midday Dining at Animale

Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker, Midday Dining at Animale, Sunday Lasagna at Roots Handmade Pizza and More. . Weekly Planner: Brunch at Publican Anker . Midday Dining at Animale While one restaurant rolls out brunch, another adds lunch. Bucktown’s beloved Animale has added weekday daytime service to its repertoire, featuring an array of panini, […]

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Feb 19, 2017 09:35 AM
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House Turns 20

A Gold Coast legend Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House celebrates a milestone with a throwback. . . Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House Turns 20 this year. One of the OGs of the Gold Coast’s dining scene, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House is celebrating a particularly commemorative occasion with its 20th anniversary this […]

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Feb 17, 2017 05:25 AM

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

Neighborhoods: LoopWest LoopRush & DivisionWicker ParkLincoln Park

Billy Lawless is pleased to announce a new chapter in the life of the Gage building: the opening of Acanto. Acanto, a casual Italian restaurant, replaces Henri, which garnered critical...

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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 Sofitel's red-hued, lobby-level restaurant serves American contemporary cuisine with French accents. The menu is seasonal and Executive Chef Greg Biggers works with many local farmers and purveyors to insure...

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The former chef of Rootstock hops across the block in Humboldt Park to delve even further into the community-oriented neighborhood ideal. At Cafe Marie-Jeanne, the focus is on locally sourced...

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