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Say “Aloha” to Chicago’s Dish of the Summer

Chicago’s Dish of the Summer

The 808 Bowl at Aloha Poke Co. is a must-eat in Chicago this season.

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Say "Aloha" to Chicago's Dish of the Summer @ Aloha Poke

Say “Aloha” to Chicago’s Dish of the Summer @ Aloha Poke

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While the poke trend has swept coastal cities, the Hawaiian raw fish dish is finally catching on in Chicago, and we’ve got Aloha Poke Co. to thank for taking the first leap. Tucked inside the bustling Chicago French Market amidst a cornucopia of aromas and food vendors, this casual new poke spot slings some of the freshest and most vibrant food in town, and all at an accessible price point considering the abundance of ingredients stacked into the bowls.

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Chicago’s Dish of the Summer

For a footnote explanation of poke, thing of it as sushi deconstructed and re-configured. Pristine raw fish is of the utmost importance, and it’s the clear focal point, adjoined by complimentary ingredients like all-important rice, vegetables, sauces and seasonings. It’s a fairly straightforward formula, but one not just anyone can execute effectively. Simplicity isn’t as easy as you’d think. At Aloha, proper sourcing is paramount, ensuring each poke bowl is brimming with a veritable rainbow of tastes, from edamame and pineapple, to sweet Maui onions, sliced avocado, toasty sesame oil and a tangy yuzu ranch. Then of course there’s the fish itself, available with ahi tuna or salmon.

Adopting a customizable approach, Aloha allows guests to pick their size bowl, their base (white rice, brown rice or mixed greens) and either marinated or “naked” tuna, salmon or even tofu. The best way to experience poke here, especially considering Aloha marks Chicago’s first dedicated poke restaurant, is with the 808 bowl. With a name inspired by Hawaii’s area code, this is the big kahuna, made with all the ingredients layered with the fish of your choice. That means rice seasoning, cucumber, onion, seaweed, jalapeño, edamame, pineapple, ginger, scallion, avocado and tobiko. Showcasing varying textures and flavors, it’s a thoroughly delicious foray into Hawaii’s answer to sushi, and it’s very clear that poke is on the cusp of enormous popularity in the Windy City.

 

Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

4 Reasons Why Gale Street Inn is a Local Legend

Considering the restaurant and bar industry is notorious for short life spans (most age in dog years, it seems), it’s incredibly impressive when a business can endure for more than half a century. On the far northwest side of the city, Gale Street Inn has done just that, churning out consistent American fare since 1963. It’s a keystone for locals in the area, sure, but here are 4 reasons you should add Gale Street Inn to your must-visit list:

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1). Ribs ribs ribs. Aside from the occasional barbecue restaurant, burly portions of succulent, finger-licking ribs are sort of a bygone delicacy in Chicago, perhaps in part to the steady omnipresence of other meat options like burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and so forth. Gale Street Inn is one of only a few spots in town renowned for their ribs, and they certainly justify the trek up north. They comprise a full section of the menu all their own, available as a full rack, half rack, or rib combos. All ribs come with soup or salad, and to sweeten the deal, full racks are $5 off on Mondays.

2). It’s the perfect mix of classic and modern. While comfortable and reliable menu staples like stuffed mushrooms, potato skins, and French onion soup are present and accounted for, Gale Street Inn is anything but stale. The pub treads the smart middle ground where old standbys are still endearingly comforting, but they also outfit their menu with some surprises, like tuna poke. The diced yellowfin tuna dish is mixed with sweet chili, ginger and sriracha, served with avocado and lavosh crackers.

3). People are always searching for that special place that feels like real life Cheers. Gale Street Inn is that place. It feels almost too good to be true, with a motif seemingly preserved in time and staffed by jovial veteran employees who know customers’ names and stories. It’s that relaxing ambience, friendly vibe, and complete lack of pretension that makes Gale Street Inn the rare gem it remains today.

4). The restaurant is a fixture in Jefferson Park. Like any good neighbor, Gale Street Inn is an active participant in the local community, bringing it beyond merely a watering hole and making it a neighborhood destination and gathering place. The restaurant maintains a neighborhood bulletin board of sorts (it’s actually a chalkboard), complete with up-to-date local events and happenings, from theatre runs to art news and markets. They’re also eco-conscious, participating in incentives like “Save the Straw” days, wherein beverage glasses go without straws to cut back on resources. Gale Street Inn also regularly hosts events like Mardi Gras parties, and birthday parties are a common occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federales Is the West Loop’s New Mexican Hot Spot

Federales Is the West Loop’s New Mexican Hot Spot

Hogsalt and Four Corners Tavern Group team up once again, this time with a Mexican spot in the West Loop.

 

Federales Is the West Loop's New Mexican Hot Spot

Federales Is the West Loop’s New Mexican Hot Spot

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Riding the success of their first joint venture with SteakBar, restaurant groups Four Corners Tavern Group and Hogsalt strike again with Mexican-accented Federales in the West Loop. With an enormous patio, a bevy of margaritas and a miscellany of tacos and ceviche, the newcomer has the recipe to be the hottest Mexican haunt in Chicago since Big Star.

 

West Loop's New Mexican Hot Spot

West Loop’s New Mexican Hot Spot

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It’s all about tacos, nachos, ceviche and other casual Mexican fare at Federales, under the culinary direction of the Hogsalt masterminds. The taco menu features items like carne asada, pulled chipotle chicken and pork belly al pastor, available as platters of four or a la carte and served in either flour or corn tortillas. Group-friendly snacks include queso fundido, taquitos and appropriately enormous portions of nachos, along with fresh seafood like Baja-style shrimp cocktail and octopus ceviche. Churros and soft-serve are on deck for desserts.

The joint handiwork of Hogsalt’s beverage director Jean Tomaro and Four Corners’ bar director Tim Ryll, Federales booze program puts the spotlight on margaritas. They come in flavors like classic, mezcal, strawberry and hibiscus, and there’s even a boozy horchata frozen margarita. Along with a lineup of Mexican beers, including Tecate served with a hot sauce-spiced rim, Federales offers a fun take on tequila shots by serving them in shot glasses literally made of ice.

 

With its boisterous atmosphere, sprawling patio and open-air design, Federales is a nice homage to festive Mexican cantinas, all thanks to Karen Herold of Studio K. Inside, a huge black wood bar anchors the lofty dining room, which seats 176 and sports a fully retractable roof. This gives way to a 154-seat patio and “tequila garden,” accessed through retractable garage-style windows. A fire pit and a floor-to-ceiling mural by street artist Jason Botkin are nice finishing touches. Another cool addition is Federales’ custom trolley, which shuttles patrons to-and-fro local events and venues and serves Tex-Mex food on board.

 

Morton’s Steakhouse Chicago New Summer Menu

Morton’s Steakhouse Chicago New Summer Menu

Celebrate summer with a special tasting menu at Morton’s The Steakhouse for a limited time.

 

Morton's Steakhouse Chicago New Summer Menu

Morton’s Steakhouse Chicago New Summer Menu

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Celebrating Morton’s Steakhouse Chicago New Summer Menu thespecial, joyous time of year is upon us. Morton’s The Steakhouse has introduced its coveted “Celebrate Summer” menu for a limited time. Only available through June 26, the menu is a three-course affair offering a variety of summery specials.

For the first course, guests get to pick from a tomato-mozzarella salad, chopped spinach salad, Morton’s salad, and Caesar salad.

Morton's Steakhouse Chicago

Morton’s Steakhouse Chicago

 

Altogether, the special menu is designed to highlight seasonal items and fresh ingredients, bolstering the already great regular menu with some exciting additions to help kick off the summer season.

The cost for the menu is $45 per person.

 

How it all began…
Morton’s actually exists today because of…hamburgers! Years ago, before co-founders Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch really knew one other, they both worked at the Playboy Club in Montreal. The club was changing the menu, and Klaus cooked a hamburger that was sent out for Arnie to try. Arnie burst into the kitchen, demanding to know “Who cooked that hamburger?”

National Steakhouse Month in Chicago

National Steakhouse Month in Chicago

Celebrate National Steakhouse Month in Chicago at Tavern On Rush

Celebrate National Steakhouse Month in Chicago at Tavern On Rush

 

 

June just so happens to be National Steakhouse Month in Chicago. In honor of this momentous meaty occasion, let’s turn our attention to some of the biggest, burliest, and best steakhouse dishes to celebrate with in Chicago.

In honor of National Steakhouse Month in Chicago, STK actually is serving a special dish all month long. One of the richest cuts of steak available, the prime rib cap is impossibly beefy, tender, and buttery, available throughout June at the River North restaurant. It’s served with green garlic butter and pickled mushrooms.

This being the onset of grilling season and all, the perfect way to commemorate National Steak Month would be with an Italian-accented grilled steak at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse. The River North icon features plenty of indulgences, from truffle butter-coated NY strip to prime rib of beef, but there’s just something about a grilled skirt steak with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, baby arugula, olive oil, rosemary, and lemon that feels so right.

For a truly luxurious steak experience, upgrade to the Mishima beef at Chicago Chop House. It’s an elite, pristine breed from Japan that makes Wagyu and Kobe look like child’s play by comparison. The beef can be ordered as a rib-eye, bone-in cut, NY strip, or porterhouse, all ranging from $59 to $89 in price. If you’re feeling really saucy, gild the lily with enhancements like horseradish crust, bearnaise, or Danish blue cheese.

If at Mastro’s Steakhouse this month, go big. By that we mean 48 ounces of double-cut porterhouse. It’s the biggest (and arguably best) steak on the menu at this temple of a steakhouse, and it’s a fittingly extravagant way to celebrate the month. Accent it with some sides like creamed corn, scalloped potatoes, or Gorgonzola mac & cheese to really hit a home run.

One of the oldest steakhouses in Chicago, Gene & Georgetti is still serving some of the most unique and destination-worthy steak preparations in town. Case in point, the restaurant serves pepper steaks, beef en brochette, and filet Florentine, which is a preparation that includes ingredients like white wine, vermouth, clam juice, cheese, spinach, and butter.

If it’s surf & turf you’re after, one of the best options is The Palm. In honor of National Steakhouse Month in Chicago, the specialty of the house is a broiled jumbo Nova Scotia lobster available in a variety of portions. They’re even better when enjoyed as a half lobster alongside any of the restaurant’s steak preparations, including a filet mignon, bone-in rib-eye, or double-cut NY strip.

In other quasi-surf & turf news, Smith & Wollensky serves an incomparable take on Filet Oscar. The traditional technique involves preparing a 10 oz. filet mignon with colossal lump crab meat, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce. It’s got a little bit of everything, and it all works together deliciously.

Summertime dining means rooftop dining at III Forks Prime Steakhouse. One of the best spots for al fresco eating in Chicago, the steakhouse rooftop also boasts a special lounge menu all its own, with perfectly summery dishes like steak tartare tossed in mustard aioli, a burger topped with slab bacon, and steaks like a tomahawk rib-eye or a prime boneless rib-eye.

At Tavern on Rush, seasonal enhancements to the regular menu include a dish that gives steak the salad treatment (and makes salad that much more appetizing). It’s a Korean BBQ skirt steak salad made with vegetable slaw, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, and kimchi vinaigrette.

Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo: Weekend Planner

Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo: Weekend Planner

 

Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo

Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo

Tequila Dinner at Cantina Laredo 

If tequila is more your summer style, head to Cantina Laredo for a special dinner on June 18. Hosted by country music singer and brand ambassador Andy Velo, the dinner features Sauza tequila cocktails along with a four-course meal crafted by chef Hector Rivera. It all starts with a cocktail reception at 7:00 p.m., followed by seated dinner at 7:30 p.m. The food to be served includes salmon tapas, watermelon jicama salad, choice of filet tacos or halibut, and coconut pecan ice cream. Meanwhile, matching cocktails include a pineapple margarita, raspberry cosmo ‘rita, and black barrel old fashioned. The cost for dinner is $49.99 per person and reservations can be made by calling Cantina Laredo.

Rosé Receptions

Rosé Receptions @ The Bedford

Rosé Receptions @ The Bedford

 

Rosé Receptions at The Bedford

’Tis the season of rosé, and The Bedford is rising to the occasion with a series of monthly rosé receptions, beginning June 17. Hosted in the subterranean restaurant’s Vault room, the receptions will henceforth take place the first Friday of each month through summer. Each event, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., is a complimentary rosé tasting, with the inaugural event featuring samples from Heritage Wine Cellars.

 

Food and Wine Workshop at Intro

Esteemed wine personality Trish Rogers will be in attendance at Intro on June 18 for a special food and wine workshop at 1:30 p.m. Dubbed Zing! Food and Wine Togetherness, the event features three dishes by executive chef Stephen Gillanders matched with three wines. Altogether, the event will exhibit a special method of food and wine pairing through proven chemistry techniques. Attendees will also get a signed copy of Rogers’ book, The Zing! Thing: Fearless Food And Wine Together. The cost is $68 per person and reservations can be made by calling Intro or emailing introchicago@leye.com.

 

Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant

Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Takes Farm-to-Table to the Next Level

Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie Shields have partnered with a farm to give their upcoming dual restaurants a special Midwestern touch.

Chicago's Most Anticipated Restaurant

Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant

 

 

Nowadays it’s impossible to fling an organic vegetable without hitting a restaurant that bills itself in one way or another as farm-to-table. What’s unique, though, is when a chef goes the extra mile—or rather, several miles—by partnering with a farm and forging a special connection unseen almost anywhere in the country. Husband-wife duo John Shields and Karen Urie Shields are those chefs, and they’ve aligned with The Farm in Bourbonnais, Illinois, to curate a specific grow list for their upcoming dual concept West Loop restaurants, Smyth + The Loyalist.

“It definitely stemmed from our time at Town House,” proclaims John Shields of the impetus behind the farm partnership. Town House was the restaurant he and his wife ran in Chilhowie, Virginia, where proximity to farms was paramount. “One of the biggest points of that journey was to be closer to the food, away from the city, connected with the land,” Shields says. “It sort of grew bigger than we ever imagined.” The chefs became entrenched in the life cycle of the seasons and the plants, to the point where Shields says it changed their philosophy and their lives in general.

Chicago's Most Anticipated Restaurant

Chicago’s Most Anticipated Restaurant

After closing Town House for their next chapter, they didn’t want to leave that farm-centric aspect behind. “When we came back here, we really wanted to bring that with us,” Shields adds. How they did so was sheer social media coincidence, as the chef says one day he tweeted asking about fresh black walnuts near Chicago, only to receive a response from a farm in Bourbonnais. The tweet actually came from Elliott Papineau, son of master gardener Rebecca and her husband Alan. The couple has been farming for more than 40 years on their 20-acre property an hour outside Chicago, and along with black walnuts, they’ve got an abundance of berries, asparagus, tomatoes, herbs, fruits, sprouting broccoli, salsify, edible flowers, maple trees tapped for syrup, chickens, eggs, honey and loads more. The Farm, as it’s modestly dubbed, went from being a quiet family operation to an exclusive collaboration with Smyth + The Loyalist.

 

“It’s more than a tagline or something we can use in the press, it’s more about the work that’s gone into it and our relationship with them,” explains Shields about their unique rapport with the Papineaus, who simply love farming in their retirement. The excitement and mutual passion on both sides made the partnership a mutually beneficial endeavor. Shields elaborates on the added inspiration inherent in collaborating with a farm, saying, “Watching a plant of watching a chicken run around a farm and how it acts throughout the season helps us be creative in a lot of ways; it inspires things.”

In culling a custom grow list for Smyth +The Loyalist, the chefs would sit down with the family and put together ideas for plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Spending time out on the farm also helped with ideas. While walking around on the farm with Rebecca, Shields says he saw black locust trees, which blossom into flowers that are members of the pea family. “I used them at Town House, and now I’m working on a dish with peas and locust flowers.”

Smyth + The Loyalist is due this summer. The two-story space in the West Loop contains a more casual lounge on the ground floor (The Loyalist) and a tasting menu concept upstairs (Smyth

Father’s Day Dining in Chicago Steakhouses

Father’s Day Dining in Chicago Steakhouses

Few things make dad happier than a nice steakhouse dinner. This Father’s Day, treat him to a special meal at one of Chicago’s best steakhouses, many of which are offering specials, discounts, and more.

 

Father's Day Dining in Chicago (Prime & Provisions)

Father’s Day Dining in Chicago (Prime & Provisions)

 

Prime & Provisions:

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This quintessential Loop steakhouse is the place to be for 100% USDA prime steaks and premium cigars all weekend long June 18 and June 19. In addition to Father’s Day dinner, starting at 5:00 p.m. both nights, the venerable restaurant will be giving each father a hand-picked gift bag brimming with items from male-focused shops like The Tie Bar, Nicholas Joseph Custom Suits, The Art of Shaving, and more. In case that wasn’t enough incentive, each dad will receive a free Old Fashioned cocktail upon arrival for dinner. And on Saturday, Prime & Provisions will feature an interactive golf simulator where dad can practice his moves. Then on Sunday, The Glen Club and Nike reps will be in attendance with clubs and apparel to peruse. Even if dad doesn’t feel like going out to dinner, Prime & Provisions has his back with special gift boxes for takeaway. On sale now until Father’s Day for $50, each box contains a wood cigar box, signature steak rub, and a bottle of Chivas.

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Father’s Day Dining in Chicago at  Morton’s The Steakhouse:

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Come Father’s Day, Morton’s The Steakhouse will feature a special tasting menu at all Chicagoland locations. Available for $69 per person on June 19, the menu gets underway with choice of baked five onion soup crusted with Swiss cheese, Caesar salad, or center-cut iceberg lettuce salad. For entrees, choose from a filet mignon with bearnaise sauce, a NY strip, Cajun rib-eye, broiled salmon fillet with beaurre blanc, or chicken Christopher with garlic beurre blanc. Each entree comes with choice of vegetable or potato, followed by carrot cake or hot chocolate cake for dessert.
Michael Jordan’s Steak House:
This Father’s Day at Michael Jordan’s Steak House, the first 23 dads to order the prime Delmonico will take home an engraved steak knife to commemorate their meal. The boneless rib-eye just so happens to be Michael Jordan’s favorite item on the menu, dry-aged for 45 days.
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RPM Steak:

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In honor of dads in Chicago, RPM Steak is opening its doors early on June 19, serving its revered dinner menu all afternoon and night long from 12:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. The menu is filled with impressive dishes that are sure to wow dad, including coal-roasted crab, the 42 oz. tomahawk steak, and the signature “The Duke,” a 10 oz. rib-eye filet. Reservations can be made now by calling RPM Steak.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab:
This River North staple is already a hit with dads, featuring an a la carte menu of steaks, seafood, and more. For an added incentive this Father’s Day, Joe’s is upping the ante by offering all dads a gift of Joe’s Steak Spice when they leave. Reservations are highly recommended.
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Father’s Day Dining in Chicago III Forks Prime Steakhouse:

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One of the best Father’s Day deals of the year can be found at III Forks Prime Steakhouse, which is offering dads a complimentary steak (up to $50) with any entree purchase of equal or greater value in June 19. To drink, the restaurant will be featuring a special hickory pineapple margarita made with Espolon Reposado tequila, fresh lime, hickory smoke syrup, and pineapple juice.
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STK:

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If dad likes surf & turf, STK is a requisite destination. For Father’s Day, the slick steakhouse is offering an 18 oz dry-aged Kansas City strip loin with grilled Alaskan king crab and lime zest butter for $98. It’s all served with Wagyu confit fingerling potatoes, just to gild the lily a little bit more.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House:
Another steak special can be had at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, which is bringing out the big guns for the holiday with a 32 oz. long bone Wagyu tomahawk rib-eye on June 19. This generously seasoned and broiled cut will be available from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses

Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses

Steakhouses may have a history as an all-American pastime, which makes sense considering our abundance of beef and our proclivity for glorified meat and potatoes. But the steakhouse tradition extends well beyond our borders, and fortunately Chicago restaurants have delivered a comprehensive steakhouse variety with cuisines ranging from German to Argentine. For a taste of the eclectic in the heart of the Midwest, you can’t go wrong with these picks:

 

Chicago's Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Rural Society)

Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Rural Society)

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Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses

Rural Society, Argentine: If there’s one country that loves beef as much as the U.S., it’s Argentina. Cattle is an enormous industry down there, and of some of the highest quality in the world. The South American meat takes center-stage at Streeterville’s Rural Society, a burly endeavor from celeb chef Jose Garces and executive chef Cory Morris. The restaurant is not only a thoroughly transportive experience by design, with an aromatic dining room designed to resemble an equine hideaway, but the food hits the nail on the head too. Meats are wood-grilled to succulent perfect, adapting a pleasant and addictive smoky aroma throughout. While a few cuts come from American farms, others hail from South America, offering something different for the Chicago steak landscape. Try the bife de chorizo, a grass-fed rib-eye from Uruguay, or the tenderloin also from Uruguay. Pair the meat with any of Rural Society’s killer vegetables, starters, or potato dishes and you’ve got a match made in meaty heaven.

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Chicago's Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Harry Caray's)

Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Harry Caray’s)

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Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf, French: Unlike your standard Midwestern fare, the steakhouse fixings at Bavette’s bring a discerning richness in a whole new way. For instance, hors d’oeuvres include foie gras terrine with Cognac and quatre epices and baked goat cheese ca. 1992 with red sauce and fines herbes. For steaks, there’s steak frites with bearnaise and a petite duchess cut with roasted tomato and herb butter. Even the sides and “Odds N’ Ends” skew French, with items like pomme frites with garlic aioli, beef tongue with fingerlings, roasted bone marrow with caramelized red onion jam, and creamed spinach with blue cheese.

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Chicago's Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Bavette's)

Chicago’s Best Ethnic Steakhouses (Bavette’s)

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Boeufhaus: German: One of the biggest dining surprises in Chicago last year was this humble, pint-sized steakhouse on the edge of Ukrainian Village and Humboldt Park, a very unlikely locale for a German-accented restaurant like this. The surprises keep on coming throughout the night at this dimly lit enclave, from starters like tarte flambee and short rib beignets to a pork sausage called fleischschnacka, a charred sourdough stracciatella, boeuf tartare, and cauliflower gratin with Gruyere, bechamel, and herbed breadcrumbs. Then there are the entrees, which run the gamut from dry-aged rib-eyes and steak frites to duck breast with choucroute and a lardo-wrapped veal loin with mustard jus, garlic spinach, and marrow gnocchi.

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Roka Akor, Japanese: Few places master surf and turf so effortlessly quite like Roka Akor, the River North steakhouse with a penchant for sushi and omakases. It’s one of the few places where you can preface your steakhouse experience with items like robata grilled artichoke, hamachi tartare, and lobster-red miso soup. Steaks here get cooked on the piping hot robata grill, achieving a decadent sear before getting dressed by sauces like chili-ginger sauce and wafu dressing. Steak options include a prime beef filet, a prime rib-eye, prime skirt steak, and New York strip loin.

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Revolucion, Mexican: In Lakeview, another steakhouse serving a surprising dining experience is Revolucion. Not only is the neighborhood far from typical, but the Mexican-leaning cuisine fuses an all-American pastime with some zesty south of the border flavor. Here, appetizers include guacamole, ceviche, and cecina steak taquiza, which consists of three housemade tortilla tacos stuffed with grilled steak, pinto beans, melted Chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado-tomatillo salsa. Even the steaks get some uncommon accents, like accompanying cotija-guajillo fries, queso fundido crust, epazote-peppercorn rub, ancho bernaise sauce, and creamy tomatillo jalapeno.

Pop-up Brunch at TWO

Pop-up Brunch at TWO, Raised Begins Brunch and AIDS Fundraiser at Elixir: Weekend Planner

Pop-up Brunch at TWO

Pop-up Brunch at TWO

 

Pop-up Brunch at TWO

Considering how incredible their dinner menu is, you better believe brunch at TWO is not to be missed. Brunch isn’t a regular thing at the West Town restaurant, but rather a pop-up exclusive on June 12, so be sure not to miss this goodness. From 10:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., the Midwestern-inspired spot will serve up upgraded takes on breakfast classics courtesy of executive chef Kevin Cuddihee and pastry chef George Kovach. Items will include bacon brioche cinnamon rolls, lobster Benedict and hot chicken & waffles, plus a brunch cocktail menu

Pop-up Brunch at TWO

Brunch at Raised

In other brunch news, rooftop newcomer Raised has added Sunday brunch to its repertoire, so now you can enjoy morning fare and mimosas with a gorgeous view of downtown Chicago and the river. Curated by chef Daniel Perez, the menu includes items like bagel chips and lox with hard-boiled egg, chorizo hash with cotija cheese, beef tenderloin sliders with truffle cheese, and something called the Frassant, a pastry made with croissant dough, cinnamon, sugar, chocolate sauce and berry jam. To round out the eats, William Nykaza has implemented a “tool box” beverage program to serve up to four people with a variety of cocktail items for DIY Bloody Marys and mimosas. And for more sweets, try the peanut butter and jelly push-pops or burnt caramel ice cream sandwiches. Brunch is served on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

 

The Ride for AIDS Fundraiser at Elixir

In non-brunch event news, Elixir Lounge in Lakeview is hosting a special fundraiser on June 11 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. to benefit The Ride for AIDS Chicago and Team to End AIDS. With a suggested donation of $10, attendees will get one free Altos Tequila cocktail and one free well drink ticket. There’s a raffle with prizes including a two-night stay at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a basket of wine, and other goodies.