New Menu Items to Salivate Over This Month
With so many restaurants and so many menus, Chicago's dynamic dining scene always has plenty fresh and new creations to pour over. Here's a roundup of some new dishes we're hankering for this month.
Belly Shack: Latin-Asian fusion is a nice way to ward off winter woes, making Belly Shack a solid option anytime of the season. But it's particularly alluring now, what with the restaurant's recently added menu items, which run the gamut from tacos and ramen to soup and roast chicken. The new taco platter features Korean BBQ beef with Napa cabbage kimchi, corn tortillas, refried lentils and dirty rice, while a new wheat berry bowl is a wholesome medley of steamed wheat berries with soy- and sesame-marinated tofu, daikon radish-cucumber salad, arugula, and fried egg. New noodles include a curry udon bowl and Latin-tinged lechon ramen with slow-roasted pork loin and crispy tortillas. The roasted chicken is also not to be missed; half chickens are rubbed with garlic and oregano, roasted, and served with rice, beans, and chimichurri sauce.
Piccolo Sogno Due: There's a new bar menu in town, and it has an Italian accent. Piccolo Sogno Due has raised the bar on bar dining with a bevy of new small plates and pizzas to round out its repertoire. The new menu features dishes like arancini with meat ragu, grilled octopus with roasted peppers, fingerling potatoes, and tuna sauce, crostini, antipasto, and pizza bianca with arugula, mozzarella, shaved Parmesan, and olive oil. There's also something called Pane Fritto, which is fried dough with Parmesan cheese, herbs, and spicy tomato sauce, which sounds like the greatest snack ever.
Cafe des Architectes: A little while ago, Cafe des Architectes launched their ambitious new in-house product like called Chestnut Provisions, encompassing everything from cheeses to charcuterie. Now diners can get up close and personal with the "kitchen-to-table" products via the restaurant's new Chestnut Provisions prix fixe menu, designed to get guests intimately acquainted with some of the items being crafted in the kitchen. For $39 per person, the three-course prix fixe offers a choice between two items per course, with menus changing weekly. A sampling of the types of items you can expect includes roasted beet salad with salami and eight-month aged cheddar; farm-raised spring chicken with apples, salsify, potato puree, and bacon lardons; ricotta gnocchi with brown butter, root vegetable ragout, and cranberries; and chocolate and preserved orange verrine with white chocolate sponge, chocolate crunch, and creamsicle ice cream.
- Matt Kirouac