Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chicago's New Top 50 Restaurants

Every year a new list comes out in our industry for trending liquors, food items, cleaning products and so on and so forth. Usually the liquor and food lists are interesting, not only because there is always something on there that we've never heard of before, but also because it is always fun to experiment with new and interesting items.

Another one of those lists came out recently, as introduced by the National Restaurant Association. That list was some of the Top 50 hot restaurants in 10 major cities across the United States. Being that we have such a close proximity to Chicago, I thought some of our readers might want to know a little bit about 5 of those top 50 restaurants that popped up in the Chicago area:
#1. L20
Newly anointed chef Matthew Kirkley takes an experimental approach to the “intricacies of fish and shellfish” at this home for food full of flourish and futurism.
Popular dishes:
  • Mussel tart with lemon and parsley
  • Geoduck clam with manila clam and lime
  • Striped tortellini with razor clam, garlic and zucchini
  • Maine lobster with foie gras torchon, turnip and clementine vinaigrette
  • Stuffed quail with sunchoke, smoked cherry and 23-flavor gastrique

This suburban outpost in a mall in Mount Prospect has caught the notice of Windy City denizens who trek outward for imaginative and decidedly contemporary takes on surf, turf, and realms beyond. 
Popular dishes:
  • Chicken wings with Buddha dust, dried shrimp and sweet-and-spicy glaze
  • Crispy Brussels sprouts and kale with minced shrimp, sweet chile vinaigrette, peppers and shallots
  • Malay-style sea bass with cauliflower potato purée and roasted tomatoes 

Chef Stefanie Izard’s contemporary take on the diner takes all that’s good about a greasy spoon and lifts it onto another plane. 
Popular dishes:
  • Fat Elvis Waffles with banana, peanut butter-butter and bacon maple syrup
  • “Kimchee & Bacon & Eggs & Pancakes Asian Style Breakfast Tasty Thing”
  • Sloppy Joe with goat, rosemary slaw and squish squash roll
  • Hot Crab Dip with creamy cheesy lump crab and Ritz crackers

Taking its name from a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, this Logan Square favorite takes a seasonal approach to ideas sourced from the Alpine climes of France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. 

Popular dishes:
  • Wanderteller plate (hiker's plate): house-made charcuterie such as duck liver mousse and pheasant galantine
  • Soft Wabian pretzel with cauliflower-gruyère fondue
  • Whole roasted rainbow trout with asparagus, candied black sesame, farmer’s cheese, ground ivy and hard-cooked egg
This idiosyncratic kosher barbecue joint — the name refers in part to a work by the 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides — in Lakeview makes a game of its individuality.
Popular dishes:
  • “Milt burger” with chopped brisket, chili, “bacon,” crispy onions and pickled jalapenos
  • Smoked brisket sandwich
  • Beef spare ribs
I always enjoy going through a list like this because it is really neat to know of the hot spots according to the experts. After reviewing the article I have now added Table, Donkey and Stick to my destination list on our next trip to Chi-Town. If I could hit them all, I would, but we will be realistic and just choose one for now! Which place will you put on yours?

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