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Guide - Restaurants - New American

2 Sparrows

553 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 773-234-2320

Description: LINCOLN PARK. The early morning crowd and weekend brunch fans head to 2 Sparrows. Using locally sourced ingredients, this restaurant offers farm fresh eggs, pulled chicken and tomatillo salsa, and market quiche with seasonal vegetables and greens. Lunch options include a grilled cheese sandwich with fresh goat cheese, gruyere, and cheddar, and a salmon BLT on a potato roll with house-made bacon, tomato, and red wine aioli. Sample the creative cocktails, such as the Bloody Norseman, a bloody Mary that includes beef jerky and pickles.
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1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 312-867-0110

Description: LINCOLN PARK. Prepare for sensory overload when you reserve a dinner at this hotspot ­ hailed as one of the best restaurants in the nation. Celebrated chef Grant Achatz, a former apprentice to Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame), steers willing diners through meals comprised of 12 or 24 tastes of culinary nirvana. Many \\"courses,\\" each consisting of a single, flavorful bite, are presented on serviceware tailored to a particular dish; in-the-know servers instruct you on how to consume each one. Usual textures, temperatures, and tastes of familiar ingredients are redefined and synthesized in dishes like peach with smoked paprika and carrot, or trout roe with cucumber and coconut. Unexpected platings and presentations are part of the sheer delight of eating in this sleek, minimalist space. A sommelier can suggest the perfect pairings for your gustatory explorations.
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120 E Delaware Pl, Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago, IL 60611 312-799-4900

Description: MAGNIFICENT MILE. Paying homage to a family of plants and the word that gave us Chicago, Allium is a casual dining option steps off the Magnificent Mile. The menu focuses on appetizing American comfort food with many of the ingredients sourced from local farms, and what many critics hail as the best hot dog in the entire city. And it's not your ordinary dog; everything on this dog is homemade, even the bun.
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Aria Restaurant & Bar

200 N Columbus Dr, Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL 60601 312-444-9494

Description: DOWNTOWN. This hotel dining room has made quite a name for itself even outside of the property's confines. It draws rave reviews from business folks and other locals who can't get enough of the kitchen's Continental-Asian fusion fare. Flatbread pizzas and pan-roasted Osaka black cod are notable, along with masaman-style braised veal shank and chestnut-crusted filet of striped bass. The dining room is nicely accented with mosaics and tapestries, and a sushi-and-sake lounge promotes relaxed nibbling.
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Bijan's Bistro

633 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-202-1904

Description: RIVER NORTH. Serving both food and drink until the wee hours, this New American bistro has become a popular spot, especially with the late-night bunch. Inside, dark woods, copper tiles, and faux antique light fixtures establish a comfy setting, and the menu has plenty of variety, thanks to appetizers, specialty salads, soups, sandwiches, and poultry, beef, and seafood entrees. Try barbecued chicken or a fresh-ground burger with hand-cut fries to bolster your energy.
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Bin 36

339 N Dearborn St, Marina City, Chicago, IL 60610 312-755-9463

Description: RIVER NORTH. Fine food and wines highlight the appeal of this city gem, a favorite of sophisticates. As you scan the fabulous New American menu, notice that each dish is paired with the staff's wine recommendations. At lunch, patrons are wowed by the likes of Niçoise salad with seared ahi tuna and sherry-walnut vinaigrette, and pesto fettuccine with Gulf shrimp. Plan on a leisurely meal ­ the wine list offers many excuses for enjoyment and edification. N.B. A quick lunch option helps folks on the clock.
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619 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 312-715-0708

Description: WEST LOOP. Blackbird created quite a stir in its first year and has maintained its appeal ever since. Reservations can be difficult to obtain, but once you secure them, you'll revel in creative, simply-prepared food with complex flavors. Starters may include smoked trout with caviar and crème frâiche or scallops dressed with cornmeal, fennel, and orange wedges. Main courses feature rack of lamb, venison loin, Alaskan halibut, and breast of squab. With room to seat only 58, the intimate place can feel crowded at times, but such coziness is a small concession to make for such a superb meal.
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1729 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 312-337-6070

Description: LINCOLN PARK. Boka's creates visionary, seasonal menus focused on fresh ingredients from regional farmers. Small-plate salads featuring tender greens topped with tangy vinaigrettes complement main courses like grilled Muscovy Duck breast and sides like roasted Brussels sprouts or rainbow cauliflower gratin. Millennial design twists include an illuminated, stainless-steel water trough and fabric sculptures, which make dining a vibrant, sensory experience. The bar remains open late, serving handcrafted cocktails.
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Catch 35

35 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 312-346-3500

Description: THE LOOP. If you've made up your mind to have seafood, make a beeline for this notable place, whose vast menu features lots of seafood favorites prepared in a variety of culinary styles. Choose from the likes of Chilean sea bass, stir-fried shrimp and scallops, seared Creole seasoned salmon, Bahamian fish chowder, grilled Atlantic salmon, and grilled yellow fin tuna. Steaks can also be had, and live jazz is a treat in the bar most nights. Valet parking available.
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1655 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60622 773-862-5263

Description: BUCKTOWN. Jane's, which makes its residence in a green brick home, is a perfect spot for a dinner outing. The rather eclectic menu focuses on New American cuisine and has a number of Asian and Spanish influences. As a result, you'll find herb-stuffed chicken breast, seared sea bass, pan-roasted grouper, and New Orleans black grouper. Brunch is available on weekend mornings, and outdoor seating is available during warm weather.
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MK The Restaurant

868 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60610 312-482-9179

Description: RIVER NORTH. Chef Michael Kornick's much-loved eatery is one of the most hip and happening destinations in the city, and it's definitely a place to see and be seen. Delightfully presented and decadently delicious, its contemporary American cuisine features such innovative dishes as venison with onions braised in rich zinfandel and served with apple endive salad, rack of pork with softened cabbage and figs, and homemade pasta tossed with butter and capped with black truffle shavings. Desserts by resident pastry chef Tony Galzin will have you swooning. EL: Brown or Purple Line to Chicago
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500 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 312-321-6242

Description: RIVER NORTH. The entree list reads like it's pulled directly from a who's who of award-winning dishes, including wild halibut with mushrooms and squash, herb-roasted wild striped bass, glazed Scottish salmon served atop French lentils, and filet of beef tenderloin served with foie gras and mushrooms. The list goes on and on, but it does change seasonally so that each visit brings new surprises. A large wine list features wines from across the world with a limited number available by the glass.
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800 N Michigan Ave, Park Hyatt Chicago, 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60610 312-239-4030

Description: MAGNIFICENT MILE. This restaurant offers an impressive view of the city as well as an upscale, elegant environment. Start off with peeky toe crab salad or a scallop tart. Next, order monkfish brochette, wild striped bass, or even the always-enticing veal strip loin. A full bar offers a vast array of wines and liquors. For added glamour, experience the romance of outdoor terrace dining by candlelight when the weather's pleasant.
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North Pond

2610 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 773-477-5845

Description: LINCOLN PARK. Set in the middle of an idyllic park, this cozy cabin, rife with Arts & Crafts style, is known for its great brunch. The warm, simple structure keeps a focus on the views ­ tree-lined ponds, bursts of flowers, and the city skyline ­ not to mention the food. Brunch is a prix fixe three-course extravaganza that features courses like citrus brioche French toast and spinach-cheese-egg strata. Dinner includes dishes like Alaskan halibut with fava beans, sage-roasted breast of guinea hen, and a grilled New York strip.
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Park Grill

11 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60602 312-521-7275

Description: THE LOOP. Located in Millenium Park, this popular restaurant offers terrific views of the park grounds and outdoor ice rink in the winter. They serve a reputable menu of modern favorites, from Rushing Waters rainbow trout to prime sirloin steak with pommes frites. Wine available by the bottle, glass or quartino.
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Pops for Champagne

601 N State St, Chicago, IL 60611 312-266-7677

Description: LAKE VIEW. This long-lived live music club and champagne bar (25-plus years!) is a city mainstay, now relocated from its original Lake View neighborhood. A sleek, stylish bar lets patrons sip and mingle, while a downstairs lounge envelops folks in intimate surroundings and terrific live jazz. The shop sells sparkling wines and offers lunchtime and light evening fare, including scrumptious housemade desserts like brown butter cheesecake, mini tarts, and chocolate fondue with berries. A raw bar and caviars are included in the upscale offerings, and more than 125 champagnes are available. Jazz sets begin at 9pm.
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Pop's for Champagne

601 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654 312-266-7677

Description: RIVER NORTH. This long-lived live music club and champagne bar (25-plus years!) is a city mainstay, now relocated from its original Lake View neighborhood. A sleek, stylish bar lets patrons sip and mingle, while a downstairs lounge envelops folks in intimate surroundings and terrific live jazz. The shop sells sparkling wines and offers lunchtime and light evening fare, including scrumptious housemade desserts like brown butter cheesecake, mini tarts, and chocolate fondue with berries. A raw bar and caviars are included in the upscale offerings, and more than 125 champagnes are available. Jazz sets begin at 9pm.
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Pump Room

1301 N State Pkwy, PUBLIC Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL 60610 312-229-6740

Description: GOLD COAST. The Pump Room is one of this city's legendary restaurants. Dine on fine Limoges china under the sparkle of crystal chandeliers and enjoy the contemporary American cuisine turned out by the Pump Room's award-winning chef.
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Schwa Restaurant

1466 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 773-252-1466

Description: WICKER PARK. Chef Michael Carlson opened this off-the-beaten-path eatery focusing on artful food presentation in 2006. Simultaneously upscale and relaxed, the dining room is petite, so reservations are mandatory. Prix fixe meals are standard, and a BYOB policy allows diners to enhance their meals. Options consist of dishes as diverse as kona kampachi, phad Thai, and arctic char roe. Experience the \"revolutionary eating experience.\"
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65 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603 312-786-9911

Description: SOUTH LOOP. This South Loop Italian restaurant is lively and boasts an energetic feel to it. Try one of the artisanal pizzas on the menu that include toppings like Swiss chard, pancetta, smoked salmon, acorn squash, or roasted Brussels sprouts. Not in the mood for pizza? Opt for the lasagna Bolognese with rich Béchamel sauce or duck breast with ginger compote. Pair with a glass of craft beer or wine.
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