The Early Bird Gets the Bargain

There are good trends and bad, and Happy Hour is one of the best. For starters, everybody wins. Diners get a bargain, and restaurants give down time a positive spin. Some restaurants focus on spirits and nibbles, while others offer a well-priced prix-fixe as a bonus for early birds. Locanda’s location in a part of... Read more »

Yūgen the highly anticipated West Loop restaurant is a thing of beauty

Yūgen the highly anticipated West Loop restaurant is a thing of beauty
Yūgen, in Japanese translates to “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe.” A wonderful name for a restaurant but a lot to live up to. The just opened Yūgen restaurant with Mari Katsumura at the helm occupies the former space that Curtis Duffy’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant Grace once called home at 652 W. Randolph. Katsumura, a Chicago... Read more »

A Tale of Two Pancakes

A Tale of Two Pancakes
This is a tale of two pancakes: the pancake soufflé at the Albert in the EMC2 Hotel and the lemon ricotta pancakes at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook. Both of them are different enough to snag the diner’s attention, and both of them are delicious enough to be habit forming. There’s more to the tale,... Read more »
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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING We’ll be back next Thursday Until then check out America’s favorite side dishes by region. What’s yours? Feel free to post in comments or on Facebook.

Bar Sótano: the latest entry in Rick Bayless' stable of restaurants

Bar Sótano: the latest entry in Rick Bayless' stable of restaurants
After several weeks of soft openings, media previews, friends and family events and industry nights Bar Sótano, OPENING today, is ready for its close-up  Walk east on Hubbard St. to the alley just east of Clark St. where you’ll turn north down the alley walking past the blazing torches of Three Dots & a Dash to a rather... Read more »

Brunch at Osteria Via Stato

Brunch at Osteria Via Stato
Add Osteria Via Stato to the list of restaurants serving brunch on Sundays. The restaurant has always done festive buffet brunches  for Mother’s Day and Easter, and according to chef/partner David Di Gregorio, the response has been so good that  the restaurant decided to make brunch a weekly event. “Sunday brunch is my favorite part... Read more »
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Free Rein: a new dining concept in Chicago's Loop

Free Rein: a new dining concept in Chicago's Loop
We watched as the lunchtime crowd filed into Free Rein for a mid-day meal at the loop’s latest (maybe even greatest) gem at 224 N. Michigan on Chicago’s Cultural Mile just a block south of the Chicago River and the Mag Mile. Having come from a ribbon cutting and breakfast down the street at the ... Read more »

Thursday Night at Yoshi's Cafe

Thursday Night at Yoshi's Cafe
It’s Thursday night at Yoshi’s Cafe, and the three-course, prix-fixe dinner is $26.95. That’s a bargain for virtually any white tablecloth restaurant in a trendy neighborhood in Chicago. For a restaurant with a pedigree like Yoshi’s Cafe, it’s an even bigger bargain, the equivalent of Christmas in July. So many restaurants have come and gone... Read more »

Lobster on a roll at Luke's Lobster in Chicago

Lobster on a roll at Luke's Lobster in Chicago
If you’re wondering why I choose Luke’s Lobster, an East Coast lobster shack that only opened in Chicago in 2015 for my first restaurant to showcase for “A Bite of Chicago” read on… For me, there is something about lobster on a roll that’s magical. That oddball combination of a simple split-top bun filled with... Read more »
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Tuesdays at Friendship House

Tuesdays at Friendship House
Friendship Restaurant in Logan Square bills itself as “180-degrees from ordinary Chinese.” The designation is accurate. The menu avoids the usual cliches, focusing, instead, on creative dishes like tea smoked salmon with scallops” and shrimp mousse stuffed Cornish game hen with crispy prawns in lobster sauce & chili oil. Deciding what to order is difficult,... Read more »