Here is what's trending for fall on Chicago's dining scene

There's a reason that Chicago is among the top foodie destinations on the globe. It's a combination of our traditional favorites that have been around for decades, our one-of-a-kind neighborhood spots and our constantly changing food landscape.

Here are some of the new arrivals along with others coming soon.

Cabra

Cabra.

Cabra rooftop

Wow, what a rooftop. Sit inside or outside, at Stephanie Izard's latest eatery in The Hoxton Hotel, Cabra Cevicheria. Surprisingly, you won't find a lot of goat on the menu--only one entree--the goat empanadas ($14). The ceviche is a win-win, especially the CLASSIC bass ($17), at this Peruvian based spot in the always hot Fulton Market District. The lunch menu and the dinner menu are almost the same with the only exception being the Sanguches section is replaced by Mains on the dinner menu. Prices are the same on both menus, making it a little pricey for lunch but not a bad deal for dinner. The plates are shareable--but some are more shareable than others. The Sea Bass ceviche ($17) was small and really just portioned for one whereas the Fried Chicken sandwich ($16) offered an ample portion for two.

If you drive, be prepared to pay for valet parking as trying to find a space in the area is near impossible. The $16 valet fee seems somewhat pricey for lunch but acceptable for dinner. Make sure to try the Pisco Sour ($15) to get into the Peruvian spirit.

Bandit

Bandit, located in the West Loop, is a polished-casual restaurant and bar that combines the charm and character of a local watering hole/neighborhood bar, with the sophistication and quality of an upscale, chef-driven restaurant. The design of Bandit is a juxtaposition of rustic materials, vintage paraphernalia, and polished décor. It is lowbrow meets high style; glamour meets grit with warm ambient twinkle lights, combined with edgy neon bar signs creating an inviting feel to the restaurant. Nostalgic, “divey” elements are harmoniously married to elevated attributes throughout the concept in both look and feel, as well as the food and drink presentation. The menu is comprised of eclectic American comfort food with Executive Chef Shane Graybeal behind the creation of the dishes. Chef Graybeal brings his rustic American style of cooking to Bandit with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant opened in June 2019.

City Hall

City Hall

City Hall

No, not the one where Lori Lightfoot holds court. This City Hall is helmed by Chef Michael Taus of Charlie Trotter’s, Zealous and Taus Authentic.  City Hall, located in the West Loop neighborhood, offers elevated pub fare in a 20,000 + sq.-ft. venue. This freestanding, fully renovated brick and timber building offers patrons soaring, 40-foot-high ceilings, designed to celebrate the architectural ethos of the vibrant West Loop neighborhood. High-energy classic rock and pop from the ‘60s through the ‘90s is City Hall’s soundtrack, with DJs playing various evenings.

Dirty Rootdirtyroot

Dirty Root is an all-day, fast-casual restaurant that focuses on customizable bowls featuring whole, nutrient-dense, seasonal ingredients. Dirty Root is led by Culinary Director, Justin Milius (The Purple Pig, BalenaFrasca Food & Wine, Plumpjack) and is inspired by the idea of ‘better-for-you food’ and being transparent about about where ingredients are sourced. The quick-service restaurant highlights fresh ingredients from local farmers and purveyors in a grab-n-go setting where guests can ‘create-their-own-adventure’ with choices of three house made bases, vegetable-centric sides and a variety of proteins and flavorful sauces.

St. Clair Supper Club 

Alinea Group has done it again with its new restaurant-within-a-restaurant in the basement of Roister, 951 W. Fulton Market St. St. Clair Supper Club showcases a throwback to Wisconsin Supper Club with four different cuts of prime rib from $48 to $75, and a wide selection of sides including steak fries, asparagus and green beans with dijon and pecans.

Fulton Gallery

Galley Group, the team behind the innovative food hall and restaurant accelerator concepts in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit, have launched their culinary concept, Fulton Gallery (1115 W. Fulton Market). Located in Chicago’s Fulton Market, the 12,000 sq.-ft. space will have a 30-seat bar featuring an innovative cocktail program and curated craft beer lineup, as well as a cozy private dining space. New chefs will rotate in on a regular basis. Each chef will receive a fully built-out kitchen, front of house staff, and more, so that they are able to focus solely on launching their new concept and gaining a loyal following. The first five concepts to open inside of Fulton Galley are: Taco Mucho from Ron Aleman, Pink Salt by Palita Sriratana, Steingold’s Deli from Aaron Steingold, Italianette by Gerad Gobel and Alexis Rorabaugh and Fairview by Dennis Bernard.

Pizzeria Portofino

Lettuce Entertain You's Pizzeria Portofino on the Chicago riverfront has been getting a lot of buzz. The restaurant is a sun-drenched casual pizzeria that instantly transports the guest to the Riviera, offering expansive patio seating on its 130 ft. outdoor terrace. Expect hand-stretched pizzas, vegetable antipasti, and artisan pastas coupled with a robust spritz program and approachable coastal wines. The all-day restaurant will offer lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in a lively and fun atmosphere for all to enjoy.

Politan Row

Politan Row. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Politan Row. Photo: Chicago Tribune

And to think not that not that many years ago Chicago didn't have any Food Halls. Then came Eataly, then Revival Food Hall, Latinicity and the rest is history. Politan Row Chicago is the latest food hall trend, from founder Will Donaldson in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The new digs feature twelve restaurants, a bar, and a beer garden. The food hall offers all-day dining, counter-side service and a variety of seating options allowing guests to dine, grab a drink, work or simply relax. The thoughtfully curated space features 12 local chef-driven concepts including Sandra Holl, Chris Reed and Yosi Alhadif. New to Politan Row is Bar Politan, an inviting craft cocktail bar anchoring the center of the space, and Perle, a German-inspired, outdoor beer garden and the brand’s first standalone beverage concept. Housed in a sleekly designed matte-black shipping container, Perle will feature a selection of German beers on draft as well as seasonal German wine on tap.

RPM On the Water

Riverwalk.

Riverwalk.

Who doesn't love Chicago's Riverwalk? And who doesn't love RPM's team of successful restaurants from partners including R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, chef Doug Psaltis and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic.

The space promises to offer the perfect pairing of panoramic views of the Chicago River and fresh fish and seafood (not from the Chicago River).

 RPM On The Water is scheduled open this fall. Building on the culinary successes of RPM Italian and RPM Steak, RPM On The Water promises to serve "the truest expression of the world's best fish and seafood paired alongside the brand's well-established steak program, award-winning wine lists and impeccable service."

Time Out Market

Chicago will soon be home to Time Out Market, the food and cultural market bringing the best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences, based on editorial curation. Time Out Market Chicago includes chefs Brian Fisher, Thai Dang, Jimmy Bannos Jr., Zoe Schor and more. Time Out Market Chicago will serve a diverse range of cuisines which will make it affordable and accessible for all. Set to open in the second half of 2019 and located in a unique stand-alone brick building in the heart of the Fulton Market District, Time Out Market Chicago will offer a curated mix of 18 eateries, three bars and a demo kitchen. But this is not just about food and drinks; there will also be cooking classes with top chefs, cultural experiences and more.

Tortello

Tottello. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Tottello. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Pasta lovers have a new place to indulge and even learn a trick or two at the just opened Tortello in Wicker Park. The classic family-owned pastificio (fresh pasta shop) and casual dining experience located Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Inspired by the classic pastificio found in many Italian towns, Tortello boasts a handmade pasta program where sfoglinas (pasta makers)— trained by a 65-year-old sfoglina from Puglia, Italy— can be seen crafting a variety of daily fresh “nonna-style" pasta by hand as guests dine. An open kitchen provides a firsthand glimpse of Italian culinary artistry taking place while a showpiece pasta-making station set behind a large storefront window will give passersby a playful view into the heart of Tortello’s “made with love” pasta shop. Opened summer 2019.

Wherewithall

Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim, fresh off winning the James Beard award for Best Chef: Great Lakes for their work at Parachute — the couple’s Michelin-starred Korean restaurant in Avondale — have opened their second restaurant, Wherewithall. After teasing their plans last year, Kim and Clark now reveal that Wherewithall is an all-day restaurant serving breakfast pastries, a-la-carte lunch, and a four-course prix-fixe dinner located in the Avondale neighborhood. The restaurant includes a bar with snacks that pair well with wine, a courtyard and a private dining room.

Small Bites of Chicago

Wicker Park Fall Dinner Crawl

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce presents its 8th annual Wicker Park Bucktown Fall Dinner Crawl on Tuesday, September 17 from 6-9 p.m. Foodies around Chicagoland are invited to taste small bites and signature appetizers from participating restaurants while exploring all that Wicker Park and Bucktown have to offer.

Advance tickets are $35 per person through September 16, and $40 the day of the crawl. Tickets are now available online www.wickerparkbucktown.com.

Celebrate Green City Market, A Song of Thanks at Prairie Grass Cafe 

Join Chef Sarah Stegner and the Prairie Grass Cafe team for a celebration and gathering in honor of Green City Market’s 20th anniversary and the launch of Green City Market, A Song of Thanks by Sharon Hoogsraten. The event takes place at noon, Tuesday, September 17 at Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook.

Prairie Grass Cafe will be celebrating the book with a luncheon featuring very special guests including: author/photographer Sharon Hoogstraten; Jeanne Nolan founder & president of The Organic Gardener; Edible Garden Green City Market; Melissa Flynn, executive director of Green City Market, and Sarah Stegner, co-chef and co-owner of Prairie Grass Cafe and founding board member of Green City Market. Guests will enjoy a special lunch menu, cost $45 per person.

Lakeview Taco Fest

It's a taco party! The glorious stuffed tortilla (with every imaginable ingredient) will take center stage when the popular food happening that is Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest returns for its 7th tasty year on Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22.

Filed under: Chicago restaurants

Leave a comment