Spring has arrived in Chicago, which makes it an excellent time to travel to the city to sample its latest crop of buzzy restaurants. Among the newcomers: a botanical brewpub, a different take on the classic Chinatown eatery, and a mecca for homemade pasta lovers. Here, we’ve rounded up your new favorite Windy City eats.
Maple & Ash: the two-floor Gold Coast newcomer opened in November and shows off the work of Studio K’s Karen Herold, whose other design projects include Chicago favorites like Girl & the Goat and GT Fish & Oyster. The herringbone wood floors, custom-made jewelry inspired chandelier, and club chairs provide a vaguely Art Deco atmosphere for the classic steakhouse menu items.
Duck Duck Goat: booked solid from the moment it opened its doors earlier this month, this Chinese-inspired restaurant in the West Loop is the third from Bravo’s Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, who also runs the aforementioned Girl & The Goat and Little Goat Diner. The interiors, meanwhile, are meant to evoke classic Chinatown eateries across the country, with swaths of red wallpaper and an almost apothecary-like feel to the rooms.
Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio: Monteverde may have only been open since November, but Chicago P.D. star Sophia Bush has already dubbed it one of her favorite haunts. The sunlit space has an elevated sense of rusticity (floor-to-ceiling windows; exposed, industrial ceilings), and there’s even a pastificio behind the bar, allowing you to watch as chefs roll and fill the dough.
Bar Marta: this cozy, casual Humboldt Park joint is run by owner Austin Baker and executive chef Jeff Pikus, who’ve created a classic cocktail list that’s a highlight (on offer: three different takes on the old fashioned).
Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery: Chef Dan Weiland created the eclectic American menu at this West Town brewpub – think malted hangar steak and milk-brined pork—to complement the brewery’s “botanical beers.” Owner Robert Finkel and his team use bark, blossoms, saps, herbs, and, yes, roots to concoct inventive sips like the Shady Character Porter, brewed with black walnut, roasted chestnuts, licorice, star anise, and tellicherry pepper, and the Sublime Ginger, infused with key lime juice, ginger, honeybush, and, of course, ginger.
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