Winter is slowly coming to an end. As we daydream about getting out of hibernation and back to exploring the great dining scene that Chicagoland has to offer, here are five new restaurants that you should have on your radar.
This restaurant's name refers to a popular South African street food, which is typically hollowed out bread filled with a curry. The owner got acquainted with the dish as a university student in Durban, South Africa's third largest city. Per its Facebook page
, "We have kept the classics—spicy lamb, chicken and veggie curries, but also added some new ones like chicken teriyaki, beef stew and a very American Texas chili—all piled high into our fresh baked, hollowed-out bread loaf." Located in Rogers Park, Bunny Chow is open for lunch and dinner daily, and until 2 a.m. on the weekends.
Bar Biscay's whole oxtail with watercress and orange gremolata. (Photo: Galdones Photography.)
Marketing itself as a "Spanish brasserie" in the Noble Square neighborhood, this new spot from the folks behind mfk.
opened at the end of February. Chef Johnny Anderes is serving dishes with combined inspirations from Spain's northern coast and western France. A number of pintxos
are served in the late afternoon before full dinner service starts at 5 p.m. Dishes include sardines with fennel and lemon; white beans, clams and ham salad; and whole oxtail with watercress and orange gremolata.
"Ludlow Liquors is a neighborhood tavern slingin' stirred cocktails by the ounce, killer whiskey sours, draft punches and cheap beers with a cozy backyard garden," per the restaurant's website. Meanwhile, the connected kitchen is dubbed Old Habits and features an eclectic mix of offerings—including rib tips, a Filipino egg roll, a pot roast sandwich and mostaccioli—each with its own twist, such as the pasta's pig head and beef cheek Bolognese. Be on the lookout for when the patio opens in the spring as it's sure to become a hotspot.
Photo courtesy of Tied House.
Open for dinner in Lakeview, Tied House is under the same ownership as its neighboring music venue, Schubas Tavern. Running the kitchen is Debbie Gold, a highly acclaimed chef who spent the past couple of decades in Kansas City, along with a stint on Top Chef Masters
. Gold offers an approachable fine-dining menu, including Okinawa sweet potato with turnip, fromage blanc and sunflower; beeswax-aged mackerel with leek, yellow beet, horseradish and duck sauce; and lamb rack with cranberry, blood orange and pork sausage.
Located just north of Chicago proper in Evanston, Kinship opened in the beginning of February as an offshoot of Next of Kin, its adjacent market. Leading the kitchen is chef Marco Bahena, who has worked in restaurants near and far, including the three-Michelin-starred Martin Berasatagui in San Sebastián and Chicago's three-decades-old Everest
. The menu features a roster of approachable, American dishes, such as chicken fried scallop shooters, hearth roasted carrots, charred harissa lamb shank and hearth roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and garlic. Kinship is open for dinner daily and weekend brunch.
Hero image courtesy of Bar Biscay. (Photo: Galdones Photography.)