I have a new list of must-visit restaurants in Chicago. These places all won a mention on the Open Table Diner’s Choice 100 Hotspot Restaurants in the nation. The winners list is based on reviews from customers who made reservations through Open Table and then wrote a review, so it’s not double-blind kind of comparison. But hey, when people make the time and effort to write a review, that in itself is telling. And when the great preponderance of reviews is highly positive, it’s fair to say something good is going on.
I’ve only been to one of these places so far (Girl and the Goat), and that was on a night when they did something totally off their typical radar – one of their Sunday night family-style dinners that was Asian-inspired. Certainly very good, but not extraordinary. However, people I know who’ve been to other family dinners have rated their experience a 10. So I’m ready to try again.
And of course I’m eager to try the other six places that won. Herewith, the 7 Chicago restaurants that won Diner’s Choice Open Table Awards.
- Girl & the Goat, 809 W. Randolph. This is one winner on which critics and diners agree wholeheartedly. A frequently changing menu of “fun foods, craft beers and [housemade] wines in a rustic and bad-ass environment.” Chef/Owner Stephanie Izard also just won a James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
- Nico Osteria, 1015 N. Rush. A dazzling array of fish and seafood punctuates a menu that’s loaded with Italian words you might not get. If the food is as good as the prices would indicate, check your credit card balance before you come and be prepared to indulge.
- RPM Italian, 52 W. Illinois. Classic Italian dining with a creative flair. Small bites include gems like fried olives and white figs with gorgonzola. Starters feature, among other things, cold and hot antipasti, Lobster Caprese, imported burrata with arugula and mostarda fruit. Housemade specials include ricotta, breads, pastas and risottos. Steaks, pork, chicken and seafood items round out the dinner menu.
- Siena Tavern, 51 W. Kinzie St. Look for your favorites on the mozzarella, pizza and crudo (raw) bars. Antipasti, salads, giant steaks, brick chicken, ossobuco, roast rack of lamb, and housemade pastas star on the dinner menu.
- Sunda, 110 W. Illinois. New Asian cuisine with an extensive dinner menu that features everything from dim sum, noodles, signature sushi and sashimi, to pork belly, steaks and seafood like Malay Style Chilean Sea Bass and Miso Bronzed Black Cod.
- Tanta, 118 W. Grand Ave. Peruvian dishes intermingled with occasional flashes of modern Japanese fusion. Skewers, cebiches, Peruvian whipped-potato-based dishes. Check out the dinner menu.
- Untitled, 111 W. Kinzie. Modeled on supper clubs of the Prohibition era, the menu includes snacks like pretzels with mustard ale, fried pickles and more. Cheeses are goat, cow and sheep types. Charcuterie includes terrine, chicken liver mousse and cured meats. They have live music every night and a lively bar scene.