ENDIVE SALAD, BLACKBIRD Chef Paul Kahan describes it as "just a modern interpretation of a Lyonnaise salad," but its popularity has earned it a firm spot on the restaurant's constantly changing menu since it opened almost 20 years ago. As for the salad's beautiful—and tasty—potato centerpiece. "Blackbird's modern architecture called out for it," he says. 619 W. Randolph St.
PROSCIUTTO TOAST, MONTEVERDE It's amazing what you can do with leftovers. Or that's the case with chef Sarah Grueneberg, who came up with the brilliant idea of mixing prosciutto scraps with butter. That glorious spread goes on rye toast and is topped with shaved radishes, dill and lemon marmalade. Its many fans know to simply ask for a PBT—and now you do too. 1020 W. Madison St.
MEATBALL, CAFE SPIAGGIA When chef Tony Mantuano opened Spiaggia, he resisted putting a meatball on the modern Italian restaurant's menu. But he relented at its more casual younger sibling, where the delicious, tender orb is inspired by the ones Mantuano's Calabrian grandmother used to make. 980 N. Michigan Ave.
CHARCUTERIE, RIVER ROAST Chef John Hogan has been honing his charcuterie skills since 1983 when he first got into the classic culinary technique as a way to utilize neglected cuts of meat. At River Roast, his years of training come together gloriously on his charcuterie board with head-cheese pate, pork and giardiniera terrine, duck and cherry terrine, and plenty of other meaty goodness. 315 N. LaSalle
SAFFRON SPAGHETTI, GREENRIVER The housemade pasta's yellow color comes from the saffron in the dough, while the orange hue of the creamy sauce is via sea urchin folded in. Add in Manila clams and a lob of urchin, and this dish from chef Aaron Lirette is not only delicious but transports you to Italy's Amalfi Coast. Grazie, Aaron. 259 E. Erie St., 18th Floor