Linguine with seafood and shellfish at Ascione Bistro
From the University of Chicago to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the Museum of Science and Industry, culture has always been the Hyde Park neighborhood’s main attraction. Now the dining scene has become just as much of a draw. Here, five not-to-be-missed spots south of downtown Chicago.
1. Ascione Bistro This Italian newcomer tempts with smart takes on classic dishes (think grilled octopus with onion jam, and veal osso buco) and decadent pastas with housemade noodles, some gluten-free. 1500 E. 55th St.
2. Mesler Kitchen In the buzzing Sophy hotel, this sophisticated spot has become an instant neighborhood favorite thanks to the welcoming vibe and executive chef Matthew Cappellini’s approachable global fare. 1401 E. 53rd St.
3. Virtue Restaurant Chef Erick Williams has already scored a Michelin Bib Gourmand for his take on Southern cuisine, with menu favorites like green tomatoes with shrimp and remoulade, and pork chops with cabbage and red peas with cherry jus. 1462 E. 53rd St.
4. The Promontory At this restaurant-cum-music venue, the eclectic menu (crab salad with heirloom tomatoes and Thai basil; pork shoulder with refried butter beans and ham hock) matches the live talent lineup, which ranges from jazz to juke. 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W.