By Lauren Brocato By Lauren Brocato | October 26, 2022 | Food & Drink
Chicago’s culinary scene is on fire this season as seven new spots bring fresh flavors to the Windy City.
Hide Seek’s design is as impressive as its bill of fare.
HIDE + SEEK
The West Loop’s Restaurant Row is now home to newly opened two-story eatery Hide + Seek. The elegant spot, situated adjacent to Bar Siena in the former Vivo restaurant space, is the brainchild of hospitality vets Nick Karounos (Prysm nightclub’s co-owner), Danny Vargas and John Poda, and invites guests with a warm sophistication that complements the bill of fare. Shared plates take the main stage here, and a balance between vegetableand protein-forward dishes guides the menu. Housemade spinach and ricotta gnudi, American wagyu short rib and larger dishes like a 60-day dry-aged ribeye pair with creative cocktails crafted with French, Italian and American spirits. “Every night is going to be someone’s first time with us,” Vargas says. “So seeing someone experience Hide + Seek for the first time excites us, and it always will.” 838 W. Randolph St.
A spread from Canal Street Eatery & Market
CANAL STREET EATERY & MARKET
Expansive new culinary destination Canal Street Eatery offers Chicagoans a taste of Italy. On the main level of the BMO Tower, chef Forster Sorensen (previously with Publican, Hogsalt, Dolly Varden and Oscar Wilde) serves fresh pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas and entrees such as salmon piccata in a spacious, 11,000-square-foot space. Pair a glass from beverage director Laine Peterson’s Italian-focused wine list for the full experience. Sorensen and chef de cuisine Ross Sundberg also offer sandwiches, salads and more at the Canal Street Market, where a coffee and pastry counter accommodates those on the go. 314 S. Canal St.
Lobster thermidor from Grill on 21
GRILL ON 21
Travel up to the 21st floor of the recently opened LaSalle Hotel to find the new Grill on 21, a sleek restaurant and lounge that serves sophisticated takes on American cuisine. “Whether guests are looking for a nutritious breakfast, an efficient and polished business lunch, or an indulgent night out, Grill on 21 is the perfect option,” suggests Antoine Gaillard, director of operations. Executive chef Rene Luna brings experience from Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotel culinary programs to the table, offering dishes like lobster thermidor and plant-based selects like hearth-fired cauliflower and carrot tartare. 208 S. LaSalle St.
Yardbird’s new Chicago location serves up a slate of Southern comfort food classics.
James Beard Award-nominated dining concept Yardbird made its Chicago debut in October, bringing its signature indulgent bites and heady bourbon cocktails to River North. The Miami Beach-born eatery dishes out elevated takes on Southern plates like mouthwatering chicken and waffles (the most popular dish), lobster mac and cheese, and fried green tomato BLT. “We started the process well over five years ago to find the perfect Chicago spot,” says John Kunkel, 50 Eggs Hospitality Group founder, of his newly opened restaurant. “Chicago is an amazing food city—I think one of the best in the U.S.—and I’m not only excited to be part of the Chicago community, but part of the hospitality community as well.” 530 N. Wabash Ave.
The West Loop gets a lot sweeter with the debut of chef Fabio Viviani’s new gourmet dessert concept, Jars, this fall. The beloved Top Chef toque behind spots like Curfew by Fabio Viviani, Siena Tavern, Bar Siena and Prime & Provisions creates Instagram-worthy desserts like tiramisu, cannoli and cake, served in jars and filled with sweet treats like Oreos, sprinkles, marshmallows and cookies. Viviani says, “Jars is a perfect blend of my passion for serving amazing, craveable bites with picture-perfect presentation and creating a memorable experience for everyone who walks in the door.” 905 W. Fulton St.
Solita serves elote tableside
SoCal-born eatery Solita Tacos & Margaritas recently made its Windy City debut with the opening of Solita Chicago—the breezy brand’s first location outside of California. Located on Wells Street in the heart of buzzing River North, this casual yet polished Mexican restaurant dishes up a vibrant selection of plates like grilled corn elote and pork belly dorado tacos, and mouthwatering sips like watermelon margaritas. “Chicago is a world-class city for dining and culture,” says Randy Sharpe, CEO of Xperience Restaurant Group. “We are excited to introduce Solita’s elevated dining experience to Chicagoans.” 431 N. Wells St.
Fare’s blue smoothie bowl
South Side native Kasia Bednarz and Brini deLeon have debuted the first stand-alone location of Fare, their dine-in and takeout concept focused on seasonal, sustainable and dietary restriction-friendly bowls, toasts, baked goods and coffee. The pair met while working at Gibsons Restaurant Group and have taken Fare from an outpost at the shuttered Wells Street Market to a stand-alone spot on Franklin Street. Menu items such as a smoky chicken bowl with sweet potatoes, and fresh avocado toast topped with pickled carrots make it easy to be excited about eating healthy. 71 S. Franklin St.
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO COURTESY OF RESTAURANT; CANAL STREET EATERY PHOTO BY HAPPY HOUR COLLABORATIVE; YARDBIRD PHOTO BY WORLD RED EYE; FARE PHOTO BY JASON W. KAUMEYER; ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF RESTAURANTS