Buzzy new restaurants Woodwind and Wynwood may sound alike, but they couldn’t be more different. Here’s the head-to-head scoop.
Woodwind chef Donald Young plates stunning dishes like pan-roasted Green Circle chicken with Brussels sprouts, cranberry gin and granola.
THE LOCATION: 259 E. Erie St., on the 18th floor of Northwestern Medicine’s Lavin Family Pavilion in Streeterville
THE INSPIRATION: Elevated American fare from Craveable Hospitality Group
THE SETTING: Understated sophistication: geometric patterns, olive green banquettes, white marble tabletops and impressive city and lake views
MUST-TRY DISHES: The Bloomin’ Maitake, a creative take on Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion, with burnt sesame caramel and bonito
COCKTAIL SCHTICK: Smoking: The Smoked N’ Mirrors is an Old- Fashioned smoked with cherry chips and decanted tableside.
THE CROWD: Die-hard foodies who can’t wait to see what Donald Young (see below) does next
THE CHALLENGE: The location’s predecessor, Danny Meyer’s GreenRiver, won a Michelin star and still closed two years in.
THE PEDIGREE: Executive chef Donald Young won a Michelin star at Temporis.
FUN FACT: Young’s goal for the kitchen is zero food waste, from turning vegetable peels into juice for vinegar to drying the pulp into powder for garnishing.
Wynwood brings Miami flair to Wicker Park with a Cuban-inflected menu and mural-splashed walls.
THE LOCATION: 1560 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the heart of Wicker Park
THE INSPIRATION: Miami’s graffiti-splashed Wynwood Walls, an art scene icon since 2009
THE SETTING: A ready-for-the-’gram atmosphere of glam murals, bright pink couches and splashes of neon MUST-TRY DISHES: Classic Cuban sandwich; chicken tinga arepas
COCKTAIL SCHTICK: Frozen: Three slushy drinks, including the pumpkin-accented Spice O’ Life
THE CROWD: Wicker Park hipsters craving Latin fare, cocktails and selfies
THE CHALLENGE: Standing out in WP’s jam-packed nightlife scene
THE PEDIGREE: Owner Samantha Lukaszewski is a 15-year veteran of the Chicago bar industry and has also worked as a brand and marketing expert for spirits giant Diageo.
FUN FACT: The 5,000-squarefoot space’s wall murals were painted by Chicago artist Fidel Rodriguez of Artspace 8.
Photography by: TIM MCCOY/COURTESY OF WOODWIND; COURTESY OF WYNWOOD CHICAGO