The Must-Know Details Behind Chicago Newcomers Woodwind & Wynwood

By J.P. Anderson | January 13, 2020 | Food & Drink

Buzzy new restaurants Woodwind and Wynwood may sound alike, but they couldn’t be more different. Here’s the head-to-head scoop.

WOODWIND

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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

wynwood-0002.jpgWynwood 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