The most delicious time of the year has returned. Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off at the end of the month, beginning on January 30 and running through February 12 to bring Windy City food lovers two weeks of prix fixe dining. Enjoy $22 lunch menus or $33 and $44 dinners at more than 250 restaurants spanning a range of neighborhoods and cuisines. With so many options, deciding where to make a reservation might feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve broken down six of our favorite spots that will satisfy whether they’re an old favorite or a new find.
Trade up from your lunch al desko. Chef Paul Kahan’s sleek Michelin-starred flagship, Blackbird, is serving up a three-course lunch menu of farm-fresh fare. Driven by what’s in season, the menu features a steak tartare artfully dressed with oxalis, rye berries and spicy radish, an earthy wood-grilled sturgeon topped with salsify, black trumpet mushrooms and grapefruit and a luxurious dark rum cheesecake with pineapple shaved ice.
619 W. Randolph St., 312-715-0708
Lowcountry cuisine can be hard to come by in Chicago, which is why we’re especially thankful for Carriage House. This rustic Wicker Park spot has assembled a menu that marries traditional Southern cooking with innovative flavors for the sort of hearty meal that will warm up your Restaurant Week. Fried Green Tomatoes spiked with a hot sauce vinaigrette, Chicken and Dumplings smothered in rosemary gravy and beignets served with an indulgent espresso caramel will all make an appearance, so tie on the feedbag.
1700 W. Division St., 773-384-9700
Venture south to this family-owned Bridgeport favorite offering organic Latin-inspired diner food in an understated environment. While Nana has crafted both prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, the lunch menu’s Grilled Shrimp & Fried Oyster Po’boy – an oversized, open-faced sandwich that is crispy, zesty and loaded with vibrant fresh vegetables – is too good to pass up. Pair the po’boy with the purple and green studded Cauliflower Salad for a meal that is as flavorful as it is colorful.
3267 S. Halsted St., 312-929-2486
Table, Donkey and Stick
Inspired by the Alps with a name that gives a nod to a Grimm Fairy Tale, Table, Donkey and Stick is a favorite for the way it layers flavors, textures and preparations to create inventive and delicious dishes. For Restaurant Week, this Logan Square spot’s seasonally-driven menu is loaded with hardy greens, roots and meats, and the chefs seem to be braising and roasting as much as they can – Braised Veal Brisket, Roast Goat, Pork Sausage with braised sauerkraut and more. And did we mention that the meal begins with house-made charcuterie?
2728 W. Armitage Ave., 773-486-8525
Chef Lee Wolen knows how to create a menu that’s balanced and well-rounded. For Restaurant Week, he’s serving up some of the best his Michelin-starred Lincoln Park spot has to offer: sweet heirloom carrots resting atop a swipe of smoky goat cheese, seared scallops surrounded by a sea urchin broth, grilled beef short rib served alongside glazed tongue and so much more. The hardest part? Carefully selecting your courses. Go with a date, so you don’t have to choose.
1729 N. Halsted St., 312-337-6070
Named for the ancient Roman goddess of the harvest, Lakeview’s Ceres’ Table rounds out a Restaurant Week lineup with its bold Italian dishes. Sicilian-born Executive Chef Giuseppe Scurato’s menu guides you through a meal of antipasti, pasta, meat or fish and, of course, dessert with dishes like a beautifully marbled Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, chewy Pici with Italian sausage and fennel, Ivory Arctic Char laden with saffron broth and a Salted Caramel Budino so silken you’ll want to lick the dish clean.
3124 N. Broadway St., 773-922-4020