PILSEN

Red Eye Chicago - - Around Town -

HaiSous It may seem odd to travel to Pilsen to ex­pe­ri­ence Chicago’s best Viet­namese res­tau­rant. You’ll get over it. At the bril­liant HaiSous, Thai and Danielle Dang of­fer a pleas­ant (if oc­ca­sion­ally noisy) 115-seat din­ing room with ex­cel­lent ser­vice and price-con­scious drinks, all in ser­vice to Thai Dang’s skill­ful cook­ing and ap­peal­ing, cliche-free menu.

Open: Din­ner daily. Prices: Large plates $16-$25. 1800 S. Car­pen­ter St., 312-702-1303. — P.V.

Mon­nie Burke’s Anan Abu-Taleb, a res­tau­ra­teur who also hap­pens to be the mayor of Oak Park, put up a par­adise with Mon­nie Burke’s, a Pilsen des­ti­na­tion for Amer­i­can din­ing with Mediter­ranean in­flu­ences. The menu, by culi­nary di­rec­tor Michael Shrader (pre­vi­ously of Matthias Merges’ Folkart group) isn’t ex­cit­ing at first, but the ex­e­cu­tion is im­pres­sive, bor­der­ing on thrilling. He ups the ante on oth­er­wise ubiq­ui­tous starters such as oc­to­pus, avo­cado toast and nicoise salad, and en­trees don’t miss a beat, whether it’s a pret­tily pre­sented Faroe Is­land salmon or slices of duck breast glis­ten­ing un­der­neath fer­mented cherry sauce. Desserts, also by Shrader, rep­re­sent a stroll through the chef ’s child­hood. A land­scaped pa­tio with ra­di­ant heat­ing en­sures a longer al fresco sea­son.

Open: Din­ner daily, brunch Sun­day. Prices: En­trees $15-$28. 1163 W. 18th St., 312-243-2410. — P.V.

S.K.Y. At S.K.Y. in Pilsen, out-oftowner chef Stephen Gil­lan­ders (for­merly of Let­tuce En­ter­tain You’s In­tro) wows with fine-din­ing fi­nesse. Gil­lan­ders shows a deft hand with heat, which he em­ploys the way other chefs use acid­ity. The high­light of his fried chicken (a bone­less, skin­less thigh), is the twice-fer­mented hot

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