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Red Eye Chicago - - Around Town -

Black­bird Paul Ka­han’s mas­ter­piece of­fers both an a la carte menu and a tast­ing menu (9 or 10 cour­ses). The lat­ter, which is built around a sin­gle an­i­mal and changes monthly, of­fers the best in­sight into the chef ’s art. Pas­try chef Nicole Guini’s sweets fol­low seam­lessly.

Open: Din­ner daily, lunch Mon­day-Fri­day. Prices: En­trees $30-$42, tast­ing menu about $115. 619 W. Ran­dolph St., 312-715-0708. — P.V.

Bonci This Ro­man im­port serves pizza with a light-as-air crust that’s topped with hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent high qual­ity top­pings, from tra­di­tional tomato sauce and cheese to ’nduja, bur­rata, potato and fresh mint. While serv­ing some of the best pizza in Chicago, this is mostly a to-go op­er­a­tion, with no ta­bles and only a few counter seats.

Open: Lunch and din­ner seven days a week. 161 N. Sang­a­mon St., 312-243-4016. — N.K.

City Mouse From the team that cre­ated Gi­ant, in Lo­gan Square, comes this ca­sual, brunch and din­ner restau­rant in the Ace Ho­tel in the Ful­ton Mar­ket District. Ex­ec­u­tive chef Patrick Sheerin over­sees the eclec­tic menu, rang­ing from se­ri­ously good pas­tas to off­beat dishes such as fried ar­ti­chokes buried un­der pork ragu and fried ched­dar bites topped with caviar. Dur­ing day­time hours, the brunch menu fea­tures grid­dle cakes, a dou­ble-patty burger and a “gas sta­tion” break­fast sand­wich. The open-to-the-lobby is lively and loud, and there’s a de­light­ful out­door pa­tio equipped with fire pits.

Open: Brunch and din­ner daily. 311 N. Mor­gan St., 312-7641908. — P.V.

La Josie The kitchen is led by ex­ec­u­tive Saul Chavez, a Mer­ca­dito vet. He and his crew dish up sup­ple, house-made tor­tillas that waft splen­did corn per­fume. The fill­ings in­clude a silky veal cheek bar­ba­coa and ten­der co­chinita pi­bil, fea­tur­ing a si­nus-clear­ing ha­banero salsa that gives you a se­ri­ous chile high. The car­bon­flecked al pas­tor is crispy, juicy and rid­dled with smoky pineap­ple. It has a se­ri­ous case for best al pas­tor in Chicago. Gua­camole, too, is in­spired. Chef/owner Pepe Bara­jas is not yet a big star just yet, but his vi­sion and ex­e­cu­tion of a gourmet Mex­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence on Ran­dolph means he’s about to be a house­hold name.

Open: Lunch and din­ner Tues­day-Sun­day, week­end brunch. Prices: En­trees $14-$35. 740 W. Ran­dolph St., 312929-2900. — M.N.

The Loy­al­ist One flight be­low the ac­claimed Smyth restau­rant lurks John

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