Bar Ramone The menu at this cozy wine bar by Lettuce Entertain You is a straightforward collection of Spanish tapas and Basque pintxos from Doug Psaltis and Hisanobu Osaka, and most of the usual suspects are present and accounted for. There are cheese and ham boards; crudo and vegetable dishes; and other plates divided among “classic” and “modern” tapas. Crispy artichoke pieces make for a fine pintxo, and Osaka manages a clever play on angulas a la Bilbaina, subbing Japanese icefish for baby eels in a dashi broth fortified with garlic oil and chile de arbol. Duck poutine might offend purists, but is satisfying nonetheless. As for the everchanging vino selection, don’t be afraid to tap team members for their current favorites — their enthusiasm for the wines is apparent, and they know off the top of their heads what is drinking well and, almost oraclelike, what you may like that evening.
Open: Dinner daily. Prices: Small plates $5.95-$19.95. 441 N. Clark St., 312-9856909. — Phil Vettel and Joseph Hernandez
Beacon Tavern This project by Billy Lawless (The Gage, The Dawson) is tucked into a plaza just west of the Wrigley Building. Seafood is a focus, with shrimp toast coated in truffle butter and a prawn salad that pops thanks to peppadew peppers, but there’s also a towering burger. Don’t skip the cheddar bay biscuits, a tongue-incheek homage to Red Lobster.
Open: Lunch and dinner daily. Prices: $12-$40. 405 N. Wabash Ave., 312.955.4226. — P.V.
Katana A concept that originated on LA’s Sunset Strip, Katana combines nightclubby visuals with ambitious, highlevel cooking, highlighted by the dishes emerging from the sushi and robata bars. The a la carte menu offers a dizzying array of choices, and one can opt for an omakase (chef ’s choice) menu for $175. Beverage