John Dillon, a concierge at the Ritz-Carlton, can’t get enough of Imperial Lamian’s noodles, dim sum, and wok-fired dishes. The first U.S. outpost of an Indonesian-based chain, this chic Chinese newcomer boasts striking, Asian-inspired decor featuring stylized abacus grates, roomy booths, and an open kitchen. While there, you simply must try their addictive namesake noodles that are hand-pulled and one of their artisanal, tea-infused cocktails.
Dillon also recommends Roister, the more casual but still cutting-edge New American hot spot from the team responsible for three-Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning Alinea. The menu here is served in three formats: à la carte in the dining room, family-style chef’s tasting at the kitchen counter; or the fully-immersive chef’s tasting in the basement prep kitchen. No matter which experience you choose, the atmosphere is as lively, energetic, and creative as the dishes.
Describing it as “top shelf” across the board, Langham Chicago concierge Philippe Gills says Beacon Tavern —a sea-meets-land eatery from celebrated restaurateur Billy Lawless—is a welcome addition to city’s culinary landscape. The menu here is loaded with fresh interpretations of tavern classics and seafood-forward dishes and libations, which play heavily on classic American cocktails with a twist. Gills suggests cozying up in their bar area to enjoy a killer $8 Manhattan, old fashioned, or gin and tonic during happy hour.
Experience simplicity at its best at Aloha Poke Co., says Gertruda Popinara, concierge at the Hotel Allegro. Located in the Chicago French Market—and with a new location in Lakeview—this is the spot that started the invasion of poke concepts in Chicago. Serving up traditional Hawaiian-style salads and rice bowls topped with chunks of seasoned raw fish, this newcomer does not disappoint.
Acebounce Chicago, the first of several planned U.S. venues of the British ping-pong import, is already a go-to social entertainment venue and its restaurant, 1901, is not to be overlooked says Gulcin Gucludal-Tasyurek of the Silversmith Hotel. Food at this modern, 44-seat restaurant is serious business. Helmed by award-winning chef Rick Gresh, the carefully curated menu takes classic American, Mediterranean, and Asian recipes and transforms them with locally-sourced ingredients resulting in elevated, delightful dishes.
2 More to Explore
For looking to venture beyond downtown here’s two neighborhood gems ideal for alfresco eats
Occupying a corner tavern in the Bridgeport neighborhood that predates Prohibition, The Duck Inn is a retro-inspired place serving up creative duck dishes and other American eats alongside inventive cocktails. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Kevin Hickey, a Bridgeport native, this local haunt—which has grown into a true destination restaurant—boasts a patio out back that makes you feel like you’re literally dining in someone’s backyard (in the best possible way).
What’s not to love about Andersonville’s Anteprima? Rick Verkler, concierge at the Guesthouse Hotel, recommends this trattoria for its cute, bustling atmosphere and seasonal, rustic Italian fare. Make sure to snag a seat on their secluded back patio and take time before or after dinner to explore the charming stretch along Clark Street where it’s located.