Every year we wait to see what restaurants the concierges will deem their favorites, and this year we have some restaurants making their debut on the list. Here are five of them.
Making a splash not only with the concierges but across all distinguished food blogs and publications is Logan Square’s Fat Rice. With a focus on Macanese food, being in a hip neighborhood, and having dishes at a great price point, it is no wonder why Fat Rice is a new favorite. “Communal seating and craft cocktails make for a unique atmosphere while you chow down on their braised sweet and sour pork shank or piripiri chicken,” wrote Caitlin Meeter, concierge at the Hotel Allegro.
Tony Mantuano’s and Jeff Hogan’s River Roast makes its long-awaited appearance on the list. With the cold temperatures, it’s hard to think of a better place to get the much-desired warmth and comfort than with River Roast’s contemporary American tavern dishes. Their entrees consist of mouthwatering roasted fish, beef, whole chicken, or pork and all of it is carved table side. However, don’t let the limit of entrees fool you as the appetizers, sides, and bites allow the entrees to shine like you couldn’t think possible. It’s hard to resist country-fried rabbit, the foie and duck terrine, or the famous Hogan’s peas, which consist of pearl onions, bacon, and bibb lettuce. Jan V. Viscum, concierge at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, also recommends River Roast for brunch where there is live blues music. “Sit back, listen to the music, and watch the Chicago River roll by,” wrote Viscum.
WINE AND AMERICANA
Concierges picked Seven Lions as a favorite not just because it’s great for a meal after a visit at the Art Institute of Chicago or before a show but because it’s absolutely delicious. From the mind of master sommelier Alpana Singh comes this American restaurant with dishes like smoked duck bratwurst, brussels sprout and burrata toast, and octopus agrodolce along with classic American favorites. Furthermore, don’t miss out on the impressive wine list that only features American wines except for the Champagne.
Although new to the list, Riccardo Trattoria has always been a go-to recommendation for the concierges in the city. The highlight of this trattoria is the trippa alla fiorentina, which is a honeycomb tripe braised with vegetables, tomato sauce, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. I know tripe doesn’t sound appetizing to some people, but if you’re ever going to try it make sure it is at Riccardo Trattoria where it’s a mystery how they can make it so tender and delicious. Of course, when you’re there why not try their other delectable Italian dishes like their perfectly cooked risotto with prawns and artichokes, orecchiette cinghiale with wild boar sausage ragout and garlic rapini, and their spaghetti carbonara.
RETURN OF A HOMETOWN CHEF
With the opening of one of their newer establishments, 4-Star Restaurant Group brought chef Todd Stein back to Chicago who is notable for his stint at eateries like Piccolo Sogno and was working in Atlanta until coming back to open Remington’s. This restaurant is a guaranteed good meal in the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue with choices like their slow-roasted prime rib, their branzino with broccolini and lemon butter, and their barbecue ribs.