By Amy Cavanaugh
With new restaurants opening seemingly every day, how are you supposed to keep track of them all? We’ve rounded up some of the most notable Chicago openings of the past few months so you can better focus your dining energy.
You’ve already been to (and loved) The Publican, and this new butcher shop also brings delicious food to West Town. Grab a sandwich like “Better Than a Gyro,” which is made with pork belly, or “Train to Tuscany,” with salami, ricotta, and honey. Check out the housemade sausages and freshly baked bread to go for a tasty meal at home.
This new Little Italy spot brings Mediterranean fare to a street already stacked with excellent Italian. The menu is seafood-heavy, with wood-roasted fish and mussels, grilled octopus, and a raw bar. Or, go for housemade pasta or meat dishes. Just be sure to pair your food with wine, since there’s an extensive vino program as well.
Carbs and vino are just two of the offerings at this new Irving Park spot. Order a glass of wine and nosh on cheese, charcuterie, and small plates like chorizo tacos, or go for an entrée like lamb meat loaf or pumpkin seed crusted tofu. Unlike most wine bars, there’s a kids’ menu with grilled cheese, kielbasa, and other child-friendly dishes. After dinner, take home wine, beer, and other grocery items from the attached store.
One of the most anticipated openings, Tavernita’s menu transports you to Spain. Order a kegged cocktail, like a gin and tonic that tastes nothing like you’re used to, then order tapas for the table. The meatballs have a nice spice folded into the meat and an addictive hazelnut romesco sauce, the pork belly bocadillo is a small sandwich that gets an acidic snap from pickled onions, and the grilled octopus delivers a smoky flavor that’s paired with a rich olive tapenade. Just want a quick bite? Head to the attached bar, Barcito, for a sip and a snack.