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.
Breakfast Hours: Mon to Fri 6:30 a.m.-10 a.m.; Sat to Sun 6:30 -11:00 a.m.
Lunch Hours: Mon to Sun 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Mon-Sun 4 -11 p.m.
For a contemporary take on Italian classics, this new Loop spot delivers. Start with an arugula salad or scallops resting on a bed of celery puree. Don’t skip the pasta course, since the garganelli, with prosciutto, radicchio, mascarpone, truffle oil, and chives will have you licking the plate clean. The fritto misto, with a pile of fried fish, calamari, shrimp, zucchini, and asparagus served with an aioli dipping sauce is another must-order. Save room for a chocolate cake that gets a punch of flavor from kumquat marmalade.
Hours: Mon Closed; Tue-Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
This new Lakeview restaurant fuses Mexican and Korean flavors in dishes like grilled chicken marinated in honey-soy-pepper glaze and stuffed into tacos, sesame soy garlic tofu burritos, and Korean short ribs topped with barbecue sauce and served over rice. Get a side of kimchee or take some to go for Korean flavors at home.
Tozi Korean BBQ
Hours: Mon to Tue 3 p.m.-2 a.m.;
Wed to Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.;
Sat 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m.;
Sun 12:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Head to Wicker Park for Korean dishes like seafood pancakes, dumplings, hot pots, jeon gol, and bibimbop. Going with a group? Order filet, pork belly, or seafood to barbecue at the table. You can also get tapas size portions of the proteins to try out more. Head in for lunch and grab stir fries served with a salad and two sides for $9.
Grange Hall Burger Bar
Hours: Tue to Sat 3 p.m.-10 p.m.
This burger spot opened in November in the West Loop with a menu featuring beef, turkey, and veggie burgers that you can customize with Midwestern cheeses and other toppings. Sides go beyond fries to mac and cheese, chili, and baked beans with fennel. Each month there’s a seasonal pie on offer (this month it’s chocolate pudding, next month pineapple custard) or you finish your meal with freshly made ice cream.