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Nov 1, 2011 07:54 PM

New Chicago Restaurants

I'm visiting Chicago for one night and used to live there over a year ago, didn't know if there were any new restaurants downtown that I was unaware of. I know about the usuals; Publican, Avec, XOCO, ect. You see what I like from the short list. Let me know if there's something I should try.

Avec Restaurant
615 W Randolph St Ste A, Chicago, IL 60661

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  1. It sounds like you like Paul Kahan restaurants. But Big Star, his most recent, has been open for two years already. It also sounds like you like restaurants specializing in pork, cheese, organ meats, and charcuterie. The Purple Pig is the most obvious candidate, but it too has been open for almost two years. Next has been open for less than a year, but it's not like the ones you mentioned, and besides, unless you've already got tickets or you're willing to pay big bucks on craigslist, you're probably not going. And it doesn't sound like you like seafood, otherwise GT Fish and Fish Bar are getting good reports.

    You might want to check out Chicago magazine's "Hot List" of places that everyone's talking about, which are usually among our newest. You can view the latest version at Of course, most of us can't tell you what to try based on personal experience, since they just opened.

    I assume you've already been to ALL the other well-received restaurants around Chicago that have been around for more than a year, including Girl and the Goat, Boka, Sable, Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Carnivale, Mercat a la Planxa, the Florentine, Piccolo Sogno, Ria, Balsan, L2O, and Bistronomic, just to name a few. If you haven't, they're still great, and even if they aren't new, they're still new TO YOU if you haven't been there.

    1. I haven't been yet, but I'm hearing really good things about Vera, the brand-spanking-new Spanish wine bar from Mark Mendez, who was the chef at Carnivale.

      1023 W. Lake Street

      1. I've had a few good meals at The Bristol (2152 N. Damen).

        Other good meals in the Wicker Park/Bucktown/U-Village area are Ruxbin, Leopold, and Taxim.

        1558 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622