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Jan 7, 2012 05:37 AM

Best new restaurants?

Maybe I"ve missed this thread, but is there any discussion of the best relatively new restaurants in Chicago. Those that have opened since, say, 2010-11?

I'm looking to take my spouse out to a birthday dinner soon and have been to all the usual suspects many times. Think Blackbird, MK, Next, Moto, Sepia, Takashi, Boka, Schwa, Graham Elliot, Girl and Goat.

Are there any new restaurants that hit (or almost hit) this level? What about Henri and bistronomic?

Any help would be appreciated. Apologies if I just missed the best new restaurant thread.


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  1. You read my mind. I'm really curious about Goosefoot, Chris Nugent (Les Nomades) new offering. I know some people like GT Oyster, but I havent been there yet either.

    Two really good new Italian offerings opened recently in Bucktown: Antico and Ripasso. Ripasso is the child of former Terragusto owner Theo Gilbert. Antico is a coffee shop by day and a cozy authentic Italian restaurant by night. Gnocci at night; and zeppola during the day. The chef/owner, Brad Schlieder, is formerly of a Tavola.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      I also want to know who's tried Chef Jobo's Paris Club or Tony Maturano's Bar Toma. Both new; both promising.

      1. re: chicgail

        Paris Club is quite a "happening" place and the food is solid. I tend to confuse it in my mind with Bistronomic which is also a happening type of place with solid food. Neither wows me but both are return worthy.

        1. re: KateBChi

          My Paris Club experience was underwhelming. Not bad, but definitely didn't make me want to go back. May not have helped that they were having that barn-y odor problem at the time.

        2. re: chicgail

          A small group of us went to Bar Toma for a pre-Xmas team dinner and it was rather disappointing. I was the one who suggested it so felt bad ... Now I'm not sure if perhaps it's improved in the weeks since opening but I assume that Chef Maturano's operation is experienced enough to avoid the kinds of issues we ran into. Along with some just really hiccupy service - water glasses not refilled, etc, we had the wrong wine served twice, two menu items ordered which we were only told were "no longer on the menu" after they just did not arrive at the table with the other items for that course. When apps arrived, we received no spoons or such to serve it to the table and when we noted this to our waitress, she brought us teaspoons but only one serving spoon (for about 6 apps) The pizza crusts were inconsistent - flavors mostly ok but not the level I expected. And when we asked for the gelato flavors for desert, the waitress left out a number that we later saw in the case and which we would have added to our order.

          Now I'll say we had fun - it's a relaxed and non-demanding group - but where I expected to find really yummy casual food that we'd want to return for often, I was left with a bad taste by the service and a very meh taste from most of the food.

      2. My wife and I loved goosefoot; we are going back at the end of the month for a second dinner there. Outstanding food and we found it to be superior to MK, Takashi, Girl & the Goat and Blackbird. The food quality I thought was on par with Schwa, but completely different atmosphere/ambiance despite both venues being BYOB tasting menus. Have not yet been to Moto, Sepia, Boka and Graham Elliot. Next is such a unique venue that it is hard to compare it to other restaurants.

        Another new restaurant that looks really interesting is El Ideas. Have not been yet, but have ressies for next month. It is worth checking out their website to see if it might appeal to you.

        1. Acadia just opened in the South Loop. I’ve only been to their NYE special so far, so I can’t comment on their regular menu, but for what it’s worth, the NYE special was great. I’ve also seen several good reviews of their regular menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dtbauer21

            Ate at Acadia last evening with a group of business associates. Spectacular food, great presentation, excellent wine list with unique choices priced reasonably fairly. I will definitely return.