10 Picks for Chicago Restaurant Week 2019

Explore the city's dining scene with prix-fixe specials, January 25-February 7

Now in its 12th year, Chicago Restaurant Week returns with delicious deals at hundreds of restaurants across the city. From local culinary staples to newcomers (including over 100 first-time participants in 2019), prix-fixe menus are offered at a discount to diners during the two-week run from January 25 to February 7, 2019.

Each participating location offers their own special menu, ranging in price from $36 to $48 for dinner (excluding tax, beverages and tip), and lunch or brunch menus for $24. Some restaurants also offer premium add-ons (seared foie gras, anyone?) and beverage pairings for an additional cost as well. It’s the perfect way to dine at a buzzed about new spot or revisit a local favorite while saving a few bucks.

Here are our top 10 picks to dine at during Chicago Restaurant Week 2019.

 

 

DOWNTOWN: ETA Restaurant and Bar

Warm up with rustic American fare during Restaurant Week at ETA with both lunch and dinner options. Start the evening with foie gras toast served on pecan bread topped with luxardo cherries and a blood orange salad, and enjoy entree options like a hearty Catalpa Grove lamb chop served with saffron orzo, trumpet mushrooms and toasted chestnut—or a delicate striped bass with spaghetti squash, clams, lardons and fried ciabatta. For lunch grab an ETA Griddle, the perfect midday meal on a cold winter day with gooey Widmer’s cheddar, crispy onions, pickles and tomato jam. Lunch served daily 11:30 am-2 pm; dinner served Su-Th 5:30-9 pm, F-Sa 5:30-10 pm. 455 N. Park Drive.

WEST LOOP: Duck Duck Goat

“Top Chef” Stephanie Izard’s Restaurant Week menu is an ode to dim sum and a spin on Chinese takeout favorites. It’s perfect for those looking for a family-style brunch or dinner at a deep discount. Both menu options feature the rich yet delicate beef short rib and bone marrow potstickers along with veggie fried rice studded with almonds and glass noodles. The early brunch crowd gets to savor shrimp and goat xiao long bao, aka plump soup dumplings that literally burst with meaty broth, while the dinner crowd is treated to red braised pork belly and beef slap noodles with a short rib ragu. Brunch served Sa-Su 11 am-4 pm; dinner available M-Th 5 pm-close, F-Su 4:30 pm-close. 857 W. Fulton Market.

SOUTH LOOP: Mercat a la Planxa

Escape chilly Chicago and transport to sunny Spain while dining on regional bites at Mercat a la Planxa. Both brunch and dinner options feature ingredients you’d find at your favorite tapas and pinchos spots overseas. For brunch, the menu includes Serrano ham sandwiches topped with Mahon cheese sauce and truffles, or a potato omelet with smoked salmon, fried capers, red onions and a roasted tomato cream cheese. Dinner starts with Mercat’s signature patatas bravas served with spicy chili puree and garlic aioli and includes Spanish favorites like bacon wrapped dates, ham and chicken croquetas and paella options for both vegans and carnivores. Brunch served Sa-Su 7 am-2 pm; dinner available Su-Th 4-10 pm, F-Sa 4-11 pm. 638 S. Michigan Ave.

LOGAN SQUARE: Bixi Beer

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Chicago last year, Bixi Beer is a brewpub that features Asian ingredients and also brews their own drafts onsite, which is a welcome and fresh take in the crowded craft beer scene of Chicago. For their Restaurant Week debut, the hip Logan Square spot is offering lunch, brunch and dinner options. Some standout bites include the brussels sprout salad with pears, malted squash and a miso vinaigrette, or an Instagram-worthy bubble waffle with matcha whipped cream and seasonal fruit. There’s also rich pork belly adobo, and their sweet yet savory miso blondie topped with matcha soft serve and toasted coconut Pocky sticks. Brunch served Sa-Su 10 am-3 pm; lunch served M-F 11 am-3 pm; dinner available Sa-Sun 5-11 pm. 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave.

UKRAINIAN VILLAGE: Split Rail

Chef Zoe Schor is known for bringing a playful, pop culture-influenced creativity to her Restaurant Week offerings, and this year is no different with a menu paying tribute to Netflix’s fab five, the cast of “Queer Eye.” Can you believe? Diners can choose from two menus, one inspired by the show’s food and wine expert Antoni Porowski, or a menu inspired by the rest of the cast, with favorite quotes from the show tied to each course. And yes, style expert Tan France’s love of a good French tuck makes an appearance during dessert. Available for dinner daily except Tu, 5-10 pm. 2500 W. Chicago Ave.

WEST LOOP: Leña Brava

Enjoy Baja-style seafood and dishes served straight from the fire at this West Loop hot spot helmed by Rick Bayless. Dinner includes four courses and a variety of options to choose from. Start with the Leña ceviche featuring Hawaiian albacore then enjoy fideos, a vermicelli noodle dish with a creamy tomato chipotle sauce and red chili-roasted butternut squash along with dry jack cheese. Entree options include a wood oven-roasted black cod “al pastor” served with sweet and sour pineapple shiso salsa. Finish your meal with a wood oven tart topped with local honey ice or a cava float with raspberry hoja santa sorbet. Available for dinner Tu-Th  5-10 pm, F-Sa 5-11 pm, Su 5-9 pm. 900 W. Randolph St.

LOGAN SQUARE, LINCOLN PARK: Parson’s Chicken & Fish

Chicago’s hip fried chicken and boozy slushie spot is offering up lunch and dinner for two during Restaurant Week, featuring a few menu favorites. For lunch, enjoy a choice of two sandwiches served with housemade chips and a round of hot apple fritters for dessert. Dinner starts with either cheese curd fritters or Buffalo chicken wings for the table. Main course options include a choice of cornmeal fried catfish with spicy remoulade or a whole chicken grilled or fried with family-style side options like mashed potatoes with chicken gravy. Available M-F 11 am-midnight, Sa-Su 10 am-midnight. 2952 W. Armitage Ave.; 2435 N. Halsted St.

WEST LOOP: Travelle

You can enjoy Travelle’s fare of seasonal New American dishes anytime of the day, as they offer up a special Restaurant Week menu available during brunch, lunch and dinner. The three-course meal includes a variety of options to choose from with each round. Start with their cauliflower soup with house-made giardiniera and sourdough or a mushroom tartine with comte topped with a 63-degree egg. Main courses include options such as arctic char with broccolini and capers and a raisin puree, or a cider-brined pork chop with curly kale, leek vinaigrette and a orange-spiked pumpkin puree. Available for lunch M-F 11 am-3 pm; dinner Sun-Th 5-10 pm, F-Sa 5-11 pm; and brunch Sa-Su 12-3pm. 330 N. Wabash Ave.

ROSCOE VILLAGE: Le Sud

Travel to the south of France with Le Sud’s French Provencal-inspired menu. The cozy yet spacious two-level Roscoe Village restaurant opened last year and features a Mediterranean-French menu from executive chef Ryan Brosseau. During Restaurant Week, enjoy a three-course menu that includes roasted sunchokes with pickled blueberries, trumpet mushrooms and whipped feta, a pan-roasted classic steak frites or a pan-roasted duck breast with lavender-honey glaze plus pickled and roasted fennel and beluga lentils. Top it all off with a French classic, basque cake with dates, honey, almonds, orange and chantilly creme. Available for dinner M-Th 5-10 pm, F-Sa 5-11 pm, Su 4-9 pm. 2301 W. Roscoe St.

WEST LOOP: Bellemore

Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos and Boka Restaurant Group teamed last year to open Bellemore, with a menu chef Papadopoulos calls “Artistic American” served inside a beautifully designed plush interior just blocks away from West Loop’s Restaurant Row. Bellemore is offering both lunch and dinner three-course menus during Restaurant Week. Lunch options include a roasted carrot toast with smoked tofu, pistachios, mint and lime, and a diner favorite, the Fire-Bird chicken sandwich. For dinner, enjoy such dishes as a venison tartare with pickled pear and spicy turnip, Icelandic cod with cauliflower, beurre blanc and vin jaune, and a triple chocolate mousse cake with candied butternut squash and calamansi vinegar. Available for lunch M-F 11 am-2 pm; dinner M-Th 5-10 pm, F-Sa 4:30-11 pm and Su 4-9 pm. 564 W. Randolph St.

Selena Fragassi
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