Foodies in the Windy City have quite a bit to celebrate. Bon Appétit recently released their list of the fifty finalists in the running for the Hot 10, or the list of best new restaurants in America, and Chicago showed up not once, not twice, but four times on the list. The only other city to get more nominees is New York, which, considering how large the place is, is pretty darn amazing.
Via Chef Grant Achatz and the team behind Alinea (which, you remember, was voted 15th best restaurant in the world), this spot was described by judges as a place where “Everything centers on the wild flames of a wood-fired oven.” Dishes like fermented cabbage with roasted pineapple and uni-bathed Japanese wagyu keep things fresh, interesting, and always unexpected. Bonus: The review notes that it costs a lot less than Alinea, too.
2. Pub Royale
In pure Chicago fashion, the review says this spot “feels like a neighborhood bar but operates like one of the city’s best restaurants.” The fare is British-style Indian food, where you can get appetizers like braised-lamb-filled dumplings slicked with chili oil or naan topped with fried chicken to pair with your beer. We couldn’t think of a better happy hour.
This place, according to the review, is like Benihana but much, much more advanced. There’s a mirror where you can watch pasta being made from scratch before your eyes, and you can order diverse dishes from gnocchetti to tortelli to strangozze (a twisty spaghetti-like noodle). Consider it next-level Italian.
The judges describe this cool spot as a cross between an old world steakhouse and a farm-to-table restaurant. You can order delicious, unusual wines to pair with what sounds like a ridiculous cut of meat—a “rib eye, aged 55 days, sliced thick and settled into a slowly forming pool of its beefy juices.” Sure, there are other options, too, but just read that description and feel your mouth water.
The official announcement of the Hot Ten will come out August 16th. For now, you can try to squeeze yourself into a reservation at one of these spots before they (hopefully) officially become one of the best new restaurants in America. Fingers crossed all around.
[Featured Image: Pub Royale]