Map Your Meals: Restaurant Week on the North Side
Dining out for Restaurant Week? We sure are. That's why we've compiled this all-inclusive look at your options here on the North Side. From Lincoln Park to Lincoln Square, here are the menus, specials and participants of 2013's most delicious adventure.
Finally, the time of year for which we drool in anticipation has almost arrived.
Chicago Restaurant Week is on the docket for Feb. 1-10. Designed to promote the restaurant industry and drive traffic to participating establishments during a typically slow time of year, diners will enjoy delicious, "value priced" menus for lunch and/or dinner throughout the city during those ten days, according to Choose Chicago, which coordinates the event.
The promotion made a more-than $20.9 million impact on direct spending in Chicago-area restaurants. Around 444,000 diners flocked to participating eateries for specials, it says.
Lunch menus during Restaurant Week are $22 a piece and dinners are either $33 or $44.
To help you develop your game plan, we've compiled this all-inclusive North Side Restaurant Week guide.
Peruse the following list and be sure to scroll through the attached PDFs and photos, which feature the menus in detail. Oh, and let's not forget our accompanying interactive map ...
Bistro Campagne, 4518 N. Lincoln Ave.
This French Bistro is "dedicated to providing the purest and best tasting food that is organically raised on sustainable farms," according to Choose Chicago. Its $33 three-course Restaurant Week menu does not disappoint. Highlights include "Saumon Grillade," which is served with roasted brussel sprouts, new potatoes and a coriander lemon emulsion; and a fig and brown butter bread pudding.
D.S. Tequila Co., 3352 N. Halsted St.
D.S. Tequila is offering a fixed, two-person, "three-round" menu with highlights including "Texas Trash Can Nachos" and 7 Allen Brothers Prime Beef Burgers. Diners can also choose any dessert on the regular menu as part of Restaurant Week.
Fiorentino's Cucina, 2901 N. Ashland Ave.
Located in the heart of Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, this family-run restaurant has a flair for rustic soulful Italian cuisine—it's authentic Italian simply prepared, according tochoosechicago.com. It's offering two fixed menu options during Restaurant Week—one for $44 per person and the other $33. The highlights? How about a medley of shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari in a rich tomato broth? Or perhaps, a filet mignon will suit you.
Halsted's Bar & Grill, 3441 N. Halsted St.
A quality bar and grill with one of Chicago's hottest patios, Halsted's is offering Restaurant Week diners a jam-packed $33 fixed menu. Take your pick from four starters, four entrees and three desserts. The ginger orange glazed salmon really caught our eye. It's pan seared and served with your choice of two sides; thought the chef recommends the garlic sautéed spinach and potatoes lyonnaise.
Hearty Restaurant/Hearty Boys Caterers, 3819 N. Broadway St.
Hearty is described by Choose Chicago as "American comfort revisited with vintage craft cocktails and an all-American wine list." Its featured fixed three-course menu is $33 per person and features gems like braised short ribs with black pepper spaetzle, roasted butternut squash and fried onion; and a carmelized apple and pear cobbler.
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted St.
Restaurant Week diners visiting this supper club will pick from three different entrees on a $33-per-person set menu. All will be served the "Kit Kat Salad" and tiramisu for dessert. We'd opt for the southern-style fried chicken served with collared greens, banana horseradish puree and a cayenne, maple glazed waffle. But hey, what do we know?
Mia Francesca's, 3311 N. Clark St.
Keeping fans on their toes, Mia Francesca's Restaurant Week menu had not yet been set as of Jan. 9. But you can expect its delicious northern Italian fare, comfortable surroundings and friendly service, according to Choose Chicago. Its menu typically rotates every other week in order to offer fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Socca, 3301 N. Clark St.
Socca's mouth-watering $33 three-course menu is decided for each diner—there's only one option under each course. They include an arugula caesar salad with a hard-boiled egg, pickled red onion, crushed croutons and paremsan; ricotta gnocchi which includes braised chicken thighs, escarole, butternut squash and parmesan chicken broth; and for dessert, our favorite—the caramel goat cheese cashew gelato sundae served with chocolate sauce and toasted coconut. Count us in.
Taverna 750, 750 W. Cornelia Ave.
Like Mia Francesca's, Taverna 750 is holding out on a menu—for now. Known for its entrees that are meant for sharing, the portions are generous and prices are very affordable, according to Choose Chicago, which urges readers to stop in for great food and cocktails.
Yoshi's Cafe, 3257 N. Halsted St.
"For 30 years, Yoshi Katsumura's artistry has melded Asian-French textures and flavors to create the singular cuisine of Yoshi's Cafe," says Choose Chicago. Its Restaurant Week menu had not yet been set as of Jan. 9, but guests will likely receive the quality they've been come to expect from Yoshi's.
Aquitaine 2221 N. Lincoln Ave.
Aquitaine, an intimate neighborhood bistro specializing in European influenced fare, will be offering athree-course, fixed menu for $33 a person. Highlights include saffron cream mussels with fresh herbs, diced tomatoes and a grilled crustini; or turbinado glazed salmon with roasted mushrooms, braised kale, jalapeno and butter nage.
Balena, 1633 N. Halsted St.
Balena is a newer addition to the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Located across the street fromSteppenwolf Theatre, it features Italian-inspired cuisine offering pizza, hand-made pasta, spit-roasted meats, fish and vegetables prepared in a wood-fired oven and grill. During restaurant week, it will be offering a $44 fixed, three-course menu. Highlights include reviso and winter citrus salad with hazelnut and mint; and linguine and clams with pancetta and oregano.
Barn & Company, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Barn & Company redefines the all American smokehouse and BBQ shack by combining the messy glory of Memphis, Kansas City and Texas-style barbecue, according to ChooseChicago.com. It's fixed $33 Restaurant Week menu includes the choice between two different combos—ribs, half a chicken, pulled pork, brisket all make the cut—and various side options. One beer is paired with each five-item option.
Although BOKA, which was named in Food & Wine magazine for featuring one of Chicago's Best New Chefs of 2008, specializes in contemporary, seasonal American food. Although the restaurant is definitely participating in Restaurant Week, it's menu is still being compiled. Sorry folks, you'll just have to wait!
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, 2024 N. Halsted St.
At $22 per person, you'll score at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, where each Restaurant Week lunchtime diner will enjoy their choice of a soup, two tapas and one dessert. For $11 more, dinner guests will have their choice of one pintxo—bite-sized tapas—one pick from regular tapas options, one paella and dessert.
Chez Moi, 2100 N. Halsted St.
The fixed $33 menu at Chez Moi also does not disappoint. Choose from options including a roasted beets salad sprinkled with sunﬂower seeds and bleu cheeses; Duck leg conﬁt with ﬁngerling potatoes persillade in a green peppercorn sauce; or Chez Moi's famous gateau Breton.
Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave.
From the cheese fondue to entree fondues including shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken, and beef, Geja's is the place for dip-and-devour lovers everywhere. Fondue entree choices during restaurant week vary in price—either $33 or $44—and each includes a cheese fondue appetizer, crisp salad with tangy vinegrette, "flaming chocolate" dessert and freshly ground coffee.
Gemini Bistro, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave.
Gemini Bistro serves up American cuisine that has French and Mediterranean influences. It's $33 fixed three-course menu boasts options that include roasted salmon with savoy cabbage, smoked bacon and coriander vinaigrette; and a kurobuta pork chop featuring butternut bread pudding, brussel sprout leaves and an herb demi-glace.
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
For $44, enjoy set options from a three-course menu that includes seasonal brewpub beer pairings with each. Each diner will enjoy Jerusalem artichoke bisque served with housemade wort bread, pork schnitzel with peppercorn spaetzle, brussel sprouts and a pork demi-glace; and malted butterscotch custard cake with toffee and malted gelato.
Mon Ami Gabi Lincoln Park, 2300 North Lincoln Park West
Mon Ami Gabi is a French bistro offering traditional fare such as onion soup au gratin, trout amandine and steak frites, according to ChooseChicago.com. Pay $33 a person to enjoy the three course menu. While diners can choose their first and second courses, all will receive a pre-determined dessert trio—sorbet du jour, chocolate mousse and creme brulee.
Perennial Virant, 1800 N. Lincoln Ave.
The much anticipated three-course menu at Perennial will also cost diners $33. Highlights include grilled rushing waters rainbow trout served with fried bread, lemon mayonnaise, spicy pepper relish, arugla and radishes; and warm sweet crepes with meyer lemon curd and candied pine nuts.
R.J. Grunts, 2056 N. Lincoln Park West
R.J. Grunts is well-known as the very first Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. It boasts a $22-per-person lunchtime three-course Restaurant Week menu filled with Grunt's famous burger, a hand-dipped milk-shake and super spicy wings all making the cut as options.
Riccardo Enoteca, 2116 N. Clark St.
This intimate wine bar specializes in wood burning oven pizzas, small plates and other specialties. International wines, cocktails and craft beers are all on the menu. It's Restaurant Week special is packed with delicious choices—seven anipastis and nine entrees. Those with a sweet tooth will be happy, since all regularly served desserts are included in the special.
Riccardo Trattoria, 2119 N. Clark St.
Riccardo Trattoria's menu includes similar items, such as Vitello Tonnato, or poached veal carpaccio in tuna sauce with capers. Diners can select from a laundry list of items for the first two courses, as well as choose any dessert from the restaurant's regular menu.
Rustic House, 1967 N. Halsted St.
Rustic House is bringing out all the stops for its sixth-annual Restaurant Week menu. Pay $44 per person and choose from menu items including a spinach salad garnished with a poached egg, crispy shallot and bacon vinaigrette; maple leaf duck l’orange with glazed baby carrots and orange sauce; and three-hour cured salmon.
VINCI, 1732 N. Halsted St.
VINCI has offered rustic regional Italina cuisine since it opened on Halsted Street in 1991. The $33 three-course fixed menu at VINCI includes tons of options. How about homemade lemon, blood orange or strawberry sorbetto? Hand-made Spinach Pappardelle with roast duck, mushrooms, oven-dried tomatoes, truffle oil and parmigiano? Yum.
The Bedford, 1612 W. Division St.
"Located in a historic landmark bank space and inspired by the Supper Club experience of a bygone era, The Bedford serves up modern American cuisine," Choose Chicago says. Its three course Restaurant Week Menu includes two choices each for the first and second courses. All diners will receive the Bedford brownie sundae, however, which is made with black dog gelato, butterscotch, hot fudge, almonds, whipped cream and cherry.
The Bristol, 2152 N. Damen Ave.
Enjoy rustic cuisine and world-class beer options at this renown restaurant, which boasts seasonal Midwestern menu with Mediterranean roots. Highlights of its simple, yet savory Restaurant menu include pumpkin bread panzanella served with speck, pear and smoked mozzarella; and carroway encrusted pork loin with lazy pierogies and mushroom ragôut.
Carriage House, 1700 W. Division St.
At $44 per person, diners choosing to visit Carriage House during the first week of February can pick from options including fried green tomatoes served with hot sauce vinaigrette, pickled shrimp, and creamed red peas; and crispy braised pork shoulder.
Francesca's Forno, 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Francesca's special menu had not yet been set as of Jan 10. The restaurant will be showing off its newly revamped interior and menu which prompted Time Out Chicago to nominate it for Restaurant Comeback of 2012.
Red Door, 2118 N. Damen Ave.
For $33 a piece, diners at Red Door will be able to choose from three options each on a three-course menu. Parsnip-Ricotta Gnocchi made with raised kale and a black truffle broth and Chestnut fried calamari served with crispy lemons and tarragon aioli pique our interests.
Trenchermen Restaurant, 2039 W. North Ave.
Hoping for milk braised pork shoulder served with brown butter spaghetti squash, pecorino and romaine? How about pickle tots with chicken breast bresaola, red onion yogurt and scallions? Well, then you should definitely go to Trencherman, where an added $15 on the $33-per-plate cost will earn you wine pairings.