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CHICAGO RESTAURANTS: SUMMER FAVORITES

Fresh ingredients, seasonal cocktails and delicious food... perfect for summer.

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Fresh ingredients, seasonal cocktails and hands-down delicious food await you in Chicago. Discover a few of our summer favorites.

Two Restaurant and Bar (1132 West Grand Ave., 312-624-8363) embraces the Midwest with seasonal farm-to-fork cuisine as well as house-made cheeses, sauces and pastas. Order the hanger steak or sea scallops with local mushrooms. Order from the seasonal cocktail menu to discover a new creation from the mixologist using small producer bourbons, vodkas, gins and mescals.

Discover Tavernita's (151 W Erie Ave., 312-274-1111) energetic vibe, which encourages sharing an array of tapas, small plates and "buck a shuck" oysters on the half-shell. Order a Taps for Tap cocktail crafted by a new renowned mixologist each month and proceeds benefit freshwaterfuture.org.

Celebrity chef Stephanie Izard (Top Chef alum) created Little Goat (820 W. Randolph St., 312-888-3455) in response to the success of Girl and the Goat (her first restaurant, which won multiple James Beard awards). Little Goat uses the freshest ingredients — do not miss the daily baked bread — and mixes in sass to create a dining experience packed with adventurous flavor combinations such as the pork belly pancake or the farmers' pie. Order from the cocktail menu for fresh Fool's Russian or a throwback Gin Daisy.

Perennial Virant (1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-981-7070) espouses the idea that food is a symbol of the good life. Enjoy their "boards and jars" appetizer selections while prepping your tummy for entrees like grilled house lamb with garlic mustard chimichurri. Compliment the flavors with a brilliantly prepared cocktail like the Port of Spain merging the flavors of rum, almond orgeat and lime.

Nellcôte (833 W. Randolph St., 312-432-0500) showcases simplified French culinary traditions with a distinctive new-age approach. The menu begs you to try the fork and knife pizzas while venison tartar and grilled prawns cannot be resisted. The cocktails come with simple names but pack a punch of flavor. Try the gin — Hendricks gin, marascas cherry shrub, thyme, and lime.

Barbeque from Bub City (435 N Clark St., 312-610-4200) tugs on the heartstrings with incredible smoky delights like juicy brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. Picnic combos feed the whole family and though the menu is meat-centric the veggie sides are made with plenty of love. Go big and try a whiskey flight (tasting) to discover your favorite whiskey.

Graduate from traditional barbeque by adding Asian-inspired flair to your meat at bellyQ (1400 W Randolph St, 312-563-1010). The tender baby back ribs and braised lamb shank are complemented by hoisin and red Thai curry. Their wide-ranging cocktail menu includes innovative cocktails featuring Japanese flavors to the shochu (distilled alcohol made from barley, sweet potatoes or rice) selection.

Discover more fantasic Chicago restaurants.


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