However you choose to experience the bounty of summer — whether sipping a cocktail spiked with locally grown herbs or enjoying a farm-fresh dish on a breezy patio — we've got just the place. Take a cue from these uplifting summer-approved picks at these Chicago restaurants.
At rustic-chic TWO Restaurant and Bar in West Town, your meal comes straight from the sprawling pastures and fertile farmlands of the Midwest, as Chef Kevin Cuddihee calls on nearby farmers and foragers for the freshest seasonal produce and locally raised meats. Try something new from the ever-changing menu, which boasts a mouthwatering lineup of from-scratch items, from housemade sausages and cheeses to house-cured pork and lamb bacon.
Also celebrating the Midwestern seasons in all their glory, Lincoln Park's Perennial Virant utilizes local ingredients captured at their peak, which are then transformed through a variety of preservation techniques. The result? A farm-to-fork menu of heirloom vegetables and wild meats, complemented by zingy pickled vegetables, savory fermented aioli and flavorful fruit preserves.
Seafood lovers, rejoice: Kinmont‘s ever-changing menu focuses on sustainable catches from both coasts. Dig into Alaskan king crab legs, wild gulf shrimp cocktail, pan roasted mussels, fish and chips, crab hush puppies, Maine lobster, oyster po'boy sliders and so much more.
Ready to take in some sunshine and city views? Sit on the outdoor terrace at newcomer GreenRiver Chicago in River North, where seasonal American fare — think exotic seafood, high-quality butchered meats and foraged ingredients — are showcased with artful presentations. While you're here, make sure to order one of the complex cocktails, which draw from Chicago's Irish-American influences.
Or, visit a Chicago landmark to try some of the freshest fare in the city. At Lockwood Restaurant & Bar inside the historic Palmer House Hilton, you'll find items from the hotel's rooftop garden and apiary gracing the chef-inspired menu. Although dishes change frequently based on market availability, it's always easy to find the perfect drink pairing with the restaurant's extensive wine program.
Long-time stalwart in the Chicago dining scene, Michelin-starred Topolobampo is no stranger to vibrant flavors and seasonal, sustainably raised ingredients. With iconic Chef Rick Bayless at the helm, this contemporary Mexican restaurant in the River North neighborhood seamlessly transforms regional ingredients from Chicago-area farms with Mexican flavors and innovative preparations. This summer, try the new "Perfect Seven" tasting menu, a seven-course lineup of chef-selected dishes made from unexpected ingredients.