Streeterville is the quintessential downtown neighborhood, full of hustle and bustle, yet it still feels like a secret for locals. For the most part, this high rise-heavy ‘hood boasts the rare juxtaposition of residential comfort and metropolitan tenacity. A large part of that lifestyle is Streeterville's vibrant dining scene, offering everything from world-class fine dining destinations to killer counter service pizza.
Perhaps the best part about Streeterville is its accessibility, serviced by a myriad of bus routes and just a stone's throw from the red line. So you won't be far from metropolitan foodie Mecca.
Tru, pictured above, is one of the most revered fine dining temples in Chicago. This longstanding icon was wowing well-clad guests with its masterful preparations, artful decor, and stunning presentations years before many of Chicago's current crop of gastro-sensations. Currently under the tutelage of executive chef Anthony Martin, the progressive French restaurant offers elaborate degustations or more concise tastings. Their signature is the Coral Caviar, a decadent caviar presentation featuring ten caviars decorated around sea-like serviceware. Other awe-inducing dishes change throughout the seasons, but include long carrot soup with glacial sugar snaps, sunchoke with trout roe, juniper-scented langoustine with caramelized chestnuts, and matsutake mushroom two ways with rosemary-roasted veal sweetbreads. Oenophiles will love Tru's extensive wine library. For a supplemental price, guests can opt for wine pairings with each course.
Farm-to-table isn't the first buzzword you'd expect to find in Streeterville, a neighborhood as urban as they come. But Local Root talks the talk and walks the farm-to-table walk at its cozy confines. Local, seasonal cuisine comprises the crux of Local Root's culinary philosophies, and it shows in the freshness and vibrancy of the brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. The space itself was constructed with refurbished materials, and members of the Local Root team actually travel to farms, distilleries, and vineyards to ensure the utmost quality. Stop in at brunch for omelettes, pulled pork Benedict, blueberry pancakes, steak and eggs, and more. Lunch and dinner sports heartier fare such as charcuterie, flatbreads, poutine, steamed mussels, bacon-wrapped meatball, and grassfed burgers.
For a slice of Brooklyn in Chicago, head to Flour & Stone. One of the best examples of New York Style-pizza in Chicago can be found at this charming Streeterville storefront, a counter service operation with three floors of leisurely seating. The menu is refreshingly concise, with roughly seven pizzas available and just a couple salads. Rest assured that these all-flour pies are exemplary, bedecked with just enough toppings to satisfy without overwhelming the delicate crust. Less flimsy and greasy than most New York-style slices, Flour & Stone's Brooklyn-focused execution begets pizza that perfects the thin-crust pizza form, bready and chewy on the outside yet airy and tender on the inside.
This gargantuan restaurant at the foot of the Tribune Tower is impossible to miss from bustling Michigan Avenue. The space combines timeworn elements with touches of modernity, paying dutiful homage to architects John Howells and Raymond Hood. Befitting the sprawling size of the restaurant, menus are biblical. Start with shareable items such as lamb meatballs and eggplant ragout before moving on to Howells & Hood's killer onion ring-topped burger, lobster roll, truffle tagliatelle, and lamb bolognese. They also offer a mean brunch buffet. The restaurant boasts the largest craft beer selection of any restaurant in Chicago, so beer-lovers take heed.
Thirsty? Should you find yourself in need of a cocktail or two in Streeterville, just look up. To the rooftop of the Raffaello Hotel to be precise. Therein lies Drumbar, one of the most relaxing, hippest, and most delicious cocktail bars in the city, with stunning cityscape views that make liquor taste even better. Craft cocktails are the focus here, curated by adroit mixologist Alex Renshaw. The menu is divvied into house cocktails and classic cocktails, and there are many of them. Drumbar originals include the End of Innocence with Fernet Branca, rye whiskey, grenadine, lemon, ginger ale, and orange; and Primal Fear, brimming with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Noilly Pratt dry vermouth, cinnamon, lemon, peach bitters, and egg white. Renshaw is adept at recreating classics as well, delving into cocktail lore with an Aviation, Brandy Alexander, Gimlet, Clover Club, and lots more.
If you're not too pizza'd out from Flour & Stone, a fine Italian restaurant down the street is Tre Soldi. The full-service restaurant traffics more in a Roman vein, offering up pizzas, pastas, and other traditional trattoria fare. The transportive space feels like nothing else in Chicago, taking diners out of their element and into the realm of a legit Roman eatery. Start with antipasti such as kale salad, fagioli, calamari, and carpaccio, then taste your way through pizzas, pastas, and entrees like saltimbocca, pork milanese, and braised short ribs. Don't miss the orange-scented tiramisu trifle for dessert.