It's almost that time of year; Chicago Restaurant Week is coming up fast, taking place January 30 through February 12. You'd best save up an appetite now, because the best of the best in Chicago restaurants are slated to participate in this can't-miss lineup of dining supremacy. Of course, the surfeit of superb dining options can be a tad overwhelming, so to help you navigate the sea of deliciousness, here are some keys to a great Restaurant Week. Feel free to print it out, frame it, and hang it above your desk. Or whatever.
CH Distillery | Gnocchi - pork belly, roasted mushrooms, shaved pecorino, herbs
First thing you've probably noticed is that Chicago Restaurant Week is actually more than seven days. This allows diners to maximize their participation in this glorious spree of dining deals across the city, wherein restaurants offer special prix fixe lunch menus for $22 and/or prix fixe dinner menus for $33 or $44. With more than 250 restaurants on board, running the gamut from Korean fare to Spanish, contemporary American, and French bistro classics across the city and suburbs, there's certainly something for everyone.
The Chicago Restaurant Week website is live at EatItUpChicago.com, so you can start perusing your options and solidifying a game plan for your stomach. Be sure and look through all the menus to ensure the prix fixe menus are what you're into. Heads up that restaurants change and upload menus right up until Restaurant Week, and sometimes even during Restaurant Week, so keep checking back.
LUXBAR | Sweet chili fried calamari
Your multifaceted options for Chicago Restaurant Week provide the perfect cross-section of the diverse, world-class food scene in Chicago. If you like classic Italian cuisine with a chic touch in a bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere, Quartino is waiting for you. Ever wanted to dine in a hip urban winery? Look no further than City Winery (pictured at top). Or how about dining in a bar/restaurant that distills its own spirits for cocktails on-site? Head to CH Distillery.
Quartino | selection of soups
LUXBAR provides a gorgeous taste of contemporary American cuisine in the Gold Coast, while Kama Indian Bistro does wonders with inventive Indian flavors in La Grange. Tip of the iceberg, folks. Many many more where those came from, so stay attuned to EatItUpChicago.com for all the rest.
Check out this blog for highlights on where to eat throughout January and February; we'll provide pairing suggestions, new concept highlights for Restaurant Week, healthy options, and more. One new facet to Chicago Restaurant Week this year is a social media contest that rewards you for taking photos of your meals. It runs for six weeks from January 5 through February 13, with one prize doled out per week. To enter, just follow @ChooseChicago on Instagram, take photos of your meal at participating Chicago Restaurant Week restaurants, post them on Instagram with the restaurant name, the dish name, and any comments along with the hashtag #CRWContest. More details here: www.choosechicago.com/crwcontest
Kama Indian Bistro | Tandoori Chilean Seabass
Don't fret about buying tickets for Restaurant Week, just make your reservations as early as possible. Once you've made your reservations, all you have to think about is saving an appetite. Once you sit down at the restaurant(s) of your choice, you should be presented a special Chicago Restaurant Week menu. If not, just inquire with your server and you'll be good to go.
Lastly, have fun and try something new. This is all about exploring Chicago's diverse restaurant scene and getting a taste of our great city. Happy eating!
Photos Courtesy of: City Winery by Adam Alexander; CH Distillery; LUXBAR; Quartino; Kama Indian Bistro