Chicago has always been known for its deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, but the city’s culinary scene is constantly evolving. For foodies seeking innovative cuisine and new flavors, Chicago has a lot to offer. Here are some of Chicago’s most innovative new restaurants and the unique flavors they bring to the table.
1. Pacific Standard Time: This restaurant, founded by LA natives, blends Californian and Mediterranean flavors with Midwestern produce. The open kitchen, communal tables, and greenhouse-like interior make for a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Dishes like the Grilled Flatbread with Fava Bean Htipiti and Smoked Trout Roe, Oxtail Stew with Morcilla and Zucchini, and the Tangerine Granita with Yogurt Sorbet and Pistachio Brittle are must-tries.
2. Passerotto: This Korean-Italian fusion restaurant offers an exciting and unexpected pairing of flavors. The chef, Jennifer Kim, blends her Korean heritage with her experiences working in Italian restaurants. The small plates menu offers an array of options, including the Not-So-Famous Nachos with Kalbi Beef and Gochujang Cheese, the Spicy Rigatoni with Kimchi and Fermented Tofu, and the Takoyaki Gnocchi with Pickled Parsnip and Potato.
3. Giant: This small yet mighty restaurant offers big flavors that pack a punch. The menu is constantly changing, but the fried chicken sandwich, pork sugo pasta, and salt and pepper shrimp are always on point. The vibe is laid-back, and the open kitchen adds to the ambiance. A meal at Giant is like having dinner at a friend’s house, but with much better food and cocktails.
4. Entente: This restaurant offers a unique and inventive twist on classic dishes. The menu includes dishes such as the Grilled Scallops with Green Curry and Puffed Rice, the Chef’s Burger with Black Truffle Aioli and Aged Cheddar, and the Malt Custard Tart with Caramelized Onions and Black Pepper. The Michelin-starred restaurant also offers a tasting menu for those looking for an elevated experience.
5. Virtue: This southern-inspired restaurant offers classic dishes with a modern twist. The interior, with its vibrant colors and eclectic décor, adds to the overall experience. The Shrimp and Grits, Fried Chicken, and Mac n’ Cheese are all popular choices. The cocktails, like the Virtue Mule with jalapeño and ginger beer, are also worth trying.
These are just a few of the innovative restaurants that are redefining Chicago’s culinary scene. With a diverse array of flavors, innovative techniques, and talented chefs, Chicago’s dining options are only getting better. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or visiting for the first time, there is always something new and exciting to try in the Windy City.