Where to Eat Dinner in Chicago
If you're attending Food Network in Concert this September 20, your dinner plates (and wine glasses) will be in the hands of the city's greatest chefs. Surrounded by succulent barbecue, dreamy pasta and sushi like you've never seen it before (to name just a few), it's safe to say you won't have to worry about food on the night of the festival. But what about the rest of your trip? Here, Food Network stars and headliner Phillip Phillips share their dinner recommendations to continue your culinary adventure in Chicago.
Geoffrey Zakarian: Paul Kahan's restaurants Avec and Blackbird, and Stephanie Izard's Girl and the Goat.
Anne Burrell: The Purple Pig, BellyQ, and I always have to go for a piece of BIG MEAT, so I like to go to Gibsons!
Marc Murphy: Avec is a great wine-focused restaurant offering a Midwestern take on Mediterranean cuisine. I love ordering the whole roasted fish. You can't really talk about Chicago without mentioning Rick Bayless and Frontera Grill. It's an absolute must. At the top of my dinner list to check out is Yusho. It's a yakitori-inspired Japanese street food spot by Charlie Trotter's veteran chef Matthias Merges, and the menu looks incredible.
Jeff Mauro: I love Gibsons on Rush or in Oak Brook for their classic Chicago steakhouse vibe and giant bone-in tomahawk Australian Wagyu rib eye. Best service in any restaurant in the city, and their chopped salad with the addition of blue cheese and anchovies is the greatest starter in the city. It is the essence of Chicago. Some of my more memorable recent dining experiences have been at Schwa, for their unpretentious, yet perfectly executed funk; Juno for service, sushi and Japanese Wagyu; and the newly revamped Boka, helmed by Chef Lee Wolen, for its lively atmosphere, chicken and short ribs.
Alex Guarnaschelli: I am sentimental and loving of Frontera Grill, always. I can graze my way through Publican Quality Meats. I also really liked Girl and the Goat. Nice varied menu. Great service.
Jose Garces: At my Catalan tapas restaurant in the Blackstone Hotel, Mercat, we serve a very special cut of Ibérico pork called "secreto" that's seared on the planxa. This cut comes from the same Iberian black pig (also called "pata negra"for their black hooves) that produces the prized jamón Ibérico, and it's not to be missed. My friend Chef Paul Kahan's spots are all spectacular, but I often find myself at The Publican. If I'm planning to go all out, the tasting menu at Chef Tony Mantuano's Spiaggia is hard to beat.
Bill Telepan: The Publican and The Purple Pig are both delicious dinner options in Chicago. If you can splurge, go to Alinea.
Phillip Phillips: The Signature Room in the Hancock Tower. I haven't been very many times, but it's memorable. I like dinner with adventure and a view.