It’s one month into the new year which means one thing: Restaurant Week is upon us! The delicious festival is arguably the biggest restaurant event in Chicago. The city is overflowing with foodies and tourists anxious to snag a seat at some of the city’s most coveted restaurants. With over 400 restaurant participating in Restaurant Week this year, you have to indulge in the lunch or dinner specials at least a few places. With so many spots to choose from, we have narrowed down our list to the top places you should check out. Whether it’s to take advantage of a sweet deal at a pricy spot or to check out signature dishes at one of the city’s most buzzed about restaurants, we have something for everyone.
Chef Zoë Schor is one of our favorite chefs in Chicago. We love Split Rail, and the unique menus she has created since its inception (including a recent re-concept that includes vegan fried chicken). Chef Schor is also known for her fun and innoventive themed dinners; her My Favorite Murder dinner sells out insanely fast. Likewise, her funky approach to Restaurant Week offers two menus that are Queer Eye-themed. Come decide if you are Team Antoni or for “The Other Guys” with a duo of menus that reflect the show’s resident food expert, or one that sums up the other members of the Fab Five.
The Bitches gave Split Rail five Champagne flutes. Read the brunch review here.
Split-Rail, 2500 W. Chicago Ave., (773) 697-4413
Bellemore, one of the newest spots on Randolph Street in the West Loop is offering great deals on some of their hottest, must-have dishes. For lunch you can score a three-course menu featuring dishes like carrot toast with smoked tofu, sweet potato tots with parmesan aioli and and a “Fire-Bird” chicken sandwich with fried onion ranch. For the four-course dinner, diners can choose from a port-poached pear salad, Kona kampachi, venison tartare, and porcini rigatoni with mushroom bolognese, to name a few. Be sure to save room for the triple chocolate mousse cake.
Bellemore, 564 W Randolph St., (312) 667-0104
If you still haven’t knocked Boka off your Chicago restaurant bucket list, it’s time to finally do that. Take advantage of the opportunity to dine for under $50 with a generous four-course menu with highlights like shaved foie gras with brown butter peanuts, poached shrimp with grilled cucumbers, and glazed pork neck with sunchoke and pickled mustard. We highly recommend you pair your meal with one of the fabulous wines off of Boka’s extensive wine list.
Boka, 1729 North Halsted St., (312) 337-6070
Monteverde is our pick for our vegetarian friends. This must-visit Italian restaurant is going in a different direction for Restaurant Week, and we strongly recommend you take advantage! Chef Sarah Grueneberg has created a veg-friendly menu for the occasion. All four courses have at least one meat-free dish, like the sunchoke and artichoke crostino or Lillian’s stuffed cabbage. Desserts include a butterscotch budino with whipped mascarpone and pecan toffee. Bonus! Wine pairings are available for an additional $18, which is a total steal.
Monteverde, 020 W Madison St., (312) 888-3041
One of our favorite new restaurants to emerge on the Chicago food scene in 2018, Funkenhausen is another top recommendation for Restaurant Week. The spot is known for its “German-inspired food with a side of Southern hospitality” and the Restaurant Week menu reflects that. Enjoy charred broccolini topped with buttermilk dressing, then choose between pork schnitzel or ruby trout with sauce gribiche and charred lemon. Save room for the black forest doughnut with brandied cherries for dessert.
Funkenhausen, 1709 W. Chicago Ave., (312) 929-4727
Le Sud is the new French hotspot in Lincoln Park that everyone is raving about. For Restaurant Week, Le Sud is offering a three-course menu with four different options for both appetizers and entrees, and three choices for dessert. With dishes like the pan-roasted duck breast with lavender-honey glaze, steak frites with sorrel butter and chocolate and orange mousse, you won’t be disappointed. Make a reservation ASAP!
Le Sud, 2301 W Roscoe St., (773) 857-1985
The Restaurant Week menu at this West Loop spot gives you a generous taste of their Mediterranean-inspired menu. Enjoy classic dishes from the restaurant like the selections of spreads and mezze — including whipped feta with crushed pistachio, green falafel with avocado tzatziki and beef carpaccio with yuzu-soy — along with one larger plate of various kebabs and slow-cooked meats. Finish it all off with the Turkish coffee kulfi, a Bitches favorite and a must-get dessert.
Aba, 302 N. Green St., (773) 645- 1400
Monnie Burke’s is joining Restaurant Week for the first time this year. The charming and cozy spot in the heart of Pilsen will offer a three-course dinner menu showcasing their modern American cuisine. Look out for the wild mushroom bisque with focaccia herb croutons, roast Berkshire pork loin with spiced acorn squash puree and wild rice, and apricot compote, cinnamon apple and pear crisp with vanilla bean gelato.
Monnie Burke’s, 1163 W 18th St., (312) 243-2410