The Best New Restaurants in Chicago

by Kasey Caminiti | October 8, 2021 11:00 am

Lure Fishbar

Known for its world-class sushi program, raw bar and rotating oyster selection, Lure Fishbar[1]—which already has locations in New York City and Miami—has arrived in River North. “Since opening Lure in the heart of SoHo 15 years ago, we’ve always strived to create a restaurant that brings people together over delicious food, drinks and high-energy ambiance,” says owner John McDonald. Expect entrees like lobster bisque, crab cakes, a shrimp po’ boy sandwich, classic fish and chips, grilled mahi-mahi tacos and miso salmon served in a lively yet intimate dining space featuring rich tones and yacht-like decor along with an outdoor patio.

Lure Fishbar in Chicago

Lure Fishbar in Chicago

The Summer Inn

Designed to evoke memories of summertime meals with friends and family, The Summer Inn[2] brings an upscale, beachy getaway vibe to Highland Park, just north of Chicago. Led by chef Bob Zrenner, the restaurant offers a menu of coastal-style fare highlighting seasonal ingredients. Guests can sip and dine in multiple indoor areas adorned with rattan decor and lush greenery, or lounge in a beautiful outdoor space outfitted with a wrap-around patio, marble bar and fire pits.

Turkey meatballs at The Summer Inn

Turkey meatballs at The Summer Inn

Esmé

Esmé[3], founded by Next’s former executive chef Jenner Tomaska and his wife, Katrina Bravo, has opened in Lincoln Park. The James Beard Rising Star finalist will prepare 12-course tasting menus inspired by emerging artists in the community, with a portion of proceeds benefiting local charity organizations. Dishes from the opening summer menu include salt-baked sablefish wrapped in squash blossoms and a wagyu éclair with salted strawberries, pine and parsnips.  The 3,800-square-foot restaurant, designed by HED (Harley Ellis Devereaux), was conceptualized with art as a fundamental part of the construction. A Champagne tower installation by industrial designer and artist Benjamin Edgar welcomes guests at the entrance with the walls functioning as a canvas for exhibiting artists and collaborators.

The salmon course at Esmé

The salmon course at Esmé

Venteux

Vibrant French brasserie, café and oyster bar Venteux[4] has opened at the new Pendry Chicago hotel, located inside the landmark Carbide & Carbon Building on Michigan Avenue. Michelin-starred chef Donald Young, in partnership with Clique Hospitality[5], serves up a menu of classic yet comforting French cuisine with unexpected twists. Patrons can enjoy favorites including steak frites, whole roasted duck, escargot, French onion soup and oysters flown in daily against the backdrop of sumptuous interiors.

The Grand Marnier soufflé at Venteux

The Grand Marnier soufflé at Venteux

Avli on The Park

Avli on The Park[6] is the fourth restaurant in Greek American chef Louie Alexakis and sports anchor Lou Canellis’ fast-growing modern Greek hospitality brand offering guests floor-to-ceiling views of Lakeshore East Park alongside modern Mediterranean cuisine. Sustainably designed by Gold Coast Interiors with the Greek Islands[7] front of mind, the airy 13,000-square-foot venue features olive trees and natural elements of stone, marble, eucalyptus and natural rope alongside layered drapery and gold accents. Chef Nikolaos Kapernaros’ menu of fresh fish and marinated meats alongside refreshing Greek wines will whisk you off to the Aegean.

The main dining room at Avli on The Park

The main dining room at Avli on The Park

Endnotes:
  1. Lure Fishbar: http://lurefishbar.com
  2. The Summer Inn: http://thesummerinn.com
  3. Esmé: http://esmechicago.com
  4. Venteux: http://venteuxchicago.com
  5. Clique Hospitality: https://dujour.com/cities/apex-social-club-camden-cocktail-lounge-palms-resort-casino-andy-masi-interview/
  6. Avli on The Park: http://avli.us
  7. Greek Islands: https://dujour.com/lifestyle/new-hotels-resorts-greece-travel/

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