Hip Dining At Sonny's Hideaway In Highland Park

Sonny's Hideaway plays it cool in Highland Park

Want proof that Highland Park is morphing into the city's hippest dining destination?

Look no further than Sonny's Hideaway, a dark, brooding restaurant on York Boulevard that has managed to fly under the radar since its May opening.

Housed inside a 90-year-old dining room lined with leather banquettes and a long wooden bar, Sonny's hides a surprising culinary one-two punch: a formidable cocktail menu by J. Kelly O'Hare of Austin's Eastside Showroom, and a multifaceted menu by Jimmy Everett, a former sous chef at NYC's Marea.

Twists on traditional bar food impressed us: A plate of what looked like chicken nuggets is, in fact, chicken-fried sweetbreads ($14), laced with thyme and D'Anjou pear purée. Pickled green tomatoes gave an acidic boost to a burger blended with bacon ($14), and poached squid stuffed with spicy andouille ($13) was sliced into colorful sections of surf-and-turf sausage and smeared with black olive sauce.

From the bar, we were gobsmacked by the Napoli Death Toll ($13), a tropical storm in a glass made from rum, Acqua di Cedro and passion fruit, with the added flourish of a flaming cinnamon-scented lime crowning its rim.

Sonny's isn't short on flair, but it's the substance behind the style that has us taking note of this neighborhood standout.