Gather | Lincoln Square, Chicago

This Lincoln Square spot is quietly knocking it out of the park

Last month, Tasting Table asked readers for their favorite neighborhood gems. Now we're introducing the winning picks.

Gather owner David Breo really knows his neighborhood.

He can amble over to his award-winning Lincoln Square restaurant in about 15 minutes.

It's one of the reasons he keeps half of his tables open for walk-ins. As Breo explains, "I can't be a neighborhood place and tell my neighbors I don't have a table for them."

Chef Ken Carter changes the menu constantly, making just about everything–from the bread to the charcuterie–in-house. But the casual diner may not notice; prices stay low and the wait staff doesn't preach. "We want to make things with a high level of technique without having to beat people over the head," says Breo.

The interior of Gather

They're succeeding. Take, for instance, what may be the platonic ideal of steak tartare ($12): coated with egg, mixed with diced cucumber for extra crunch and served on housemade brioche. Broccoli rabe charred from the grill, glazed with maple and topped with bleu cheese and spicy chicharrones ($8), is also a revelation.

An unusual-sounding "dip" (really a farro salad) of pomegranate seeds, persimmon, arugula, feta, cucumber, cranberry and sesame ($11) looks like someone went a little blender-crazy. But the result tastes like autumn on a cracker.

"Sometimes you just want to stay in your own neighborhood," says Breo.

Even if you don't live within walking distance, Gather's worth the trip.

More Lincoln Square gems: Bistro Campagne, Fork, La Bocca Della Verita, Fountainhead