Dining

The Best New Restaurants to Blow into Chicago This Fall

From ambitious tasting menus to modern steak houses, here's what's coming to the Windy City
Chef John Shields of Smyth | Photo: Galdones Photography

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Chicago’s best fall openings come from all over the dining spectrum: With tasting menu-only restaurants like the Smyth and Temporis to a restaurant focused on whole animals in a brewery, there’s something for everyone storming into town this season.

Smyth: Husband-and-wife duo and Charlie Trotter alums John Shields and Karen Urie Shields have been working on a twofer project. The first, more casual part, The Loyalist, is already up and running. But on August 26, the pair will debut their tasting menu-only project upstairs. The eight-course menu, which will change daily, is served from an open kitchen and goes for $135. The team is using Tock, the reservation ticketing service from Nick Kokonas, so reservations and tickets are a must.

Temporis: At this 20-seat tasting menu spot, chefs Sam Plotnick and Evan Fullerton will serve 10 to 12 courses, each focused on a particular ingredient, such as a dish called “variations of the sunflower family” with fermented sunchoke emulsion, salsify, dandelion, sunflower seed, endive and chamomile. For dessert, expect something like warm rooibos tea brûlée with blood orange and kumquat.

Illustration: Pizza Fingers

Anomar: Daniel Espinoza spent much of the past few years traveling around the country cooking as part of Dinner Lab. Now he’s working on a more centralized project, a Mexican restaurant in Pilsen that should seat around 60 diners. The chef has kept the plans tightly under wraps (including the exact address), but he tells Chicago magazine to expect tamales made with masa that’s enriched with bone marrow and mescal-cured foie gras torchons.

GT Prime: Giuseppe Tentori wants to make the steakhouse experience a shared one with meat that arrives at the table sliced and ready to be passed around. That meat won’t be limited to steak though. Expect rabbit and bison to make an appearance on the menu, too. Those who know the boomerang table at GT Fish & Oyster might recognize a similarity at the chef’s table here, which the team has nicknamed the Frisbee table.

Old Irving Brewing: Breweries aren’t typically destinations for food, but the team here hopes to change that with a space for 200 people where chef Michael Shrader will serve a menu that’s focused on serving full animals—and some vegan options. The dream of turning this space into a brewery started with Homaro Cantu, the late chef. Nearly a year and a half after his tragic death, that dream will become a reality.

The Barn: Amy Morton comes from a family who know a thing or two about owning steak restaurants, seeing as her father, Arnie, was the Morton in Morton’s Steakhouse. And this project isn’t her first time at the proverbial restaurant rodeo: She owns Found Kitchen. But for her new project, she’s channeling her dad with a classic steakhouse in Evanston, which will serve filet, New York strip and rib eye, plus a whole fish that arrives via a cart peddled through the dining room.

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