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Thick-cut bacon is a sight to behold at Prime & Provisions, one of the nearly 400 participants in Chicago Restaurant Week.

FEATURES

Fierce Feasting

By Ariel Cheung

Photo Courtesy of DineAmic Group

01.11.19

Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 25-Feb. 7, is the perfect excuse to indulge in longtime favorites or explore new eateries making their mark on the city’s dining scene. Here, some of our top picks.

Aba
Make your reservations fast, because this Fulton Market darling is a hard spot to get into on a regular week. Restaurant Week proves to be an excellent opportunity to check out the Mediterranean hot spot, with the option to select from a bevy of its excellent spreads, meaty plates and desserts. Favorite starters include the whipped feta with crushed pistachio and pancetta-flecked Brussels sprouts, while irresistible entrees span from chef C.J. Jacobson’s grilled octopus to slow-braised leg of lamb to a shawarma-spiced skirt steak. The kulfi dessert is an intriguing Turkish ice cream, and as a bonus, guests can also select a glass of wine, making this menu truly the toast of the town. $48, 302 N. Green St., 773.645.1400

Avli Taverna
This delightful take on Greek cuisine from seasoned pros debuted late last year in Lincoln Park, and some of its best dishes are featured on its Restaurant Week menu. While peppered figs and thyme honey give saganaki a toothsome boost, prawns wrapped in shredded filo are equally delicious. The family’s braised lamb moussaka is bursting with warm flavors, while the crispy, custardy Bougatsa Mille Feuille is a fun way to finish off the night. $36, 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave., 773.857.5577

Funkenhausen
This West Town newcomer’s inventive spin on German cuisine and spacious, lively interior makes for a fun night out. For Restaurant Week, sample some of chef Mark Steuer’s best dishes, including charred broccolini drizzled with buttermilk dressing and studded with golden raisins and hazelnuts. While the pork schnitzel with gribiche sauce is a must-try, the ruby trout is also tasty fare. Wrap things up with a black forest doughnut—and perhaps stick around for a German-themed cocktail or two. $36, 1709 W. Chicago Ave., 312.929.4727

LondonHouse Chicago
This hotel restaurant jazzed things up for the 2019 Restaurant Week, paying homage to its jazz club with a multitude of choices for its three-course dinner. While the aged beetroot tartare stands out as a choice option for the first course, it’ll be harder to choose between filet mignon with oyster mushrooms and potatoes; dover sole paired with a salted radish tart; and lamb chops topped with minted jelly and baby sweet potato. As for dessert, the warm pear cobbler with salted cinnamon ice cream sounds too good to pass up. $48, 85 E. Wacker Drive, 312.253.2317

The Loyalist
The difficulty here will be narrowing down your choice between three delectable entrees: The famous Loyalist Cheeseburger; a vegetarian friendly medley of roasted king trumpet mushrooms, potato puree and pickled black trumpets; or braised short rib pappardelle. Then again, choosing between starters of beef tartare or mussels won’t be much easier, but all roads converge with the hazelnut praline puff for dessert. $36, 177 N. Ada St., 773.913.3774

Piccolo Sogno
Perhaps the most luxe-leaning lunch can be found at this Italian stalwart. Start off with appetizers like local mozzarella paired with oven-dried tomatoes and basil, followed by enticing entrees like ribbon pasta with veal ragu or wood-roasted shredded duck with mushrooms. Finish off with an assortment of biscotti or the Sicilian ricotta cheesecake, and you just might be tempted to return for dinner. $24, 464 N. Halsted St., 312.421.0077

Prime & Provisions
While the tantalizingly thick house-flared bacon—served in an assortment of pepper, maple syrup and dark chocolate varieties—is available for both lunch and dinner for Restaurant Week, dinner allows guests to enjoy the sumptuous steak. The standard option is a six-ounce petit filet, although those with bigger stomachs can upgrade to a 10-ounce barrel-cut or New York strip. Finish off with banana cream pie or chocolate caramel cake—yum. $48, 222 N. LaSalle St., 312.726.7777

Siena Tavern
A glance at the top of this three-course dinner menu tells you all you need to know: Coccoli. The crispy, light pastries, served with stracchino cheese, prosciutto di parma and sweet truffle honey, are a Siena Tavern must-have. From there, orecchiette with prosciutto sausage or gnocchi with truffle cream and crispy pancetta are two entree standouts, while dessert is a can't-lose choice of tiramisu or the signature bomboloni filled with whisky-caramel, chocolate hazelnut cream and raspberry chianti. $48, 51 W. Kinzie St., 312.595.1322

Split-Rail
Likely to be a favorite among TV fanatics, chef Zoe Schor follows up her Friends vs. Seinfeld menu with two Queer Eye-themed dinners. Antoni Porowski takes the spotlight in the first, with his love for “irregular eggs” showcased in guacamole toast topped with a soft egg and grapefruit, followed by poke-inspired crudo and roasted pork loin with whiskey-caramelized onions meant to honor his desire for a section. As for “The Other Guys,” Jonathan Van Ness’ “little pockets of joy” translate to bean-and-cheese empanadas, followed by wild boar bolognese and an adaptation of Tan France’s French Tuck in the form of a chocolatey puff pastry topped with cream. $48, 2500 W. Chicago Ave., 773.697.4419