Chicagoland restaurants

Even before I got to Chicagoland people from elsewhere were already telling me about the great restaurant scene here. They were right. I’ve decided to blog some of the great finds partly as a reference for myself, but perhaps also of use to those many who pass through Chicagoland at one point or another. (Most academic conventions rotate through this city so a compiled list may be helpful to attendees.)

A few days ago I had dinner at a new Japanese restaurant: Kaze. The service was very accomodating as people floated in and out of our group. We just kept ordering things as the evening progressed. I recommend the soy beans for starters as you figure out the rest of the meal. Everything I – and others at the table – had was wonderful so you really can’t go wrong. Smaller appetizer type dishes are $4-7, bigger dishes are $12-$15, desserts: $8 (for which you probably want to save some room:).

The restaurant is located on 2032 W. Roscoe St just west of the Roscoe/Damen intersection. It is not labelled so you may miss it. Look for the black top, window wall on a corner. They are planning on adding outside seating, which would be nice as it is a quiet area.. and additional space will be welcomed as word of this place spreads.

A restaurant I keep meaning to go back to ever since I had brunch there this past summer is Pierrot Gourmet in downtown Chicago (close to the Michigan/Chicago Ave intersection). It serves Alsacian food including a type of pizza (with a different name I do not recall) that has a super thin crust and is incredibly yummy. It’s one of their specialties and they have several types so it shouldn’t be that hard to find on the menu if you look for a group of entrees with pizza-sounding toppings.

Next in this series: a look at some of my favorite places in Evanston.

UPDATE: Chicago Foodies has a similarly positive review of Kaze.

6 Responses to “Chicagoland restaurants”

  1. david tiley Says:

    Ahah! She who blogs with the great and good at Crooked Timber and is always fun to read also has her own blog.

    It’s posts like these which make me wish I wasn’t on the other side of the planet far far away from suchlike eateries. Mind you, we do very very classy east/west fusion in Australia even if most academics at conferences are too preoccupied to notice.

    The whole question of the local and the planetary in blogs is fascinating. I think in twelve months of reading Crooked Timber that the flavour of the thing has moved from British to American (though that may be an illusion from cursory reading early on).

    Even though the technology is officially sans borders and we should expand to the edges of our language puddle, in practice most blogs are still highly local. I, for instance, started with a conscious desire to assume that I had an international audience, but most of my readers are still not only Australian but probably from my home city of Melbourne.

    It seems as if each culture in the English language puddle relates very differently to blogging.

  2. eszter Says:

    You raise all sorts of interesting questions. First of all, when I visited your site it didn’t jump out at me as Australian. Maybe I missed some obvious sign, but in general I was just reading it thinking you were in the US. (I guess there’s a “local” bias there.)

    That’s also an interesting point about conference attendees missing a lot of the great things localities have to offer. When I was in Chicago for a conference a year before I ended up moving to Chicagoland, I got nothing out of the city. I was just running in between conference hotels and did not get to know town at all. It really is a shame when conference trips are so void of anything substantive related to the place one is visiting.

    I’m not sure what to say about the flavor of CT, that would be for others to comment, but it’s an interesting observation.

  3. Baptiste Says:

    Last time in Chicago, I went for a brunch at the Milk and Honey Cafe (near Wiker Park). And it was great !

  4. J. Ellenberg Says:

    The Alsatian-style “pizza” is probably flammekueche. Good, good stuff. I’m surprised they allow it in Deep Dish Country.

    Strange that there don’t seem to be many Alsatian restaurants in the U.S. — the only one I’ve seen was the somewhat annoying Sandrine’s in Harvard Square.

  5. Scott Swank Says:

    Hello there neighbor, from Edgewater. Some restaurants of note include:

    Hema’s Kitchen (Devon & Oakley) for Indian food
    Ruby of Siam (Ridge, just north of the fork with Green Bay) for Thai
    Thai Homestyle (Western & Lunt)
    ??? Taqueria (Clark & Lunt, red/green awning, across from the library) for Mexican, terrific ceviche


  6. eszter Says:

    Hi Everyone, thanks for the recommendations. Scott, unfortunately, in the past couple of years I developed a very serious allergy to something in Thai food (possibly coconut milk, although this is still not fully clear) and so I can no longer go to Thai restaurants.. but hopefully your recommendations will be helpful for others who visit this page. Thanks.