Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fav Chicago BYOB's

I LOVE going out to eat! It is one of my favorite things to do and to be honest I may be addicted. On average, I go out to dinner 1-2 times a week and eat all my meals out on the weekend. If I gave up eating out, I’d be a freaking millionaire. Brunch and BYOB’s are my fav!! While we are in a recession and I’m not made of money, unfortunately I can’t hit up the hot spots every night. Sure, I’d love to frequent Table 52, Charlie Trotters, Eve, Carmines, Rosebud Prime and Gibsons on a regular basis, but let’s get real.

BYOB is the greatest thing ever! I hardly ever go anywhere that’s not BYOB and Chicago has so many great resources. A couple months ago at my favorite wine shop, Kafka Wine, I picked up the best book ever, “BYOB Chicago,” complete with all BYOB restaurants in the area.

And, just this week, I got the new TimeOut Chicago’s, “BYOB Guide” which lists the magazines top 50 picks, and yes some of my favorites did make the list. So without further delay, here are my fav hot spots:

Adesso on Broadway in hopping Boy’s Town:
The braised short-ribs and creamy shallot polenta are to die for and I usually end up getting this every time. I try to branch out and get something new when I go, but it’s just too hard. This may just be my favorite restaurant, as it’s in walking distance to my apt, has good affordable Italian food, is BYOB (duh) and is so cozy and quaint. Reservations are a must as this place is teeny tiny and on the weekends is packed with glorious gay men.

Terragusto on Armitage:
So excited when this place opened up a second location in Lincoln Park (original is in Roscoe Village). My first experience was with friend's family and we got the chef’s tasting menu. It is still to this day one of the top meals I’ve ever had. I recently celebrated Valentine’s Day here with “all my single ladies” and highly recommend the “pop’s hat pasta filled with butternut squash” (also featured in TimeOut). Definitely drank heavily on V-day, so I hope this reco lives up to my memory.

Think in Wicker Park:
This one is a little on the pricey side, but well worth it, if you’re celebrating or on a romantic date. The duck risotto and lobster stuffed red peppers are a must and the white linen table cloths and candle light make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the blistering Chicago weather. I do not recommend going out after as the food tends to be on the rich side.

Thai Classic on Clark in Wrigley
This is a true hole in the wall and on Sunday’s they have an all you can eat Thai buffet, I have yet to go. They have an adorable seating area where you must take off your shoes and sit with your feet in the ground, very authentic and fun! This is my favorite delivery go-to and always get the green curry or any curry for that matter.

Jai-Yen on Braodway in Lakeview
Nestled off the beaten path, next to an empty store front, this sushi place offers low-key, convenient and affordable sushi. When I first moved to Chicago, I celebrated many a birthdays as I did my current job at this neighborhood go-to. The maki rolls are all great, my fav is the crazy and giant maki and the fried rice and mochi are also great staples!

Coast in Bucktown
Another great spot for birthday’s, I've celebrated a couple here. Coast tries to think outside the box and offers up unique and creative rolls. Aside from sushi, they also have great extras, such as the tuna tartare. Reservations are a must and be prepared to wait on weekends even with a ressie.

I highly recommend the new TimeOut Chicago. I know I plan on hitting up each and every spot listed, with SMOQUE number 1 on the list.

Attraction is not a choice,


TKTC said...

WELL DONE!! Coast has been on speed-dial for me for 3 years now and I've legitimately never had a bad experience although you're right, reservations are a must. White Dragon. Wow.

And I've been very curious about Think! and have added that to the top of my list.

One to add to yours? HB in Boystown. Pick up your wine at Kafka (how much do you love Michael? He's like the Richard Simmons of wine!) and then roll over for a really great night of French bistro cooking. Mussels and beets are MUST-orders! Truffled fries will make you mutter slightly inappropriate sweet nothings to your food...

flats said...

Ohhh HB, nice one!! They just opened for Sunday brunch and I've tried to go twice, but every time they're closed. What gives? Definitely have to hit up those truffle fries, love anything truffle-y!!

S&S said...

I absolutely LOVE Adesso! The chicken pesto pasta with pine nuts is unbelievable and believe it or not the burger is just as good.

This is great -- I'm going to try Think next!