Chicago Restaurants

Restaurant neighborhood
City Mouse
311 N. Morgan St., Fulton Market District
Tucked inside the Ace Hotel, City Mouse is the latest offering from beloved local triumvirate Jason Vincent, Ben Lustbader, and Josh Perlman of Giant. Here, the guys call upon seasonally-driven Midwestern inspired fare for their all-day menu, which translates to dinner selections like cornbread with parmesan and the "Country Mouse"—a cheddar, caramel, and caviar shooter (a wink to local favorite Garrett Popcorn), plus a particularly satisfying lasagna, layered with lemon ricotta and mushroom duxelles. The crowd-pleasing brunch runs the gamut from gluten-free house doughnuts and avocado toast to sweet cornmeal griddle cakes, and—wait for it—a particularly decadent cinnamon pretzel roll. The dining room itself intentionally blends into the lobby, and there's an outdoor patio with ample fire pits and space heaters for those balmier Chicago days. If you come in for dinner, swing by the Waydown, the hotel's unpretentious rooftop bar for panoramic city views and a solid cocktail list by Caitlin Laman.
Pacific Standard Time
141 W. Erie St., River North
Pacific Standard Time reminds us of some of our favorite restaurants in L.A. (Botanica, Gjusta, we're looking at you), and it’s clear that chef Erling Wu-Bower took cues from coastal California, both in menu, open kitchen, and modern, light-filled space. Drawing from Mexican, Italian, and Mediterranean flavors, you can expect plates of oven roasted asparagus marinated in black garlic molasses, trout in a fennel-mushroom broth, and margherita pizza with pistachio pesto from a wood-burning oven. For dessert, the huckleberry sundae and the sunflower cotton cake with strawberry syrup are winners. And since it's Chicago, a city that does happy hour particularly well, grabbing cocktails (we go for the rhubarb spritzes) at the bar is a popular way to kick off a visit. Photos: Brian Willette
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