By Kevin Wilson
7 Trending Places To Dine With Your NRA Guests
If you’re looking for a cool new place to dine with your guests during the National Restaurant Show, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of the hottest new restaurants in downtown Chicago, all conveniently located in or near the Loop
Featuring renowned celebrity chef Matthew Kenny
700 N Michigan Ave
7th Floor of Saks Fifth Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
With a mantra of bringing the “future of food” to Saks Fifth Avenue Chicago, Althea offers a diverse variety of organic, globally-inspired ingredients with new spins on traditional dishes as well as Chef Matthew Kenny’s classics. Kenny, who is considered a plant-based cuisine pioneer, has also created an extensive biodynamic cocktail, beer and wine program.
2. Aster Hall
Featuring 16 unique “vaults” curated by Au Cheval’s owners
900 N Michigan Ave
Levels 5 & 6
Chicago, IL 60661
This luxe food hall is a far cry from a mall food court. It’s the foodie’s food court, offering a little something for everyone. Aster Hall includes 16 one-of-a-kind menus from the likes of Small Cheval, Doughnut Vault, Sushi Station, Green Street Smoked Meats, Chicago Char-Dogs and more. Order your food from the touch screens on the fifth floor and then head up to the welcoming, trendy décor of the sixth floor.
3. Bar Sótano
Featuring spirits director Lanie Bayless and father Rick Bayless
443 North Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
Located in the alley behind Frontera Grill and voted the best new cocktail bar of 2019 by Chicago Tribune’s readers’ choice awards, Bar Sótano features craft Mexican food, from trendy bar snacks like habanero-glazed fried chicken bites to entrées like wagyu steak with pureed sunchoke.
Featuring menus from chefs Stephanie Izard and Chris Pandel
200 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Peruvian
If you’re making the trip to Chicago, you have to at least try to elbow your way into one of Stephanie Izard’s restaurants. Her newest Peruvian rooftop spot Cabra is located in the new Hoxton Chicago hotel in the heart of the trending Fulton Market neighborhood. The hotel’s ground-floor Mediterranean restaurant Cira, featuring Chef Chris Pandel, and the basement cocktail and piano bar Lazy Bird won’t disappoint either.
Visit Cira website
Visit Cabra website
Visit Lazy Bird website
Featuring Chef Mark Steuer
1709 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
It may sound like a strange twist to combine “German heritage” with “Southern hospitality”, but Chef Mark Steuer makes it work in the most fabulous way. At this modern beer hall you’ll find German classics like Weisswurst and Sturgeon Pastrami, along with a “whole mess of chicken” under the menu’s “big as funk” category. Enjoy dining in this restored 1920s warehouse featuring cuckoo clocks vintage signage and the restaurant’s wild boar mascot, Ernest “Hamingway”.
6. Good Measure
Featuring Chef Matt Troost
226 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
Cuisine: Bar and Grill
From Nashville hot fried duck livers to sunflower hummus to cheeseburgers with foie gras sautéed onions, Good Measure is the kind of place that has a lot of unexpected twists on bar food with an equally interesting decor. The restaurant pays tribute to the turn of the century tailor shop that once occupied the space, while also drawing inspiration from punk music with classic checkered floors, vintage art and red leather barstools.
Featuring Chef B.K. Park
731 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60661
This small 22-seat sushi restaurant offers a single menu with up to 25 courses and two seating options, either the sushi bar or a table. Book now, as this hot, new spot only takes a few reservations per night.
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About the author
Kevin Wilson is CEO of Esrock Partners, a foodservice marketing agency located near Chicago, Illinois.