The masses are hungry and the times are lean, said Dennis Ray Wheaton in Chicago Magazine. But these three “smart, approachable newcomers” to the Windy City offer imaginatively prepared food at modest prices.
The Publican Following in the footsteps of New York’s Mario Batali and David Chang, the Publican is all about “pork and offal and simplicity in cooking.” The décor is beer-hall chic, with a
dining area dominated by three massive communal tables. Go early “if you want to hear your companions,” and order some of the pork specialties: pork rinds, lardon-laced pork pie, pig’s foot terrine, blood sausage, and grilled country ribs. 837 W. Fulton Market, (312) 733-9555
The Bristol Patrons at this cozy Wicker Park restaurant also sit at communal tables and, like the Publican, the Bristol “butchers whole animals in-house.” Specialties include grilled prawns with anchovy butter and sausage-stuffed olives with lemon crème fraîche dipping sauce. Except for the occasional whole roasted fish, “everything hovers under $20.” 2152 N. Damen Ave., (773) 862-5555
Province This green-minded West Loop restaurant is decorated with “sustainably harvested” cork floors, cork tabletops, recycled leather-covered chairs, reclaimed wood shutters, and recycled paper menus. The organic menu includes a Spanish blue cheese fondue that’s sublimely gooey. 161 N. Jefferson St., (312) 669-9900
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Ban PowerPoint!
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
Subscribe to the Week