by Jennifer Olvera
Just in time for a much-needed winter relief, Chicago Restaurant Week hits February 18-27 — yes, it’s longer than seven days — giving diners access to over 200 prix-fixe menus priced at $22 during lunch and usually $33 or $44 during dinner, plus drinks, tax and gratuity. We think it’s a pretty sweet deal.
At The Bristol, that means a nighttime find of Bordeaux spinach salad with bagna cauda vinaigrette, pickled onions and hard-cooked egg; pan-roasted skate wing with red currant vinaigrette, Delicata squash and endive; and, for a finale, Mascarpone cheesecake with lemon and blood orange accents. Head across town to Mercat a la Planxa and find Serrano ham-fig salad with sherry-shallot vinaigrette; Penn Cove mussel gratin with confit artichoke and tomatoes with saffron hollandaise; house-smoked lamb sausage, ham hock and tomato stew studded with black-eyed peas; and milk chocolate croquettes with banana marshmallow, rosemary caramel and Arbequina olive oil ($35). Veering in a totally different direction is hot-spot Chizakaya, where choices include puffed pigs’ ears, a trio of sweet sausage, duck confit and shishito pepper skewers and pork belly with egg, followed by taro rice pudding.