Virtue Erick Williams Virtue
1462 E. 53rd St.
Chicago, IL 60615
Cuisine: Southern
Hyde Park restaurant is all Southern heart.
Openings: Open Wed.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Happy Hour Wed.-Fri. 4 p.m.-5:45 p.m.


Virtue, Chicago, IL

Virtue Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & décor: Hyde Park's diverse denizens gather at this chic and comfortable spot in the center of Harper Court. To the left of the entrance is a large bustling dining room with full view of an exhibition kitchen; the other side is the more dimly lit bar area, perfect for more intimate dinners or just drinks. African-American touches grace the walls in the form of murals --- people gathering, singers --- honoring chef Erick Williams’ roots.

Likes: It's a warm and inviting space punctuated by addictive soul food.
Dislikes: Service can be forgetful.

Food & Drinks: Chef Williams (County Barbeque) pays homage to Southern culture and his own tradition on this approachable, stylish menu. Starting with the black-and-white floral china that feel like granny's plates, the emphasis is on the familiar. Nothing tastes more down home than the gizzards, not too rich, and served over dirty rice with gravy. Crispy fried green tomatoes pair well with hunky shrimp, baby bell peppers and rémoulade. For mains, the blackened catfish is a winner atop Carolina Gold rice. Beef short ribs are fall-apart delicious if you like salt. Save room for sides; the creamy mac and cheese and collard greens with smoked turkey beg for thirds and fourths. The non-dairy, gluten-free coconut cream pie is a cloud of subtle sweetness. The wine list sports global whites, reds and sparkling options.