Chicago foodies, rejoice. Now is one of the biggest culinary events in Chicago: Chicago Chef Week. This event celebrates local Chicagoland chefs and the unique and innovative culinary scene here. This year, Chicago Chef Week is during the week of April 17-22, 2016 and it once again features some of the best restaurants in Chicago. For only $22, participating restaurants are offering a three-course lunch menu, and for dinner, it’s $44 for four courses.
There are over 100 restaurants participating, so choosing the best ones to try can be really difficult. Luckily, we’ve done that for you. Don’t forget to Instagram everything you eat at the participating restaurants, use the hashtag #chicagochefweek, and tag the official Chicago Chef Week Instagram account for a chance to win dinner for a year.
And now for what really matters: the restaurants.
Dress up and head over to The Betty in the Fulton Market for some refreshing cocktails and delicious plates. Their Chef Week dinner menu features two of their most popular dishes (croquettes and spiced cauliflower), along with their to-die-for spaghetti carbonara and mini pies. Make sure to pair each course with one of their signature unconventional cocktails for the full experience.
One place that people just can’t get enough of is Blackbird. This modern and classy twist on Midwestern cuisine is a constant favorite. How can it not be, with its fresh ingredients and perfect execution? And don’t forget that this place has the most Instagram-worthy dishes. Try to get your hands on a lunch reservation at Blackbird during Chef Week, and go crazy with their Chef Week prix fixe menu.
A bold and modern twist on Mexican cuisine, Dos Urban Cantina is a must-visit in Logan Square. Anyone who’s been there can tell you that the menu items are not only beautiful, but also fresh and delicious. For Chef Week, they’ll be serving some of their most popular menu items, including raw scallops, street-style corn, carnitas, and the best chocolate cake… ever.
Jut looking at Quartino’s Chef Week menu should be enough to convince you to go. It’s an authentic Italian restaurant and wine bar that focuses on small plates, like veal meatball sliders, dates wrapped in pancetta, and bruschette. Quartino really shows their dedication to food through their quality. No matter what you choose, it’ll taste like it’s being cooked with fresh ingredients in a small Italian kitchen.
Another gem from the Fulton Market, Boka Restaurant Group’s Momotaro is a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine. Their extensive menu is broken down into several sections and features quality small plates that are perfect for sharing. If you’ve ever checked out their Instagram, you’d know that everyone is in love with their high-quality sushi and flavorful skewers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to try Momotaro this Chicago Chef Week.
Love seafood? Hit up GT Fish & Oyster for an unforgettable experience. One of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago, GT Fish & Oyster’s Chef Week lunch and dinner menus are more than worth the money. They feature some of their most popular dishes such as the tuna poke, shrimp bruschetta, and their oyster po’boy rolls. Don’t leave without dessert, because their key lime pie is to die for.
A masterful Italian restaurant, Tesori has an excitingly special menu for Chef Week. Their 3-course lunch prix fixe menu features dishes inspired by Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, a special exhibition that is currently being shown at the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s a menu that has everyone rushing to book reservations, so make sure you’ve got yours in and enjoy.
If Sepia isn’t on your list, it should be. The Chef Week menu for lunch and dinner really highlights their innovative style. Not only is their food amazing, but this Michelin-starred restaurant also has some of the best cocktails in Chicago. Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman was nominated for best chef at the James Beard Awards and their wine program got a nomination as well. Clear the evening and head over to this chic restaurant for a fantastic night out this Chef Week.