It is exceedingly rare that I frequent a single restaurant. Growing up in New York City, I was a regular at my local bagel shop and a tiny Italian restaurant a couple blocks from my apartment. That was it. Other than that, I was an explorer, venturing to new restaurants each week.

Upon moving to Chicago, I was determined to keep up my adventurous spirit. However, I would soon come to find a restaurant that would make me change my ways.

Photo courtesy of @giltbarchicago on Instagram

Gilt Bar, a dimly lit restaurant in River North, has become something of a watering hole for me and my three best friends. I am not exaggerating when I say that I go to this restaurant (which, might I say, does not have the largest menu) once a week, and I am really not exaggerating when I say that I have ordered the exact same thing each time.

Here is what we get: to start, burrata cheese which comes with fresh bread and apricot jam, french fries with garlic aioli, steak tartare and a bottle (or two) of wine. More often than not, we also order a mushroom risotto as an appetizer; we all want it but have other things in mind for our main course. When I say other things I mean one thing: truffle pasta.

 

Photo courtesy of @eater_chicago on Instagram

The truffle is considered somewhat of a delicacy. Unable to be domesticated, it is up to specially trained dogs and pigs to sniff them out of the earth in order to harvest them. Thus, truffles are usually exorbitantly expensive. Yet, there are ways to have the “truffle experience” without the truffle price, including truffle oil. I find that truffle oil is usually underwhelming; it smells great, yet it never comes close to the real thing. However, at Gilt Bar, they somehow make it work. It must be the combination of cheeses and fresh pasta that highlight the pungent and earthy taste of the truffle, making this dish so exquisite.

I can also vouch for Gilt Bar’s other dishes. I have yet to be disappointed trying a bite of my friends’ grilled farm chicken or ricotta gnocchi. Furthermore, on the occasion that I have enough room for dessert, a slice of chocolate cream pie with two scoops of cookies and cream ice cream are to die for. All in all, Gilt Bar is consistently amazing and a great place to go to with friends. I highly recommend it for your next dinner out!

Photo courtesy of @giltbarchicago on Instagram