January Restaurant Round-Up

RPM Italian

Long time, no talk! I’ve officially been home for one month now and have been picking up right where I left off in terms of foodie adventures. For my sister’s birthday this year we went to RPM Italian for dinner. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, and I got some LEYE gift cards on Christmas so now was the perfect opportunity. Β Everything we ate was delicious, but visually the star was obviously the chocolate torte pictured above. I’m salivating just looking at it again. Also, I’m pretty sure we saw Chance the Rapper on the way out and it may have been the highlight of winter break.Β 

HaiSous

I also made sure to make a trip to HaiSous, the new Vietnamese restaurant in Pilsen from Thai and Danielle Dang. The food was terrific, a very fresh and modern take on ethnic cuisine, and I actually enjoyed Ca Phe Da, its accompanying all-day cafe, even more. I had a lychee danish that was one of the best pastries I’ve ever had.

What HaiSous is to Vietnamese is what Mi Tocaya Antojeria is to Mexican. Located in the Catalpa Kitchen space, Diana Davila’s interpretation of Mexican food pushes the boundaries in extremely exciting ways. No pictures because it was too dark, but the spaghetti with poblano cream, egg, and crab was out of this world.

Split-Rail

Another interesting concept was Zoe Schor’s Split-Rail, which takes Midwestern classics that are known for lacking refinement (chicken nuggets, green bean casserole, loaded baked potatoes) and attempts to elevate them and make them new. I went for post-church brunch this past week and wasn’t blown away by the food, but I appreciated the originality and would give it another go.

Loba Pastry

Quick shoutout to Loba Pastry because this orange blossom Robbie (and the pineapple sourdough muffin) were outstanding. Skip the matcha.

The Plant

One place I’m definitely excited to see grow is The Plant, a food production space occupying an old meat processing plant in Back of the Yards. I went for the indoor Sunday farmer’s market and while it is clearly still a work in progress, I’m very excited to see what’s in store. It, above anywhere else this month, reminded me why I love being from Chicago.

 

Ta-ta for now,

James

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