Many of Chicago’s most celebrated restaurants are back for Chicago Restaurant Week (CRW) 2019 that, once again, will be dishing up unmatched dining deals to power us through the winter.

The “week,” actually two weeks, kicks off on January 24 with First Bites Bash (FBB)–the perfect spot to help you decide what restaurants you’ll want to visit during restaurant week and beyond–since it is not humanly possible to visit all 395 participating restaurants in just 14 days.

FBB features food tastings from more than 70 of Chicago’s most celebrated chefs and restaurants. It’s always in a beautiful setting–this year, for the first time, at the Field Museum–with beautiful people–beautiful food and an intoxicating vibe.

Chicago’s 12th annual Restaurant Week (January 25 through February 7) is already taking reservations, here. CRW features a prix fixe menu starting at $24 for brunch and lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). Some restaurants offer lunch, dinner and brunch, others may just offer one or two meal options. The well-designed website offers all you need to know about each participating restaurant and several options for search by cuisine and location.

The only thing the website doesn’t do is tell you where to go.

That’s why we’re here to share some of our favorites and make some suggestions, to get you started.

ABA

This West Loop hotspot has been on the radar of foodies and food critics since it opened last spring. The space, in a word, is magnificent.

Aba seats 150 indoors, and another 50 + on the rooftop patio. The food and the ambiance are Mediterranean with the addition of steaks, raw proteins and chilled shellfish focusing on small plates.

Aba is offering a 4-course dinner for CRW at $48. (302 N. Green St., 3rd Floor)

Al Fresco Dining Alert

Aba is another spot to put on your calendar for summer dining. Their amazing rooftop over-flows with plants, French street lamp pendants, fire pits and fireplaces that transport you to the Mediterranean.