Summer Eating List: 40-plus new Chicago restaurants, from must-gos to extra credit to field trips
June is here, which means it’s again time for my annual Summer Eating List. Inspired by the summer reading lists that teachers hand out at the end of the school year, my Summer Eating List names the recently opened, about-to-open and opening-one-of-these-days restaurants that should be on your summer-dining radar.
In keeping with the scholastic theme, I’ve arranged the list by importance. The Required Eating restaurants are (to me) the most promising; don’t let the summer end without checking out all of these. Electives are intriguing restaurants, worth a look as time and distance permit.
Pizzeria Portofino. Artisan pizzas and pastas, coastal wines and a 130-foot outdoor terrace. Those are the key elements to this Lettuce Entertain You operation, which will have direct riverfront views and serve lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. How will people strolling the Riverwalk resist this? They won’t. Opening June. 317 N. Clark St.
Mr. Maki. From the team that gave us Ramen-San and Sushi-San (both Lettuce Entertain You concepts) comes Mr. Maki, a Streeterville restaurant built around maki rolls and the combo-meal-on-one-platter known as teishoku. Kaze Chan, who also oversees Sushi-San, heads the kitchen. Mr. Maki is just around the corner from Ramen-San’s Streeterville location. Opened late April. 676 N. St. Clair St.
RPM on the Water. The team behind RPM Italian and RPM Steak will open this two-story riverfront restaurant, focusing on seafood and a good representation of RPM steaks. Floor-to-ceiling windows and design by Rockwell Group, plus the look of the previous RPM restaurants, suggest this will be a dazzler. Opening fall. 317 N. Clark St.