Readers and friends of The Infatuation often ask for one very specific request: they want to know about the city’s best new restaurants before we review them. We get it, it’s the age of instant information. But that wasn’t information we gave you, until now. We’re happy to present The Infatuation Hit List, a regularly updated guide to the new Chicago restaurants we think are worth your time.
On this list, you’ll find new places we’ve recently reviewed and places we’ve enjoyed and will likely have good things to say about in the future.
One thing you can always rely on: we’ll only put places on this list that we have genuinely vetted. That means every brand new opening doesn’t automatically make a restaurant worthy, nor does a team of ten publicists and an army of Instagrammers who insist it’s good. We don’t care if Oprah endorses it, we’ll only add it to the list if we think it’s actually a place you should spend your time and money in search of new favorite things.
Booth One, in the Ambassador hotel, is trying recapture the era of Frank Sinatra (who sat in “Booth One” at the Pump Room, the hotel’s famous former restaurant). There are well-prepared, fancy dishes like lobster cappuccino (basically a lobster bisque), beef wellington, and “Strawberries Zsa Zsa” (a platter of fresh strawberries with creme fraiche, Grand Marnier, and chocolate). This place succeeds in creating an old-school atmosphere, with giant booths and servers in tuxedo jackets, and in general feels mostly like a Gold Coast version of RPM Steak. That’s not too surprising, since it’s from the same team. It’s worth visiting even if you’re not already in the neighborhood – especially if you actually remember the days of the Rat Pack.