Archive for category Restaurants and Bars

What’s New and What’s Cheap in Chicago Dining

Earth + Ocean's chicken and rice and bagels from Reno

Earth + Ocean’s chicken and rice (left) and bagels from Reno (right)

New: Earth + Ocean

In his 18 years on the culinary road, Filipino native Rodelio Aglibot has cooked Japanese at Koi and New Asian at Yi Cuisine (both in Southern California) and consulted in Pan-Asian at Sunda, Italian at the Florentine, and in American at Argent (all in Chicago). Now, with his feet planted firmly in Mount Prospect, Aglibot takes on New American cuisine. To him, that means from-scratch pizzas and pastas, Malay-style sea bass, Filipino adobo pork belly, and Argentine gaucho steak. And his signature dish—crispy “confited” chicken thighs with rice, fresh shelled peas, and a runny egg—is a spin on the comfort food he ate growing up in Honolulu (a.k.a. heaven on earth surrounded by an ocean). 125 Randhurst Village Dr., Mount Prospect, 847-388-3636.


New: Kuma’s Too

In mid-February, the underworld-themed burger bar Kuma’s Corner spun off a 73-seater at the most appropriate address (none other than 666) in the least likely neighborhood (decidedly nonmetalhead Lincoln Park). Tony Lomanto transferred from the Avondale location—where the hallowed Kuma Burger, with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, keeps ’em queuing up for hours—to man the grills, cooking identical offerings. The music-focused decor is also similar, but owner Michael Cain calls the Kuma’s Too building “nicer and more Lincoln Park–y.” As for the new neighbors: “Everybody likes burgers, and everybody could stand to lose some political correctness, so we’ll be good.” 666 W. Diversey Pkwy., 773-472-2666.


Budget: Reno

It may not have occurred to many people to want a bagel baked in a wood-fired oven, much less to seek out such a thing. But this smart sibling (and next-door neighbor) of Logan Square’s Telegraph wine bar makes a convincing case for that idea. Bagels ($2.25) customized with egg, lox, and other proteins ($1 to $3) and tomatoes, radishes, and assorted extras (50 cents to $1) are the focus of the breakfast menu. At lunchtime, sandwiches ($7.50) take center stage. Don’t miss the Cowboy Killer: maple fennel sausage, a fried egg, béchamel, bacon, and rajas (sautéed peppers and onions) on a toasted bun.

After 5 p.m., table service kicks in, and housemade pastas, such as rigatoni carbonara ($14), shine. Want wood-fired pizza? Choose your toppings or try one of the bold combos, which include everything from pepperoni with jalapeño pesto ($12) to a mellow layering of butternut squash, sage, and Gruyère ($11). Desserts are lovely; keep an eye out for malted chocolate mousse pie topped with coffee toffee. Nice wines, beers, and juices, as well as Stumptown coffee. Cash only. 2607 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-697-4234.



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