14 Top Chicago Restaurant Week Picks Worth The Food Coma

It's time to strap on the feed bag, friends. Chicago Restaurant Week runs through February 10, and we have every intention of squeezing in as many amazing prix-fixe meals as possible. But, here's the thing: There are more than 250 fabulous eateries participating this year, so a strategic dining plan is a must. Lucky for you, we've taken care of that tasty task and whittled the list down to our 14 favorites.
There's never been a better time to experience an affordable and complete dining experience at some of the top tables in town — from $22 lunches at GT Fish & Oyster and Prasino to $33 gourmet dinners at Graham Elliot Bistro and Trenchermen. So, make those reservations — and get ready to eat your heart out.
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1 of 14
Frontier (Dinner; $33)

If you have yet to experience — or experiment — with the game at this Noble Square eatery, its Restaurant Week menu is the perfect opportunity. Start safe with chargrilled oysters (pictured) or get a little more adventurous with antelope meatballs or kangaroo chili. The mains are more on the tame side — like a super-safe Amish chicken — but there’s also a wild boar chop for the taking, too. As for dessert, homemade s’mores are as crazy as it gets.

Frontier, 1072 North Milwaukee Avenue (at Noble Street); 773-772-4322.

Photo: Courtesy of Frontier
2 of 14
G.E.B. Graham Elliot Bistro (Dinner; $33)

A three-course meal at one of the hottest tables in the West Loop for under $40? Yes, please! You can’t go wrong with Elliot’s comfort-food cuisine, such as the baked potato bisque, local whitefish with curried lentils and stewed raisins (pictured), and stuffed beignets with molten gianduja and powdered sugar. Who's hungry?

G.E.B. Graham Elliot Bistro, 841 West Randolph Street (between Green and Peoria Streets); 312-888- 2258.

Photo: Courtesy of G.E.B.
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3 of 14
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant (Dinner; $44)

This Chicago steak house doesn’t get enough cred, in our opinion — and maybe that’s because it’s not in the central downtown area like the rest of its meaty sisters. But we’re telling you it’s worth the (short) trip. Not only is the food amazing, the firehouse-turned-resto space is beyond charming and cozy (we’re counting down the days for the patio out back!). See what you’ve been missing and try its three-course dinner, complete with hearty winter fare such as baby octopus (pictured), a 12-ounce rib eye, and chocolate mousse cake.

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, 1401 South Michigan Avenue (at 14th Street); 312-786-1401.

Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Firehouse
4 of 14
Mercadito (Lunch; $22)

Grab your amigos and head on over to Mercadito for a major fiesta! You’ll get your choice of two types of guacamole and ceviche for the table, three types of tacos for the table, and your own choice of dessert. The only problem? Avoiding a food coma back at the office.

Mercadito, 108 West Kinzie Street (between Clark Street and LaSalle Drive); 312-329-9555.

Photo: Courtesy of Mercadito
5 of 14
Nellcôte (Dinner; $33)

We don’t need an excuse like Restaurant Week to head over to this West Loop hot spot, but we’ll take it. While there's a salmon and wood-grilled chicken option for the main course, go for the margherita pizza if you have yet to try it. The cracker-thin crust topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil is satisfying without being overly heavy.

Nellcôte, 833 West Randolph Street (at Green Street); 312-432-0500.

Photo: Courtesy of Nellcôte
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G.T. Fish & Oyster (Lunch; $22)

If you can’t get a dinner reservation to save your life, take advantage of this bargain lunch at one of the hottest new restaurants to open in 2012. With options like clam chowder with Neuske’s bacon, seared tuna salad, and lobster rolls, we may even come twice.

G.T. Fish & Oyster, 531 North Wells Street (at Grand); 312-929-3501.

Photo: Courtesy of G.T. Fish & Oyster
7 of 14
The Lobby at the Peninsula (Dinner; $44)

A dining experience at the Peninsula never feels anything less than special, but this week, it’s a little more affordable, too. Combine dishes like roasted Spanish octopus (pictured), slow braised beef short rib, and sticky toffee pudding for a meal you won’t soon forget.

The Lobby at the Peninsula, 108 East Superior Street (between Rush Street and Michigan Avenue); 312-573-6760.

Photo: Courtesy of The Peninsula
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8 of 14
Paris Club (Dinner; $33)

All the traditional favorites are represented on this menu (French onion soup, steak frites, chocolate mousse), and by saving some coin on dinner at Paris Club, you’ll have a little more to spend at Studio Paris afterward.

Paris Club, 59 West Hubbard Street (between Dearborn and Clark streets); 312-595-0800.

Photo: Courtesy of Paris Club
9 of 14
Prasino (Lunch: $22)

If you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying lunch, this green eatery is offering dishes such as a roasted beet and goat cheese salad and grilled fish with a robust mixture of cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, poblano cream, tortilla, and charred salsa. It’s a good thing your mains were on the lighter side because you’re going to need the calorie reserve for desserts like the organic molten chocolate cake — a sinful concoction made with white coffee gelato, candied hazelnuts, and caramel.

Prasino,1846 West Division Street (between Marion Court and Wolcott Avenue); 312-878-1212.

Photo: Courtesy of Prasino
10 of 14
RPM Italian (Dinner; $44)

When you start with prime beef meatballs (or the lighter Giuliana’s Italian salad), the meal can only get better from there. Menu favorites such as risotto di fruitti de mare, Sicilian pork arrosti, and Bill’s chocolate budino are also offered. Considering it’s hard to get into this restaurant on a normal night, don’t waste any time putting in your reservation for this popular Restaurant Week pick.

RPM Italian, 52 West Illinois Street (at State); 312-222-1888.

Photo: Courtesy of RPM Italian
11 of 14
Trenchermen (Dinner; $33)

We were excited to see that Trenchermen didn’t leave its famous pickle tots of its Restaurant Week menu — but that’s not the only winner. Other dishes like organic Scottish salmon with braised red cabbage, pumpernickel dumplings, and candied quinoa; milk braised pork shoulder; and brioche pan perdu with waffle ice cream make this menu a delicious value for dinner.

Trenchermen, 2039 West North Avenue (at Hoyne Avenue); 773-661-1540.

Photo: Courtesy of Trenchermen
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Yusho (Dinner; $44)

Yusho’s Restaurant Week menu doesn’t offer an abundance of options, but we’re not complaining. It’s actually more like a great opportunity to get a chef’s tasting of dishes like squid with yuzu and chili; shellfish chowanmushi, short rib with black garlic, shishito peppers, and miso; and housemade soft serve ice cream.

Yusho, 2853 North Kedzie Avenue (between Diversey Parkway and George Street); 773-904-8558.

Photo: Courtesy of Yusho
13 of 14
Roka Akor (Lunch; $22)

We know you probably have a go-to Japanese steak and sushi spot, but if you have yet to try Roka Akor, you won’t be disappointed. The wagyu beef dumplings (pictured) are like no other dough filled morsels you’ve ever tasted, and the flavorful robata grill items like the salmon teriyaki and cumin barbecue pork loin are offered for a steal on this tasty treat of a lunch menu.

Roka Akor, 456 North Clark Street (at Illinois); 312-477-7652.

Photo: Courtesy of Roka Akor
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Sepia (Lunch; $22)

If you’ve already tried Sepia for dinner (it is a major special occasion spot, after all), give lunch a spin. This will give you the opportunity to try a hearty sandwich like the grilled pork belly pastrami, topped with sauerkraut and apple mostarda and served with duck fat fries. While you may not be hungry until way past dinnertime, save room for the coconut pecan cake with caramel rum and oat crumble.

Sepia, 123 North Jefferson Street (between Washington and Randolph streets); 312-441-1920.

Photo: Courtesy of Sepia
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