Out on the road to find inspiring, less-well-known nabes devoted to the fresh, the local, the sustainable—and the drinkable. Produced by Cindy Hatcher
Central: Chicago’s West Loop
When the 2008 recession hit, it left many of the pioneers of Chicago’s West Loop sleepy or shuttered. Now the neighborhood is waking up to booming restaurant business.
The reservations rush began two years ago, when Top Chef season four winner Stephanie Izard opened the now-white-hot Girl & the Goat (pictured). Almost instantly, her wait list was two months deep. Alinea alum Jeff Pikus soon popped up across the street, breathing new life into bistro classics at Maude’s Liquor Bar.