Reinvented Diner Food
This gastropub in Chicago’s restaurant-centric West Loop draws crowds for their playful interpretations of classic dishes. Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff (also behind the city’s Gilt Bar, Dillman’s and Maude’s Liquor Bar) daydreamed about opening a place with the feel of a greasy spoon. In 2012, he made that dream a reality with Au Cheval, albeit one with refined food and a mustached hipster staff, tucked into a cool converted warehouse space. The juicy griddled burger lives up to the hype – topped with a fried egg and served with killer fries, it’s one of the best burgers in the country. But even more impressive is the crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy. The triple stacked fried-bologna sandwich will certainly make a believer of any naysayers, while the matzo ball soup is a comfort-food classic that brings me back to my Jewish grandmother’s kitchen. It’s late night stoner food gone mainstream and it’s delicious. Top it all off with a lengthy draft beer list and a serious cocktail program, and it’s no wonder this spot has garnered tons of accolades and a bit of a cult following.
800 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
Photographs © Microsoft/Appetite for Life/Kris Bergen