Welcome to Chicago’s first Resy Lineup, your regular dose of recommendations on what to eat, drink, and see — updated on a monthly basis.
In this month’s edition: A patio for all seasons serving Mexican food with a French twist, a Champagne-filled virtual happy hour celebration, and Southern-tinged holiday feasts from Virtue Restaurant.
The Restaurant Rec
Thanks to Tzuco’s all-season patio, diners can (warmly) indulge in chef Carlos Gaytán’s edible artistry onsite year-round. Gaytán’s signature Mexican-with-a-French-twist cooking style shines across the menu. Popular dishes include the steamed lamb neck barbacoa, guajillo roasted octopus, and Guerrero-style pork shank. Best of all, Tzuco’s dessert menu isn’t an afterthought: A tangerine mousse covered in white chocolate has been shaped in the form of an adorable snowman for a playful finale. Tzuco is open for outdoor dining for dinner daily and weekend brunch. Pickup and delivery also available.
The Drink Proposal
Moody Tongue’s newly-released Bourbon Barrel Aged 12 Layer Cake Imperial Stout harmonizes well with brewmaster Jared Rouben’s ethos of culinary brewing. Aged in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels for 12 months, this imperial stout leans lighter and offers notes of chocolate cake, toasted coconut, caramel, and graham cracker. An obvious pairing would be a slice of Moody Tongue’s famed 12 layer chocolate cake, or maybe even a selection from their menu of smoked meats. But also worthy of consideration, a drinkable pairing by way of Moody Tongue’s Build-Your-Own-Case. Better option yet: All of the above.
The Stay-At-Home Move
Haven’t you done enough cooking this year? The team at Virtue certainly thinks so! They’re ready to close out the year with a bundle of holiday feasts curated by chef Erick Williams. Virtue is giving us what we really want for the holidays: glazed ham, braised short ribs, mac and cheese, collard greens, red velvet cake — and that’s just the Christmas menu. New Year’s Eve feasts include either a whole fried chicken or a whole branzino, and a slew of sides like black eyed peas — a tradition established by Black Americans in the South that’s meant to harken good luck in the new year (double serving for 2021, please) — plus a bottle of Canard-Duchêne. Pro tip: Champagne and fried chicken is the pairing we’re all deserving of this year.
The Event Invite
Speaking of Champagne, Slik Wines, Chicago’s newest educational and experiential wine platform (from sommeliers Marie Cheslik, Kyla Peal, and Danielle Norris), along with co-host sommelier Philippe André will be hosting a stellar virtual New Year’s Eve happy hour celebration. The party package includes a 1.5 L magnum of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne, a tin of Black River Ossetra Caviar, blinis, and much more. Local contactless delivery and nationwide shipping available. Tickets can be purchased
The Weekend Pairing
El Oso, chef Jonathan Zaragoza’s ongoing collaboration with the Promontory, is a nod to some of the memorable meals from Zaragoza’s upbringing. At El Oso @ Promontory, Zaragoza honors not only his Mexican heritage, but also the hearth-focused cooking that the Promontory is known for, making the array of masa-focused and wood-fired small plates a compelling choice. Warming dishes like pozole rojo, layered with flavors from carnitas-style pork shoulder and guajillo Chile broth; and pozole verde, an equally satisfying vegetarian counterpart featuring a bounty of seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, zucchini, and maitake mushrooms, and a tomatillo and poblano broth, offer actual comfort in a bowl. If picking up, do yourself a favor and head one block over to Hyde Park’s beloved Silver Room on 53rd Street. There you’ll find a treasure trove of goodies for yourself and anyone on your holiday shopping list. Available for pickup and delivery Wednesday through Sunday.