PHOTO: Bar Siena in Chicago. (photo courtesy of Bar Siena)
Chicago is a serious foodie town, with restaurants and diners, pizza and chicken joints and everything else you can think of filling every other street. There’s practically no area of the city where you'd miss out on something yummy.
But for the ultimate Chi-town food frenzy, there’s nothing like the strip on west Randolph Street called Restaurant Row.
Originally a warehouse area, the West Loop neighborhood has exploded into a wonderland of chic restaurants and lounges. though the crowds and choices can be a little overwhelming. Here are my top picks for can’t-miss dining on Randolph Street.
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This stylish and buzzy Italian eatery is always packed with people (and for good reason). The two-story space serves food, drinks and ambiance in sleek succession.
Popular for happy hour, dates and hanging out, Bar Siena small plates pair perfectly with its sophisticated wine and cocktails. Snag a reservation if you can and don’t miss the sweet corn ravioli, kale and granny smith apple salad, or grilled octopus and shishito peppers.
Top it off with homemade gelato in caramelized coconut fudge with a maple cream bomboloni (hole-less donut).
Nestled down an alley and through a courtyard, RM Champagne is technically located right off Randolph Street. It’s tricky to find but easy to fall in love with.
Charming and dimly lit with its fireplace, hanging lamps and a patio, this French bistro is the place for late-night revelry. Don’t pass up the oysters, roasted brussel sprouts or lobster devilled egg. Wash it all down with champagne, of course.
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Girl & The Goat
Thanks to celebrity chef’s Stephanie Izzard’s fame and alluring food game, reservations for Girl & The Goat are as elusive as a warm January afternoon in the Windy City.
It's not impossible, however; Just plan months ahead and then you can settle into the sleek dining room and sample now-iconic dishes like escargot ravioli, wood oven roasted pig face and goat ribs.
Bring a big and adventurous appetite.
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One of the newer restaurants on Randolph, Ronero has managed to command attention with an extensive rum bar and inventive Latin American menu.
Sink into one of the curtained booths and sip a Mama Pacha, made with Bols Genever and chicha morada purple corn liquor. Try the aguacate ahumado, smoked guacamole topped with caviar or the classic arroz con pollo. Head upstairs for salsa, merengue and reggaeton at Escobar.