by Veronica Hinke
What was the best thing you ate in a Chicago-area restaurant this year? We asked 60 chefs, restaurant owners and other food professionals that same question, and here is what they told us. Every year, several restaurants receive multiple nods, and this year, Smyth restaurant in Chicago is one of string of eateries that snagged raves from several people. From grab-and-go hand pies to fancy plates of licorice-cured egg yolk and more, this year’s choices run the gamut of cuisine types, price levels and fanciness.
Ellen King, Co-Owner/Head Baker, Hewn in Evanston
Best meal: Pork cheek tortellini
Restaurant: Monteverde, 1020 W. Madison St., Chicago, www.MonteverdeChicago.com
The skinny: It was a cold night and I didn’t feel like eating out – but as soon as I walked into Monteverde, I felt a sense of calm come over me. It could have been the amazing smells wafting in the air, or the fact that I could sit and watch my pasta being made, but I instantly felt at home. We ordered more than we should have and everything was amazing. If I had to pick one dish, it was the pork cheek tortellini. The broth was perfectly balanced and then the server added the Lambrusco and I entered a new realm of taste. The tortellini was perfection.
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