While no Chicago restaurants made this year's Esquire list of Best New Restaurants (mazel tov to L.A.'s The Bazaar, though, which was named Restaurant of the Year), gatekeeper John Mariani did see fit to include four in the runner-up category of Places Not To Miss — considering the category only had fifteen choices, it's safe to say Chicago owned the close-but-no-cigar race. Leading the pack is The Bristol, whose extensive beer list is praised and whose kitchen is awarded the honor of producing "the best bar food in Chicago." But wait, there's more.
Also of note were The Publican, where the lake-perch fish fry with
smoked-paprika rémoulade is called out as a must-try, Province (the signature shrimp and grits with manchego cheese), and Sepia, which was lauded for having "lots of flavor, no fuss. Kind of like Michelle Obama." The complete list of restaurants, chefs, and a hot hostess or two is available in Esquire's November issue, on newsstands next week.