America’s best restaurant city is not retreating from its reputation one iota.
Chicagoans love their lake but the Mediterranean emerges as their second favorite body of water as evidenced by Kostali, an ode to coastal regions of Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel and Morocco. Boqueria is a sunny exploration of Spanish cuisine in a spirited atmosphere and Porto is a one-of-a-kind trip to Galicia and Portugal via wine, seafood and heart. Avli brings a bi-level contemporary Greek dining experience to River North. Logan Square’s Good Fortune features a New American -meets-Mediterranean menu in a supper club setting.
Kostali just opened in the fifth-floor lobby of The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel. Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian, Kostali threads a maritime mosaic through the menu via Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel and Morocco. Keto all week then order bread service on your cheat day: housemade tahini spiral rolls and loaves from Publican Quality Breads served with Greek extra virgin olive oil, taramasalata, whipped feta and other spreads are worthy. And how could you resist “Our Mother’s Feta Cheese Turnovers”? Prize dishes include whole roasted seabass; hummus with spiced lamb, radish and walnuts (a nod to Carrie and Michael Nahabedian’s Armenian and Greek heritage); housemade pasta with braised clams, prawns and feta cheese butter; and Tagine of Baby Chicken with carrots, chickpeas, candied citrus and couscous. Olive oil Basque cake with mascarpone, pomegranate and Turkish apricots may be a model of a Mediterranean dessert.
Recommended for New and Popular Restaurants because: James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian offers a sweeping menu inspired by the great coasts of the Mediterranean.
Jacky’s expert tip: Drink up! The wine roster features Mediterranean coastal regions and cocktails incorporate regional spirits like Greece’s ouzo, Italy’s limoncello and pastis from the South of France.