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kostali dining room
kostali dining room

The Hottest Restaurants in Chicago Right Now

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should one eat right now? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment. Thus, the staff offers the Eater Heatmap, which will change on a regular basis to always highlight where the crowds are flocking to at the moment.

Chicago’s enjoyed a mild winter, yet 2020 has been scorching hot so far. February’s Heatmap features a pair of long-awaited restaurants: The final phase of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’s riverfront complex and a Chinese-American hideaway in Logan Square. They’re joined by quite possibly the world’s first Jewish vegan deli, the first food hall powered by Grubhub, and the newest location of a Chicago dim-sum favorite which has added Japanese food to its repertoire. Yes, there are now two food halls on the Heatmap. Five members fell off: WherewithallSuperkhana InternationalGood Fortune, and Ciccio Mio. Stay warm as winter — hopefully — enters its final stretch this month.

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Legendary local restaurant family Carrie and Michael Nahabedian are back with a new restaurant after closing their flagship Naha in 2018. Kostali, a swanky spot inside the Gwen hotel off the Magnificent Mile, offers the family’s take on coastal Mediterranean food with an avant garde twist such as whole-roasted loup de mer and hummus with lamb, radishes, and walnuts that blends the Nahabedians’s Armenian and Greek roots. Expect standout service and wine.

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