Excellent quality fish is the highlight of this popular Broadway sushi bar. The maki is great, but it's plates like yellowtail Carpaccio and Tuna Tartare that really let the fish shine through.
Surpisingly, though, the very best thing we had came from the robata grill: two skewers each of chicken and shrimp. The proteins were great, but it was the bed of sauteed onions and jalapenos that really took this dish over the top.
Service was friendly, and it's BYOB.
Yellowtail Sushi Bar and Asian Kitchen 3136 N Broadway St Chicago, IL 60657
The concept of flat 2D illustrations on all the walls makes for a fun place to eat, but the food is also excellent. The chicken is super moist on the inside and very, very crispy on the outside. I recommend the Hot version of the sandwich. It's much less spicy than, say, Nashville hot chicken. I think it's just right.
I also really liked the wasabi fries, which are nicely crisped fries with a drizzle of creamy wasabi sauce.
The menu and ordering are all done through the QR code on each table, and food just magically shows up. Pretty cool.
The world used to be full of places like this, where you could get almost any kind of food, well prepared, at any time of day. Stella's is a great homage to the classic diner. Without a lot of overboard decorating, or servers in character, it's simply what it claims to be: an American diner.
We had a tuna sandwich and a Reuben sandwich. Both were excellent. The accompanying fries were hot and crisp on the outside, moist in the center, and the cole slaw had just the right tang.
There's also an extensive list of shakes and malts. I highly recommend the Butterfinger shake!
Service and food prep were quick and friendly. In temperate months the sidewalk almost doubles the seating.
Stella’s Diner 3042 N Broadway St Chicago, IL 60657
Counter order quick serve place with a fairly extensive menu. I wasn't a fan of the nachos, which used liquid cheese and didn't have a lot going on, but I loved my three taco plate. Lots of fillings and toppings, they needed none of the red and green sauce that accompanied them, as spice levels were perfect. My favorite was the pastor, but the carnitas was also excellent.
The first thing you need to know about The Hutch is that if you are going at lunchtime, you are going to have brunch, regardless of the day of the week. There are a couple of non-brunch items on the menu, such as a cheeseburger and a spicy chicken sandwich, but otherwise it's all brunch at lunch.
We had the chilaquiles and the spicy chicken sandwich. The chilaquiles are topped with scrambled eggs. The corn chips tasted very authentic. The spicy chicken sandwich was quite good. Instead of the normal Nashville or sriracha-type sauces, they use a slightly sweet bourbon sauce, which was a nice twist. The accompanying fries were excellent.
I really like the French 70 wine cooler I tried. It was a very refreshing mix of sparkling blanc de noir, lemon juice, and bitters.
Service was fast and friendly.
Hutch American Bistro 3301 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60657
I've been wanting to stop in here for a while to pick up some bagels for breakfast the next day. I finally got around to it and was surprised to discover it's really more of a deli than just a bagel shop. So I'll need to come back for the full sandwich treatment next time.
It's also noteworthy that they serve packages of bagels you can finish cooking at home. If they'd had Everything Bagels this way on my visit I would have tried them. As it was I just got a couple of already cooked Everything Bagels to go, and they were quite good.
Taste Of New York Bagels & Deli 3268 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60657
This is a delightful omakase experience upstairs, and a really cool space downstairs. I liked that the omakase was available with table seating, as I prefer to spend my dinner chatting with my companion rather than focused on the chef, but here you have both choices.
The omakase consisted of 13 pieces of nigiri and two maki, plus a small bite for dessert. The quality of all fish was good, although I have had better — and better compacted — rice elsewhere. Since the chef took responsibility for the saucing and wasabi, a few pieces seemed perfect, others somewhat bland. This is not the level of fish you are going to get at a place like Kyoten, but it is also about a third the price!
A wine pairing is available, but we opted for a bottle of Cremant and one of White Burgundy, and they provided perfect pairings at less cost, and allowed us to avoid wines we aren't interested in.