Beatrix in River North (Anjali M. Pinto/Courtesy…)
With foodies filing in to dine at Rick Bayless' street food-inspired eatery Xoco to bachelorette parties lining up for drag revues at Baton Show Lounge, Clark Street in River North sees plenty of action from noon until night. Here's a cheat sheet to the newcomers that have edged in between long-time favorites over the last few months.
J. Rocco Italian Table & Bar
749 N. Clark St. 312-475-0271
Longtime Chicago chef Steve Chiappetti looked to Italy's southern Calabria region—where his family is from—for inspiration for many of the dishes on the menu. A lineup of Italian beers justifies the inclusion of the word "bar" in the name.
738 N. Clark St. 312- 929-2658
Opened: June 21
This art gallery/bar/restaurant mash-up has taken over the second-floor space that was formerly Highball Lounge. With everything from beer cocktails to ahi tuna-topped wonton nachos, the food and drink lineup is just as diverse as the art on the walls.
534 N. Clark St. 312-595-1616
Looking to splurge for a special occasion? Book a table at Naha chef Carrie Nahabedian's elegant new French restaurant. Looking to treat yourself without breaking the bank? Claim a seat at the bar and indulge in the exquisite cheese plate and a glass of wine.
519 N. Clark St. 312-284-1377
Opened: June 20
The Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises-run restaurant inside recently opened hotel Aloft is part coffee shop and part restaurant; pastries and coffee tempt in the a.m. hours, while summery drinks such as a blueberry Tom Collins and will draw you in during the evening.