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GT Fish & Oyster

Be Here Now!

by Ted Nederman | Men's Book Chicago magazine | August 24, 2011

Where should you go? What should you order? What should you drink? Keeping pace with Chicago’s ever-expanding social and dining scene is dizzying. For your next big date, power dinner or cocktail hour, catch the buzz at these emerging hubs.


1. GT Fish & Oyster
Rarely in the restaurant universe do hype and results exist in equal measure, but that’s the case with Boka Restaurant Group’s gem. From chef Giuseppe Tentori’s lobster roll to the ceviche to the selection of a half-dozen oysters, this is Chicago’s undisputed new “It” spot. 531 N. Wells St., 312.929.3501,

2. The Terrace at Trump
The star attraction here is still the river view, but the Terrace at Trump became even more fun this summer with a new “Polynesian chic” theme. Relax in the bamboo seats with South Pacific-inspired beats while sipping a “Lagoon” and noshing on the sweet and sour pork. Also, the terrace has been expanded with 60 more seats and a gorgeous western view. 401 N. Wabash Ave., 16th floor, 312.588.8600,

3. The new Pump Room
Chicagoans freaked when the Ambassador East closed last year along with the famed Pump Room. But Ian Schrager is here to save the day: When he opens the revamped hotel as Public in September, Chicagoans can welcome back a new Pump Room with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the helm. 1301 N. State Parkway, 312.787.3700,

4. Perennial Virant
Farm-to-table champion Paul Virant took the helm of Lincoln Park’s Perennial this summer to rave reviews. Kick back on the patio while dining on Virant’s seasonal delicacies. 1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312.981.7070,

5. Au revoir Bistro 110, benvenuto Tony Mantuano
It’s the end of an era downtown as Bistro 110 closes its doors in August. But don’t cry too hard in your roasted garlic on your last visit, Spiaggia’s Tony Mantuano is set to unveil a new casual concept in the space mid-fall. 110 E. Pearson St.

6. Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse
His Airness keeps a low profile these days, but those looking to get closer to the legend should head to the Hotel InterContinental to check out the new 160-seat, 6,300-square-foot Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, scheduled to open in late August.

7. Slurping Turtle
Just when you thought Hubbard Street couldn’t get hotter, Takashi Yagihashi is set to open the Slurping Turtle by Takashi, Japanese Tapas and Noodles, in late summer. 116 W. Hubbard St.

8. Nellcôte
Jerry Kleiner’s groundbreaking Marché is gone. But, this November, say hello to Nellcôte, a cool new concept in the old Marche space from Old Town Social founders Element Collective. Chef Jared Van Camp serves Spanish-, Italian- and French-inspired cuisine. 833 W. Randolph St.

9. Coq D’Or
This most venerable of venues at The Drake Hotel received a light refurbish this summer. New lighting, furniture, cabinetry and a sound system for the entertainment ensure the Coq remains top-notch while retaining its old-school charm. 140 E. Walton St., 312.932.4671,

10. The Little Goat
The Boka Group is on a major run. Stephanie Izard expands her goat empire, possibly as soon as this fall, with The Little Goat, a back-to-roots, unpretentious diner near the restaurant that made her a star.