Thursday, October 3, 2013

So Very, Very Hot Right Now.

Nouveau Tavern's intimate interior (Photo: Nouveau Tavern)

The sweet tastes of Southern-inspired cuisine come to the western edge of River North with the arrival of Nouveau Tavern this weekend. African American-owned with a black chef at the helm in former Pierrot Gourmet toque Norman Hargrove, it promises to bring to the downtown area something that is noticeably missing.

Nouveau Tavern's signature jambalaya (Photo: Nouveau Tavern)

Opening Friday and owned by former nightlife impresario Teddy Gilmore (full disclosure: We not only attended high school together, but he's a long-time friend), the late-night destination aims to draw in upscale African Americans who say they have few downtown options to drink and dine where they feel comfortable.

Its atmosphere is sleek in design and the menu complements with updated classics of seafood gumbo, jambalaya, blackened catfish and grits. The cocktail menu also plans to offer a number of Southern-inspired elixirs; I'm crossing my fingers for sweet tea 'tails made with gin and bourbon.

Spicy fish tacos at Antique Taco (Photo via Time Out Chicago)

Friday is National Taco Day! I'm certain they'll be celebrating at Antique Taco, in Wicker Park, whose spicy fish tacos are among the best in town. They're battered and fried, then topped with fresh red cabbage and raw onions. Get yourself a pitcher of rosemary-infused margaritas and you'll have one helluva meal.


Deep and rich, with notes reminiscent of mom’s freshly baked pies, autumn’s most memorable elixirs boast seasonal ingredients such as apples, cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg and sage. From the hot new mixology program at Punch House to Tavernita's Colors of the Fall flight, here are our favorites.

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