While Sepia might be the new beige, there’s nothing drab about this West Loop spot from restaurant heavyweights chef Kendal Duque (Tru, NoMi) and chief partner Emmanuel Nony (NoMi). No detail was overlooked from using large slow-melt ice cubes at the bar, to Marseille soap, from a centuries old family-run business, in the bathroom. Chef Duque, a literature grad from Berkeley, returned to his roots and spent time training at the famed Chez Panisse before launching his local menu which features smoky grilled octopus and silky pork rillette accompanied by sweet crunchy caramel panes of bacon pistachio brittle.
123 North Jefferson (312)441-1920
Audience choice: Crust
2056 N. Dearborn (773)235-5511
Best of Chicago 2007