Butcher & Larder
Owner Rob Levitt is one of the most deliberate, intelligent chefs in Chicago, and yet he’s also got that ineffable humble “guy” quality of an old-school butcher. His housemade sausages honoring local legends including New Glarus Spotted Cow cheese curd brats or Cemitas Puebla taco arabe links are both inspired bits of marketing and tasty chow. Though maybe nothing Levitt makes is better than the mineral-rich bone-marrow-infused burger patties he often serves up on weekends. Grill a few up and you’ve just turned your house into the best burger joint in Chicago. His butchery seminars with food writing legend Michael Ruhlman and charcuterie guru Brian Polcyn have also been the local food-lovers events of the year.
Butcher & Larder, 1026 North Milwaukee, (773)687-8280, thebutcherandlarder.com
Audience choice: Paulina Meat Market, 3501 North Lincoln, (773) 248-6272, paulinameatmarket.com
Best of Chicago 2012