Breath Of Fresh Air
For restaurateurs Amalea Tshilds and Jason Hammels, founders of Lula in Logan Square, Chicago’s farm-to-table concept Nightwood was a labour of love and years in the pipeline.
Hidden deep in the uncharted Pilsen district, Nightwood was easy to miss, until April that is, when head chef Jason Vincent was crowned Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef of 2013.
His consummate respect for seasonal produce and undeniable knack for creating hearty food with distinct flavours certainly caught the judging panel’s attention, and we think it’s surely enough to lure any savvy gastronaut off the beaten path too.
The handwritten, market-driven menu changes daily, but previous starring plates include slow-cooked suckling pig, spit-roast chicken and wood-grilled trout, all smoked over a combination of cherrywood, applewood and white oak for extra depth.
Buttery cookies and homemade ice-cream are stalwarts of the dessert list, among other quixotic creations from pastry chef Sarah Mispagel such as the goat cheese, pistachio sable and olive oil sponge cake.
The cocktail program takes another unexpected turn with the Slow Dazzle, a wonderful fusion of Aperol, lemon, cider, and Nightwood’s handcrafted nocino - a spicy walnut liqueur that’s been patiently steeped over several months. Detailed, acclaimed and gloriously pretension free, it’s no surprise that Nightwood is also fast becoming one tough table to secure. Book ahead!