Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune
For most of his time in Chicago, chef Martial Noguier has been synonymous with fine dining, cooking to acclaim in the Pump Room, one sixtyblue and Cafe des Architectes. But in 2011 the chef went a little downscale by opening a Gold Coast restaurant called Bistronomic. "I wanted to do something different," he says, "and create a concept that people would come to every day and find good food, good value."
What you won't find here is pretense. Bistronomic is a Parisian-coined term for a restaurant with bistro prices but more sophisticated food, and that's exactly what Noguier dishes out -- creamy cauliflower soup bolstered with brioche croutons and shaved cheese, oxtail ravioli with celery-root puree and a portioned-for-two whole-roasted chicken that might be the best in the city. Weekend brunch service, which had been on hiatus for a while, resumed last week. Good news for us all. 840 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-944-8400
-- Phil Vettel