Today’s Friday Fives comes courtesy of the man himself, Rick Bayless. You may know Rick from such things as, well, literally everything, because there’s not much he hasn’t done. Most importantly, Rick brought Mexican cuisine to the United States in ways we had never seen before, starting with Frontera Grill in 1987 and Topolobampo shortly after in 1989.
Rick has also played an instrumental role as a member of the advisory board for the inaugural Chicago Food + Wine Festival, which will be taking place next weekend from August 28-30 in Lincoln Park. It’ll be a great time to meet, eat, and interact with others as the summer starts to wind down. Make sure to get your tickets here, and of course check out Rick’s Friday Fives below, which include no picks for Mexican food, but instead where to find a sleeper burger and a well crafted cocktail. Our kind of guy.
Rick's "perfect for" picks
“This place always seems to evade those ubiquitous ‘Best Burger’ lists, but Naha here in River North serves an outstanding wood-grilled Angus burger. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can get it topped with ‘Berkshire’ pork belly. If you’re feeling truly over the top, add foie gras.”
“People know me as a tequila and mezcal guy, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t sample all of the amazing flavors emanating from Chicago’s craft cocktail scene. The team behind the stick (and in the kitchen) at Billy Sunday in Logan Square are passionate about their craft and it shows.”
“When late nights creep into early morning, there are few dishes more soul-satisfying than a good bowl of ramen. Lucky for us, Chicago is awash in really good ramen shops right now and our TV production crew likes to hit up Ramen-san in River North after a long night.”
“Maybe it’s the cool vibe. Maybe it’s the deft touch of Chef Erling Wu-Bower. Either way, there’s just something about Nico Osteria’s tantalizing, Italian seafood that makes for a special, celebratory evening.”
“How do we endure sub-zero temperatures in Chicago? Well, we’re perpetually comforted by promise of summertime al fresco dining, and the rooftop patio at Tanta — all sleek and sexy, with great Peruvian dishes and wine to match — is the kind of place we dream about.”