To paraphrase poet Alexander Pope, our hopes for spring are eternal here in the middle of the country as sudden chilly winds toy with our sunniness. We're fairly sure that minimum 65-degree temps are here to stay and even if they're not, scads of robust Chicagoans don sandals and shorts sans shivers. We can explore the outdoors on lush patios and any of the burgeoning rooftops that restaurants and hotels open as the first crocus and daffodils push through the warming earth. Offering the season’s first bounty on the plate and in the glass, a clutch of eateries work overtime via food, location and service to serve the season through all the senses.
Terraces and rooftops transport diners from the cacophony of the streets to a happy place of laughter, great bites and sips. Noyane, Streeterville Social, Cabana Club and Upstairs at The Gwen fit the prodigious bill. Those preferring their spring dining closer to earth but still outdoors should pencil in stops at The Patio at Cafe Brauer, the venerable Tavern on Rush, City Mouse and Shore Club. Revel in unparalleled, unpretentious service in a country French ambience at George Trois where Chef Michael Lachowicz uses innovative techniques to take dining to an artful level minus the heaviness of traditional French cuisine.
Bring on the ramps. morels, asparagus and fiddlehead ferns!