Something tells me Nightwood, the heady Pilsen
restaurant (from the owners of Lula Cafe
in Logan Square
) was named for the Djuna Barnes novel that I just never managed to grasp in my college modernism class. Lucky for me, the menu of local, seasonal fare isn't quite as inaccessible as Barnes' florid prose.
Seasoned Lula sous chef Jason Vincent presents a simple, but bold menu that changes daily. Highlights include an appetizer of asparagus spears wrapped in smoked trout and cream cheese and wood-grilled trout with lentils and hamhock for a main course. If the lack of a fixed menu makes you nervous, count on staple chicken dishes and fresh baked cookies. Plus, the 120-bottle wine list that includes mostly biodynamic and small-batch selections guarantees an enjoyable meal. In case you're not much of a wino, the beer and liquor list was also built with the eco-conscious in mind.
Located on an industrial stretch of Halsted, the large, bright space, designed by Kevin Heisner (Bar DeVille and Empire Liquors) features antique finishes, a covered terrace and an overall minimalist vibe. The basement wine room offers an intimate setting for a memorable gathering – perhaps of your monthly book club.
Follow Nightwood on Twitter.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren