Issue 14: Chicago

Discover a locally curated guide to the city's finest experiences

    The pickled perch salad.
    Chef's charcuterie plate with mostarda, beer mustard and giardiniera.
    Settle in with friends.
    • The serene guest rooms combine coziness with modern cool. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

    • Black and white portraits add a pop of personality to a private nook. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

    • Humorous touches are everywhere. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

    • The Pump Room bar once hosted luminaries like Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

    • Irreverent portraits by Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens decorate the Library, a coffee bar cum cocktail lounge. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

    • Glimmering orbs cast a romantic glow over diners at The Pump Room. Photograph by Derek Richmond.



      The brainchild of hotelier to the fabulous, Ian Schrager, the 285 room Public Chicago offers high style and modern elegance in the former Ambassador East Hotel, a 1926 landmark building in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. The big draw, besides the polished interiors and luxe accomodations? The Pump Room, a fresh update on one of the city’s most storied supper clubs, now helmed by star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.



      The hand-lettered blackboards and rustic exposed brick may draw you into this charming, sun-filled Lincoln Park bakery, but it’s baker Sandra Holl’s out-of-this-world pastries and inspired café lunches that will make your mouth water for more. Nosh on a savory galette or sweet, tender macarons—or keep it simple with croissants and baguettes that locals swear are some of the best on this side of Paris.

    • The city skyline sparkles over Lake Michigan at sunset. Photograph by Derek Richmond.



      Fancy a bit of fresh air? As it winds through neighborhoods like Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Hyde Park, Chicago’s stunning 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail is heaven for runners, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Catch beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the dramatic city skyline along the way.

      • Custom designed beds are kitted out in natural linens and eco-friendly memory foam pillows. Photographs furnished by The James Hotel.

      • David Burke's Primehouse offers an elegant take on the classic Chicago steakhouse and bar. Photographs furnished by The James Hotel.

      • Wine glasses are filled and eagerly await their guests. Photographs furnished by The James Hotel.

      • Stop in for a nightcap at Jimmy, the clubby in-house cocktail lounge. Photographs furnished by The James Hotel.

      • Stylish PUBLIC bikes for adults and Paul Frank child bikes are available to all guests free of charge. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

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        An impressive contemporary art collection and sleek yet warm mid-century decor set this appealing boutique hotel on Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile apart from the rest of the pack. Want to really relax? Splurge for one of the sexy loft suites, which are equipped with private media rooms complete with lounge beds and big-screen movie projectors.

        Performers entertain the crowd in Preston Bradley Hall. Photographs by Derek Richmond.
        Embellishment is everywhere.
        The Beaux Arts facade.
        Intricate coffered ceilings.
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        A spacious hotel with a posh, boutique feel, the MileNorth combines a careful attention to style and design with 4 star service. While the comfy rooms are outfitted with every amenity, the hotel’s prime location in the heart of the tony Magnificent Mile shopping district and a stone’s throw from the lakefront means you’ll find lots of temptations beyond its walls, too.

      • A bone-in ribeye, aged and charred to perfection. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

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        The clubby decor and wall of windows overlooking the Chicago River and the Loop set a luxe mood at this modern steakhouse–but without a doubt, it’s the meat that’s the star attraction. Classic cuts like porterhouse, prime rib, and dry aged, bone-in rib eyes are butchered on site and prepared to meltingly tender perfection under infrared broilers at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse. And while the menu of appetizers includes the usual steakhouse hits, like bacon-wrapped day boat scallops and jumbo shrimp cocktail, it also packs a few welcome surprises, like a garlic butter and havarti-topped “lobstergargot”.

        Rich browns and creams dominate the soothing decor. Photographs by Derek Richmond.
        Lie back and enjoy the view.
        Mies' grandson, Dirk Lohan, led the redesign of the hotel lobby.
        Stop for a cocktail at Travelle.
        • A colorful shrimp kohlrabi salad with chicken, peanuts, oranges, lime, fish sauce and fresh herbs. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
        • Scrappy bread" filled with potato, onions, and an over easy egg served with curry compound butter. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
        • Open pantry shelves provide a colorful backdrop for a chef at work. Photograph by Derek Richmond. <
        • The smoky-sweet Lapsang Bianco shaved ice cocktail is a surprising autumn delight. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
        • Udon noodles with spicy marinated cod roe, kimchi, and seaweed. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
        • Chef Edward Kim did stints at New York's Per Se and kitchens in Seoul, Korea before settling in the Windy City. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
        • A sake-brasied, deep fried bone-in Berkshire pork shank served with japanese curry, brown rice, and pickled onions. Photograph by Derek Richmond.

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          MOTT STREET

          A fixture of every best-of list in the city, this hip new Wicker Park spot is star chef Edward Kim’s bold and inventive follow up to his wildly successful Ruxbin. Communal tables and a rustic-meets-industrial decor lend the space a pleasantly casual vibe, but don’t be fooled: while the menu of funky pan-Asian fare–like kimchi empanadas and “everything” wings–is raucous and fun, the kitchen at Mott Street is seriously talented.

          More than a dozen varieties of apple await shoppers. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
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            This Gold Coast classic contains a world class art collection (Warhol! Magritte!) and sumptuous suites decorated with elegant European flair. Its lofty perch ensures that every room has a jaw-dropping vista of Michigan Ave and the city skyline–but if it’s the ultimate in luxury you’re after, book the 1400 sq ft 46th-floor “Author Suite,” which houses an impressive collection of first editions and offers meditative views over Lake Michigan.

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            At Sepia in the up-and-coming West Loop neighborhood, James Beard Award Nominated chef Andrew Zimmerman prepares meticulously crafted seasonal American fare in a dining room that exudes sophisticated, understated elegance. Not sure where to begin? The flawless staff will happily guide you through a menu that ranges from carrot bisque with sage and cashews to a duck breast served with pumpkin, fig molasses, and sunflower seeds.

            Ditch rush hour and opt to take the Chicago Water Taxi. Photograph by Derek Richmond.
            Rooms are furnished creatively, but with an eye to classic styling. Photographs by Derek Richmond.
            A pop of color.
            The chic IO Urban Roofscape, an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge.
          • Alaskan king crab is served strewn with trout roe, mint, and petals and seems to float on a clear sugar 'tuile.' Photograph by Derek Richmond.

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            This haute hotspot from chef Curtis Duffy recently became one of only a dozen restaurants in the country to earn the coveted three-star distinction from the prestigious Michelin Guide. Score a seat and you’ll see that wow-factor is evident in every course of Duffy’s elaborate tasting menus, from sunchokes with concord grape, beluga lentil, and nasturtium to Alaskan king crab with kalamansi, cucumber, and lemon mint.