tender butter lettuce, tangy green apple,
macadamia nuts and the natural-food salad
dressing of Venezuelan artist Marisol
Escobar, whose “Six Women” helped start
the museum’s collection. In fact, dedicating
the restaurant to Marisol, famous for her
block-like figures of stiff propriety, is a
witty poke at pseudos and other posturing
fakes often found in art museums.
Crackly flaxseed crackers jazz up
sunflower hummus with artichoke. Lumache
pasta with white Bolognese, rabbit, pork and
mushroom won’t last long on your plate. And
tempting buttery skate wing on the bone
with smoked oyster butter makes you revere
and want to preserve the seas.
So let Marisol butter you up. Where
else can you find a restaurant that douses
you in pleasure and also makes you think?
REGARDS TO EDITH
326 N. MORGAN ST.
312.763.6569 // WWW.REGARDSTOEDITH.COM
In the 1930s, a colorful, outrageously
appealing Jewish boxer, King “Kingfish”
Levinsky, whose family owned a Maxwell
Street fish store, scribbled, “Regards to
Edith,” across the top of a photo of himself.
And thus began a mystery. Who is Edith?
Did she inspire refined matzo ball soup
with foie gras schmaltz like that dished up
by chef Eric Michael, whose food is clearly
a knockout? Was she like Leapin’ Lena
Levy, Levinsky’s sister and manager, who
leapt around during his matches and swore
like a drunken sailor? Or a refined Jewish
lady in furs who liked to buy radishes
from a pushcart on Maxwell Street? Or
a bawdy creature like Levinsky’s wife,
whose fan-dancing antics helped close
down Minsky’s Burlesque.
Jewish food is making a mini comeback
in Chicago with dishes like matzo ball
soup and potato latkes. (Or, if not a
comeback, it’s popping up here and there
like crocuses in spring.) But this is only
part of the dolled-up, transmogrified
contributions of immigrants featured at
Regards to Edith.
Potato pierogies with homemade
kielbasa are a Polish inspiration. A churros
soufflé oozing with chocolate and queso
fresco celebrates the contributions of
Chicago’s Mexican immigrants. And
delicious pork cheek pot roast with
foraged mushrooms, thumbelina carrots,
turnips, pearl onions and bacon could
be a modernized version of the homey
dish you’d find on your grandmother’s
stove. Among other upscale street food
from famed Maxwell Street, founded
in the 19th century, a shaved prime rib
sandwich with giardiniera is an elevated
version of Chicago Italian beef. And don’t
forget delicious drippy cheese fries in
aged cheddar Mornay.
Shadowy by night, Regards to Edith
is both semi-funky, ethnic and refined. It
is tucked into the ground floor of Google,
a savvy reminder to the IT, AI and other
technology buffs working upstairs that
soulful ethnic eating must never be
converted into virtual reality or served
by robots or smelled instead of tasted
through some technological trick. So cast
OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: 1) Marisol’s private
dining room with Chris Ofili’s mural. 2) & 3) Regards
to Edith, tucked into the ground floor of Google, offers
such ethnic dishes as potato pierogis with smoked creme
fraiche and salmon roe. 4) The Sunflower Tart at Marisol.
ABOVE: Somerset’s blue and white retro club setting,
and insert, the smoked beet tartare.
a sophisticated eye toward an alternative
universe. This is your chance to imagine
the wild and wooly ways and days when
feisty Maxwell Street was full of punch.
1112 N. STATE ST.
312.586.2150 // WWW.SOMERSETCHICAGO.COM
A new Lee Wolen restaurant from
BOKA Restaurant Group? Too exciting for
words. Need to feel coddled? Sick of feeling
addled, bereft and trapped? We arrived at 5
p.m. to a hushed environment, waltzed in
and were treated to superb hospitality.
First there was Blake, the engaging
valet. Then Thibault, the French host,
who compared Chicago to Lyon. Then
Kristine, who knew her menu like some
folks know Larousse. Plus joyous director