Prairie Fire's slow-braised Tallgrass beef barbecue brisket. (Photo: Ron Kaplan)
You can only dine at so many restaurants a year -- mostly because you only have so much $$$ to dine out.
That's why you should thank your lucky stars for the annual Chicago Restaurant Week, which allows you to choose from at least 200 restaurants that may be out of your price range on the regular.
From Feb. 18-27, the 10-day event features special prix-fixe menus of $22 for lunch and $33-$44 for dinner. Here's a list of all participating restaurants, but you'll also find a handful of newcomers to the scene:
Benny's Chop House: The three-course lunch menu includes entree choices of wild mushroom and ricotta ravioli with brandy parmigiano sauce; Dover sole with melted leeks and almond bread pudding; and braised beef short rib with crispy polenta cakes and roasted winter root vegetables.
Chizakaya: The Lakeview Japanese-focused pub hasn't revealed its menu yet for restaurant week, but we expect it to include the type of exotic, small-plate dishes that have attracted fans since opening last summer.
Chizakaya's interior (Photo: Chizakaya)
Chicago Cut Steakhouse: The lunch-only special includes a choice of the chicken BLT, fish tacos and signature prime burger.
deca Restaurant and Bar: Butternut squash ravioli and mustard-crusted wild salmon are on the dinner menu, while French onion soup and a crispy chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes are for lunch.
Epic: The River North eatery that recently acquired former N9NE chef Michael Shrader as its executive chef is doing lunch and dinner. Highlights on the menus include organic Irish salmon with polenta and wild mushrooms as well as Bananas Foster cream pie (lunch) and lobster bisque, grilled marinated Hangar steak and a chocolate butter peanut cup (dinner).
Prairie Fire: And you'll also get a choice of lunch or dinner at this West Loop favorite. You cannot go wrong with the local farmer omelet with three cheeses and sauteed potatoes or spicy Italian sausage pasta for lunch. Or come back later for the housemade Maple Creek Farm chorizo and local black bean pizza as well as pork cutlets accompanied by braised greens and sauteed local potatoes in a caper lemon brown butter sauce.