The focus was on two budding Chicago restaurants now listed among the top newcomers to the country’s buzzing culinary scene.
As a new year looms, Esquire took a look back at 2022, highlighting new restaurants that “represent what it means to eat well in the United States right now.” The magazine’s editorial staff compiled the list, ranking 40 establishments where “there is a soul and a history to accompany delicious and inventive dishes”.
Kasama locked himself into a spot at No. 7 for being “the most talked about diner in Chicago.” Located at 1001 N. Winchester Ave., the restaurant serves traditional Filipino cuisine with modern iterations crafted by chefs Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores.
The restaurant first opened in 2020 as a bakery with world-class pastries, which it still operates as mornings. From now on, in the evening, Kasama is transformed into a gastronomic establishment.
“The table service he’s rolled out since then feels like an entirely different endeavor: Filipino food is served with impeccable precision and finesse in a tasting menu format,” said Joshua David Stein of Esquire.
Kasama is no stranger to attention. The restaurant became the world’s first Michelin-starred Filipino restaurant in April and landed on the New York Times restaurant list in 2021. NBC 5’s Food Guy Steve Dolinsky also hailed the establishment as one of the best restaurants in town.
Esquire also recognized Indian, a progressive Indian fine-dining restaurant perched at 217 W. Huron St. The spot launched in late September and has already caught on.
The magazine placed Indian at No. 36, with Esquire’s Kevin Sintumuang praising the restaurant: “The service is delightful, informative, correct, the room is large and luxurious, the wine pairings are illuminating. You might be wondering- be what’s the catch? Like as far as I know, there isn’t.”
“While French techniques applied to Indian cuisine (or any cuisine) are nothing new, this combination comes from chef Sujan Sarkar, is powerful and unexpected,” added Sintumuang. “Galouti, an Indian kebab traditionally made with lamb, turns into a flash with foie gras and chicken liver and an inviting spice.”
The full list of restaurants that have made the Esquire cut can be found here.