By Kailley Lindman | April 22, 2016 | Food & Drink
Few naturally occurring foods have garnered the attention that avocado has in recent years—from avocado toast’s now-seemingly ubiquitous presence on restaurant menus to avocado “roses” littering social media feeds, it’s hard to avoid the pale green meat of the trendy fruit. Fortunately, several Chicago chefs have capitalized on avocado’s “it” factor with a host of avocado-centric dishes—none of which have anything to do with the now-outplayed avocado toast.
The all-seasons rooftop bar and lounge atop The Godfrey Hotel has avocado purists in mind with its smooth and smoky avocado dip—a far cry from the seemingly ubiquitous bowls of guacamole you’ll find elsewhere. The creamy dip is finished with a sprinkle of smoked salt, and complemented with crisp, house-made plantain chips. 127 W. Huron St., Fourth Fl., 312-374-1830
When it comes to complementing a perfectly marbled ribeye, executive chef Kevin Cuddihee ditches traditional high-fat steak sauces in favor of a luxurious avocado “butter.” The creamy condiment tempers the subtle heat of the spice-rubbed beef, and pairs well with the side of pearl onions and marble potatoes. 1132 W. Grand Ave., 312-624-8363
Coated in a crunchy panko crust and deep-fried to golden perfection, these avocado fries are a delicious alternative to their more basic battered siblings, like potatoes and pickles. The textural interplay between the crispy coating and smooth, velvety avocado is striking, and a dip in chipotle cream imparts just the right amount of heat in every bite. 221 N. Columbus Dr., 312-477-0234
Have your avocado and drink it, too, at this Catalan-inspired restaurant in South Loop. The brunch-time El Bolero cocktail gets its green hue and creamy texture from a generous dose of avocado, and is rounded out with smooth Maestro dobel tequila, triple sec, and a splash of orange juice for a citrusy edge. 638 S. Michigan Ave., 312-765-0524
Go to this French-informed steakhouse for the USDA prime beef, stay for the halved avocado brimming with fresh crab meat and teamed with bib lettuce tossed in a tangy Dijon-sherry vinaigrette. 218 W. Kinzie St., 312-624-8154
This vegetarian-friendly take on eggs Benedict packs so much flavor into every bite that you won’t even realize that there’s no meat in it. The secret? A winning combination of salsa verde, pickled jalapenos, and poached egg mayo. 519 N. Clark St., 312-284-1377; 671 N. St. Clair, 312-642-0001
This egg-focused spot is home to some of the most satisfying breakfast sandwiches in town, and the avocado-heavy Crown is no exception. In addition to fresh, buttery avocado, the sandwich also comes stacked with a farm egg, chorizo patty, Egmont cheese, and house-made salsa verde on a hearty ciabatta roll. 23 N. Wacker Dr., 312-600-4814; 500 W. Madison St.
This cheerful brunch-ready salad is a lesson in the synergistic power of flavors and textures: sweet, tender roasted carrots balance creamy avocado and goat cheese, wild spinach lends a bit of fresh crunch, and smoky romesco adds depth and ties the entire dish together. 660 N. Orleans St., 312-624-9892
This popular pizza joint may be best known for its pies and otherworldly mozzarella sticks, but its colorful avocado salad is no slouch, either. Chopped romaine and red leaf lettuce make up the foundation, which is then piled high with grape tomatoes, diced avocado, roasted corn, and fresh house-made mozzarella tossed with sunflower seeds and cilantro vinaigrette. 1924 W. Chicago Ave., 773-645-4949; 220 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-433-5959
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY FILINI; COURTESY MERCAT A LA PLANXA; COURTESY BEATRIX; COURTESY THE EASTMAN EGG COMPANY; COURTESY BERNIE’S LUNCH & SUPPER