If you’re anything like us, you’re probably hard at work on your 2015 foodie bucket list—and maybe you’ve even crossed a few items off the list already. Whatever you do, make sure to add these four noteworthy dishes to try (at least once) in the New Year.
Executive Chef Tim Graham’s wildly creative seafood spin on a charcuterie board is packed with so many mouth-watering elements, you’ll likely need to enlist the help of a dining companion or two in order to tackle it. Work your way through the beautiful “octopus mosaic” composed of head cheese, a smoked salmon terrine layered with briny caper butter, smoked whitefish rillettes, a selection of pickled vegetables, and more. Pro tip: Have a camera handy as the photogenic spread is undoubtedly Instagram-worthy. 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-7705
While we can all appreciate a good, basic waffle, the Belgian-style Leige waffles at this charming Ukrainian Village café are truly in a league of their own. Whether you’re looking for a handheld breakfast-on-the-go or plan to linger around with a cup of Joe, the rich, malty snack studded with pearlized sugar is an underestimated stunner, and one of the best waffles you’ll find in Chicago. 1001 N. Winchester Ave., 773-698-8703
This Magnificent Mile fixture receives plenty of buzz for its porcine delicacies (hello, fried pig’s ear, pork liver pate, and pork jowl “JLTs”), but the fall-off-the-bone turkey leg is undoubtedly the menu’s overlooked dark horse. James Beard award-winning chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. cooks the turkey leg in rendered pork fat (of course), adds a splash of agrodolce, and finishes the dish with crispy lentils, Treviso, and endive. 500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744
Love duck? Enjoy it three ways in this unique dish from recent Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient TWO: homemade duck egg fettuccini, tender duck confit, and crispy duck skin cracklins. It’s a perennial favorite among first-time diners and devoted regulars alike, and it’s one of the few items that never comes off the otherwise seasonal menu. We recommend following it up with house-made puppy chow for dessert, because who can say “no” to a sweet throwback snack? 1132 W. Grand Ave., 312-624-8363