by j.p. anderson | December 13, 2013 | Food & Drink
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a big fan of Piccolo Sogno, which serves pizza bianca.
A noted exercise enthusiast, Mayor Emanuel has a morning routine that matches his demanding civic duties for intensity, from swimming a mile and running two miles three times weekly to biking 20 miles along the lakeshore every Saturday. To keep his energy up, Emanuel sticks mostly to fish and chicken (“I try to eat healthy,” he notes, “though I can’t say I always do”) at these, some of his favorite go-to spots for healthy dining in the city.
“When Mark Wahlberg was in Chicago filming Transformers: Age of Extinction, he and I went there, and he then went back six times while he was here. The ambience gives you a little sense of Europe, and the food is just always very tasty with a great wine selection. Their fish is superb—I typically order the branzino.” 464 N. Halsted St., 312-421-0077
Fine dining at Sepia.
“Sepia is a classic fine dining restaurant with a great little side space where you can have a private meal but not be cut off from the restaurant. My wife and I had dinner with former Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner there. It’s a very good menu—great fish, great meat, great chicken, and great vegetable preparations.” 123 N. Jefferson St., 312-441-1920
“This is a great story of Chicago and our immigrant culture. It’s a family-owned restaurant; the owners are immigrants—the kids grew up above, and the mother decided to make the downstairs a restaurant. And now it’s become a focal point of the neighborhood and is helping turn the Bridgeport neighborhood into a destination. It’s warm and family-friendly, with wonderful Latin food that’s been spiced up. They buy their food locally, too. I don’t know what they do to their butternut squash ravioli, but it tastes unbelievable.” 3267 S. Halsted St., 312-929-2486
The butternut squash ravioli from Nana.
Bread & Wine
“Bread & Wine is literally three doors down from my old Congressional office. The two women who own the place opened it because they didn’t think there were enough great restaurants in the neighborhood. The wine list is fabulous. What I also like is that it’s a place where you don’t have to order your entrée, your starter—you can do three, four, five dishes as starters and share among friends with a good glass of wine.” 3732 W. Irving Park Road, 773-866-5266
“This is a great one in Wicker Park—I just had a meal here and loved it. I like sometimes when you can just turn it over to the chef and they’ll do the whole meal for you, and they give everybody enough tastings. They do interesting blends and bring together different types of foods and vegetables. And it’s simple but very elegant—the presentation, the food, and the restaurant itself.” 1941 W. North Ave., 773-661-2609