Chicago: Nightwood


Crispy pig ears at Nightwood in Chicago

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m determined to catch up on blogging about all of the fantastic food and drink I encountered while traveling this summer. I already recapped Charleston, and my experience at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, but between those two trips, I also had a visit to Chicago. I can’t believe that almost 2 months has passed since I was there!

While I had an enjoyable meal at Balena and had fun exploring Eataly, the standout meal on this visit to the Windy City was at Nightwood. Located in Plisen, in the lower west side, about 3 miles southwest of the Loop, it is definitely a bit off the beaten path if you’re staying in the heart of the city. But if you happen to be in Chicago for a trade show or conference being held at McCormick, and staying in the attached Hyatt, it’s super close – only 1.5 miles.

That’s part of the reason I ended up there in the first place. I was dining with a friend who was staying at that Hyatt, and it was easier for me to get closer to her than her come closer to me. Nightwood had been on my list of places to try for a while, so it was the perfect time to do it.

We immediately loved the vibe of the place – open kitchen, wine room, and a great patio to enjoy our dinner al fresco on a beautiful night. We started with incredible handcrafted cocktails  (really, I’d go here for the drinks alone) before diving into the menu, which is written by hand each day after they shop the market to purchase the freshest local ingredients.


And when I say we dove into the menu, we really did. We ordered so much food!

Crispy pig ears, house cultured butter, maple, habanero, and cilantro.
Fried squid with peanut, cucumber, yogurt, chili arisol.
Hand pulled mozzarella, kilgus cream, rich olive oil, balsamic, grilled toast.
Green garlic agnolotti, PQM lonza (Publican Quality Meats cured pork loin), Wisconsin parmesan, pickled mustard seed.
Tagliatelle, smoked spring lamb, asparagus, green garlic, mint.
Flourless chocolate cake topped with potato chips, bittersweet chocolate sauce, cherries and malted vanilla ice cream.

All delicious and so fresh. No matter what part of Chicago you’re staying in, Nightwood is definitely worth the trek. And if you happen to be staying near McCormick, then it’s a MUST!



2119 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3385