A New Standard

During the day, blood runs through these streets. At night, it’s whiskey that flows. Despite the fact that some of Chicago’s most refined, hot restaurants — Next, Moto and the Publican — have claimed their place in the Fulton Market district, it is still very much a neighborhood of propane-belching forklifts, hanging beef carcasses, and men in hard hats and long white coats whose edges are stained crimson. And maybe no Fulton Market restaurant represents that gritty “hog butcher (to the world)” heritage right now as well as La Sirena Clandestina, a new South American-inspired spot from John Manion (formerly of Mas and Branch 27). Advertisements


Meat Market

Whenever friends came to town with the itch to throw down $50 for hunks of fire-licked glistening meat carved from glinting scimitars wielded by fake gauchos at spots like Fogo de Chao, Sal y Carvao or Brazzaz (the best of the three), I usually stopped at Sam’s for a couple bottles of Chilean or Argentine red and headed over to the popular BYOB Tango Sur in Lakeview instead.

Macondo’s Empanadas

I was woken by a stomach-churning caterwaul followed by a horrid thump and the sound of drywall crumbling into the chasm between the studs behind my bed.