Amid rich woodwork and four big-screen TVs, 800 West treats taste buds to savory steaks, scrumptious sandwiches, and seafood. Customers can commence consumption with the 800 West shrimp, tender prawns tossed in a spicy cream sauce ($10.29), before applying paws to a hearty handheld such as the grilled-barbecue-chicken-ranch sandwich ($9.29). Dive fork-first into the blackened mahi-mahi with pineapple salsa for a taste of the tropics ($14.99), or opt for the 7-ounce char-grilled filet mignon served with onion strings and maitre d' butter if you only eat fish born as cheesy crackers or 7-ounce filet mignons ($23.99). The six-cheese purse pasta—little pockets stuffed with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and garlic and blanketed with parmesan cream sauce—sates herbaceous bellies and pastaterian pandas ($10.99). To rinse down solids, patrons can saddle up to the full-service bar and sip a glass of wine ($7–$12), a beer ($3–$5), or a martini ($9–$10).
New American Cuisine | Hyperlocal Ingredients | House-Canned Goods | Smart-Casual Dress Code
Where to Sit: If possible, grab the table right in front of the fireplace, which adds to the coziness of the welcoming, yet elegant digs.
While You're Waiting
Chef Paul Virant's claim to fame is his knack for pickling and canning, which he wrote about in his cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen. Honor his passion by replacing your usual cufflinks with full-sized Mason jars.
Reservations are recommended.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Take a page out of the chef’s book and go on the hunt for fresh, local ingredients at the Western Springs Fruit Store (925 Burlington Avenue).
After: Catch a show at the Theatre of Western Springs (4384 Hampton Avenue), which hosts local plays and national acts, including the celebrated Beatle’s cover band, American English.
Mécénat Bistro & Retail Wine Shop's menu is stocked full of seasonal American specialties. Guests can pair truffle fries, New Zealand grass-fed rib-eye, or blackened shrimp and rigatoni with one of 70 varietals on the bistro’s wine list. Domestic craft beers also span the menu, accentuating flavors in seasonal specialties as well as menu mainstays such as Prince Edward Island mussels and grilled asparagus and sugar snap pea risotto.