A COMFORTABLE SIT-DOWN IN CONGENIAL SURROUNDINGS

 

Article provided by Crain's Chicago Business

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FROM CRAIN'S "BEST NEW RESTAURANTS FOR BUSINESS 2018"
BY  JOANNE TRESTRAIL

Across the street from Gibsons Italia, cozy TASTE 222 (222 N. Canal St. | 312-383-6620) takes an opposite tack, drawing diners who want a small, easygoing spot to take colleagues or clients, especially if they appreciate food that's more interesting than most lunch fare. The mastermind behind the place, which resembles a well-appointed living room (with an excellent bartender), is former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson. His venture-capital firm, Cleveland Avenue, and a related foundation are housed elsewhere in the three-story building. Taste 222 showcases their work mentoring and investing in food-business entrepreneurship, but the operation doesn't feel like a corporate experiment. Chef Judson Todd Allen's attention to detail and respect for fresh ingredients pay off with such touches as housemade root-vegetable chips ($4), terrifically tasty soups ($5/$8) and a fried-chicken sandwich ($14) so crunchy and luscious, you'll want another one tomorrow, but only if you can resist the meatloaf sliders ($12).

— J.T.

 
  THE GRILLED CHEESE:  basil goat cheese, gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, sourdough, tomato basil shooter

THE GRILLED CHEESE: basil goat cheese, gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, sourdough, tomato basil shooter

 
Jessica Sweeney