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Esquire's Best New Restaurant List Has Some Chicago Surprises [Updated]

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 13, 2015 6:20PM

via Dolo Restaurant and Bar

Esquire has come out with its list of Best New Restaurants for 2015—and it's... a little odd, frankly.

This year marks the untimely death of Esquire food writer Josh Ozersky during the weekend of the James Beard Awards, and so Ted Allen and many other writers stepped up to finish the list, but not without a quip:"Josh chose most of the restaurants herein and devoured as many of their delights as he could, just in time to exhaust the Best New Restaurants travel budget, but not in time, sadly, to write the stories."

The Chicago choices, as mentioned above, are interesting. First, and obvious, is Momotaro, which has gotten a ton of local attention but not as much national attention as one might think.

Second is Dolo Restaurant and Bar. Really? This newish spot off the beaten path in Chinatown hasn't even made anyone's best in Chinatown list, let alone a best in the city list. While I was impressed with their fresh seafood offerings during a recent visit (I went along with Michael Gebert, who produced possibly the only in-depth story ever written on the place after our visit for the Reader), I'm not sure it belongs on a list of the 14 best new restaurants in the entire country! In any case, they certainly hit the jackpot today.

Third is, ostensibly, "The Duck." As far as I know, there is no restaurant in Chicago called The Duck, and as of press time, the in-depth feature on that particular restaurant hadn't published yet. I choose to believe they mean The Duck Inn, the Bridgeport spot which has gotten raves. When was the last time a Bridgeport spot got on a national list?

As I said, an odd list, but at least it wasn't written off of a PR mailing.

Update, 3:09 p.m. Esquire has corrected the list (it's The Duck Inn for sure) and published a stand-alone piece on the Chicago restaurants included. Many other individual restaurants got whole articles, but each of the three Chicago spots gets a paragraph - and I'm still confused about Dolo's inclusion. And the intro to the piece is sure to insult anyone who lives in or goes to Chinatown or Bridgeport. Read for yourself.