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The 38 Essential Chicago Restaurants, July '11

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It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll add pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months) or have stepped up their game.

This turn, we're making a few changes. We'd love to keep Kith & Kin on the list, but sadly the spot closed abruptly in late May. After having been on the list since it launched, we've had some complaints about Chickpea not living up to its glowing reputation, so we want to give them a little break. And now that its sister restaurant is eligible, we're going to curb Gilt Bar, which really has no reflection on their fab cocktail program or menu. Coming aboard are Maude's Liquor Bar, where chef Jeff Pikus continues to kill it, and Lillie's Q, where award-winning chef, Charlie McKenna, pays homage to his grandmother and carries on the tradition of his pit master dad. Finally, we're once again hooked on The Publican's pork and shellfish offerings. Sure, it's a little pricier, but you deserve to treat yourself.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to nominate it for inclusion? State your cases for (or against) restaurants in the comments or in the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Anteprima

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Urban Belly

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Hot Doug's

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Kuma's Corner

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The Bristol

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Lao Sze Chuan

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Purple Pig

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Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

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Smoque BBQ

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Ceres' Table

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HB Home Bistro

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DMK Burger Bar

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Longman and Eagle

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Bonsoiree

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Nightwood Restaurant

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Girl & The Goat

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Piccolo Sogno

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Hemas Kitchen

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Demera Ethiopian

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Sun Wah Bar-B-Que

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Pho Xe Tang/Tank Noodle

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Lula Cafe

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De Cero Restaurant

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Glenn's Diner

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Coalfire

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Big Star

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Tac Quick

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Davanti Enoteca

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Chizakaya

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The Publican

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Lillie's Q

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Maude's Liquor Bar

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