Where we're eating
For those of us who can't get enough eating out (at restaurants), these ten spots are the best in the city for GLBT folks to dine and dish.
1. HB (3404 N Halsted St at Roscoe St, 773-661-0299)There's almost nothing but tables for two in this cramped Boystown newcomer, ensuring almost every guest has one thing on his mind. Just make sure you get the seat facing the window so he has his eyes on you, not the boys parading up and down Halsted Street.
2. Socca (3301 N Clark St at School St, 773-248-1155)The folks at Extreme Makeover would be jealous. It's hard to believe this stylish Italian kitchen was the fading gay bar Buddies. The staff is comely, attentive and knowledgeable, and the food is delicious.
3. Speakeasy Supper Club (1401 W Devon Ave at Glenwood Ave, 773-338-0600)This upscale lez-owned cabaret and restaurant in Rogers Park is the sexiest spot on the Far North Side. The new American menu is full of half portions perfect for sharing (wink wink, nudge nudge) and the gorgeous lesbians enjoying a cigarette at the bar make secondhand smoke look appealing.
4. Tweet (5020 N Sheridan Rd between Argyle St and Carmen Ave, 773-728-5576)Leave it to cherub-faced lesbian earth mother Michelle Fire to turn her diner-by-day brunch spot into Uptown's best night out. It helps that Fire has staffed Tweet with some of the city's best chefs. Foodies and fairies love it.
5. X/O (3441 N Halsted St at Newport Ave, 773-348-9696)Stop wasting your time at Sidetrack and Roscoe's. If you can't pick up someone beautiful at this clubby small-plates nightspot, you're not really trying. It's unlikely, however, that your trick will go down as easy as X/O's chocolate orgasm dessert.
6. Francesca's Bryn Mawr (1039 W Bryn Mawr Ave at Kenmore Ave, 773-506-9261)This restaurant is the "gay uncle" in the Francesca family of Italian eateries, and you can't swing a dildo without hitting a couple of Edgewater gay guys slurping marinara sauce and staring longingly into each others' eyes.
7. Tomboy (5402 N Clark St at Balmoral Ave, 773-907-0636)Andersonville was once a sleepy hamlet somewhere between downtown and suburbia. This new American loftlike restaurant helped bring the Lincoln Park set this far north. The lesbians had already moved in by then and the boys soon followed.
8. Firefly (3335 N Halsted St at Buckingham Pl, 773-525-2505)Some locations are cursed (does anybody remember Deville?), but this neighborhood French bistro has proven to be a winner. It helps that beautiful people can be seen lingering inside long after midnight.
9. Leonardo's (5657 N Clark St at Hollywood Ave, 773-561-5028)Finally, Boystown boys can slum it up north for a few hours and still feel fabulous. This chic and romantic Tuscan bistro is reawakening an otherwise sleepy part of Andersonville/Edgewater.
10. The Melrose (3233 N Broadway at Melrose St, 773-327-2060)It's 4am in the 'hood, you're in mid-hangover, and there's a frightening plate of greasy food staring you in the face. It really doesn't get any better than this. Besides, the Melrose is your last chance to decide if that bar pickup sitting across from you is really worth taking home.—Jason A. Heidemann