Subway: Red to Cermak/Chinatown(312) 842-7888 tonygourmetgroup.com41.851952 -87.632225 2230 S Wentworth Ave (between 22nd Pl and Alexander St) Chinatown, Chicago
Lunch, dinnerAverage main course: $10
Tony Hu’s Hunanese contribution to Chinatown indeed has an eccentric Chairman Mao theme, but don’t let that distract you from the food, which is intense, spicy, oily and delicious. “Home fed chicken” (roughly equating to free-range) is hung for two days to dry age before it’s lightly smoked over a wok filled with dry rice and spices. Chef Fada Zhang, a native of Hunan, uses the same technique for his “famous Hunan preserved pork,” smoking it over a fragrant haze of toasted dry rice, whole star anise and cinnamon bark. For contrast, order the cool, thin rectangles of “jade tofu” surrounded by a slick of chili oil brightened with cilantro and scallions.