Bus: 4, 20, 60(312) 444-9494 ariachicago.com41.884962 -87.621033 200 N Columbus Dr (at Lake St) Loop, Chicago
Breakfast, brunch (Sun), lunch, dinnerAverage main course: $30
Long before the glut of hip hotel restaurants hit Chicago, the Fairmont pushed the pan-Asian envelope at this plush dining room, starting meals with tandoor-cooked Indian nan and traveling the continent by dessert. As the restaurant has evolved, Southeast Asia gets more play via curries added to cool, seasonal salads such as peekytoe crab in a roasted squash half and nuoc cham to a slaw under wild boar ribs. Creativity abounds, local farms get good play, and the fusion stops short of weird with focused restraint. Now if we could just do something about getting it into a more convenient neighborhood….