Subway: Blue to Western (O'Hare)(773) 697-7221 reddoorchicago.com41.920154 -87.677792 2118 N Damen Ave (at Charleston St) Bucktown, Chicago
Brunch (Sat, Sun), dinnerAverage small plate: $11
To know Red Door is to know its patio, a huge expanse of blond wood that is one of the more lovely outdoor dining spots in the city. Chef Troy Graves, who has made a return to this space (he was the chef here when it was Meritage), tries to give Red Door a reputation for food, too, with a menu of globally inspired small plates. His oyster ssam, grilled escarole gnocchi, bacon-wrapped artichokes and lemongrass-swathed chicken could make the place a destination for eaters. But mishaps—overcooked burgers, terrible cocktails, lazy service—suggest the restaurant may be leaning too much on the patio for the crowds.