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Chefs Erling-Wu Bower and Cosmo Goss reveal their go-to spots in Chicago

Written by
Betsy Kennedy
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Cosmo Goss (The Publican) and Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria) are about to change the way you think about River North. The friends will be co-executive chefs at their mysterious new project, Pacific Standard Time—a River North spot with a light, California-inspired menu promising lots of action in their custom-made wood-fire ovens.

There is no doubt that these guys get along—most of Goss’s Instagram feed is pictures of Wu-Bower, or as he calls him, his “Wu thang”—but they also take their craft very seriously. “We really want our food to speak to our childhoods in California,” Goss told Time Out Chicago. We chatted with the duo about their Chicago summertime favorites. Here’s what they had to say between laughs. 

Favorite new restaurant: Sumi Robata Bar (702 N Wells St). Just write that three times. It’s probably the best restaurant in the city,” says Goss. The spot gets a second vote from Wu-Bower: “It’s precise, simple and clean. Also, Leña Brava (900 W Randolph St) is annoyingly good.”

Go-to drinking destination: “On my couch… and Matchbox (770 N Milwaukee Ave). Oh! And Rainbo Club (1150 N Damen Ave) is the best bar in the world,” says Goss.

Best patio scene: Wu-Bower likes Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave) and Spacca Napoli (1769 W Sunnyside Ave). “I like Sportsman Club’s (948 N Western Ave) patio for drinking rosé,” Goss says.

For weirding out: Both guys gushed about the tripe at Sun Wah BBQ (5039 N Broadway St).

Off the beaten path: For a hole-in-the-wall find, Wu-Bower and Goss agreed that Chicago Kalbi (3752 W Lawrence Ave) is an excellent choice, adding that the coal grills are a major perk.

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