Owen & Engine
If we had a dollar for every bar and grill to jump on the gastropub wagon, only to put out half-assed fish-and-chips and puny ale-steamed mussels, well…we’d be rich enough to buy out the bad ones. Luckily, last year saw a few pull ahead of the pack, most notably Owen & Engine. Chef Charles Burkhardt crisps up massive New England haddock fillets for dipping into malt vinegar aioli, forms Slagel Farms beef into a banner burger and melts Worcestershire-spiked cheddar on brown bread for a dead-on Welsh rarebit—and, in true pub fashion, serves all three, alongside a handful of other bar plates, until 1am daily. Hit the restaurant before 10pm to savor the full dinner menu. 2700 N Western Ave (773-235-2930).
Other nominees Blokes & Birds, Leopold, the Southern, Three Aces