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Phootgraph: Neil John Burger

A pair of Chicago spots are among the best new restaurants in America

Esquire honors Kasama and Indienne in its annual rankings.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai
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Two local spots have just made Esquire’s 2022 list of the Best New Restaurants in America.

For this year’s edition, the publication’s editors highlighted 40 places that “represent what it means to dine well in the U.S. right now.” In Chicago, modern Filipino standout Kasama landed at No. 7 for its tasting menu, which debuted around the end of 2021. Though the restaurant operates as a casual kitchen and bakery during the day, dinner service sees it transform into a fine dining sensation.

“The nilaga, composed of cabbage, bone marrow, and fluffy short-grain rice, has the uncanny ability to evoke what you would eat on a rainy day as a kid. There is a croissant toward the end with a shower of truffles. All of this made us believe: People need to know about the p.m. version of Kasama, too,” Esquire editor Kevin Sintumuang writes.

The accolade is the cherry on top of a momentous year for Kasama—it was awarded one star by the Michelin Guide this past April.

Coming in at No. 36 is Indienne, the progressive Indian newcomer that Time Out Chicago praised in its review for raising the bar on South Asian experiences in the city. Sintumuang is similarly impressed by chef Sujan Sarkar’s “potent and unexpected” cooking, and calls the $90 degustation menu a “steal.”

“The service is delightful, informative, proper, the room is vast and luxurious, the wine pairings are illuminating. You might be wondering, what’s the catch? As far as I can tell, there is none,” Sintumuang adds.

You can check out the full list of winners here.

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