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Grilled Lobster at Rural Society
Photograph: Andrew NawrockiGrilled Lobster at Rural Society

The 100 best dishes in Chicago 2015: entrees

The biggest dishes of the year, these pizzas, pastas and more stole our hearts with big flavors and perfect execution

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Written by
Amy Cavanaugh
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Shrimp and grits, lobster, fish and chips—if there was one area where Chicago chefs excelled this year, it was with seafood. Whether it's pizza piled with shrimp (and sausage, naturally) or a huge helping of crabs at one of the city's best seafood restaurants, the options are wide ranging. Of course, seafood wasn't the only star this year—Hot Doug's returned in pizza form, chefs flexed their pasta-making skills and ramen continued its climb. These are the best entrees of the year. 

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best dishes and drinks in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4
Leave it to Irish native Sarah Jordan to teach Chicagoans a thing or two about fish-and-chips. In her superlative version, the fish stays flaky while enveloped in a light, crunchy golden batter. The crisp fries on the side are the ideal match. $12. 
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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • West Loop
Some dishes at the Italian throwback are well-done classics. Others, like Formento’s take on shrimp de jonghe (shrimp dotted with shrimp sausage and lemon bread crumbs, all luxuriating in buttery garlic sauce) are such improvements, diners will never want the original again. $28.
Margherita pizza from Pizza Boss
Photograph: Grace Allen

Margherita pizza from Pizza Boss

One of the best pizzas in Chicago isn’t from a restaurant, but rather the giant Pizza Boss truck, painted like an Italian flag. The bubbly-crusted Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza is sprinkled with grated Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil. $11. 
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  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4
Our vote for underdog of the year: A simple grilled lobster, gently smoky from a turn on the parrilla and drenched with butter, manages to overshadow the meats at the Argentine steakhouse. $48, half portion $24.
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  • Restaurants
  • South Asian
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4
A curry named after the Portuguese word for “devil” sounds daunting, but we’re up for any challenge Fat Rice throws us. Take this huge, fiery, family-style mix of chicken, braised beef, fried pork chop, scorpion peppers and mustard seeds—sour, spicy and sweet. It’s worth scraping the dish clean. $36. 
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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Avondale
  • price 3 of 4
Yusho serves some special ramens for its Sunday Noodles deal, and the Wandering Ramen comes packed with pork, chicken, an egg and fiery nduja swirled in the broth for heat. $25 for ramen, dessert and drink.
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