Shane Graybeal had a big challenge ahead of him.
Installed as the newest executive chef at Sable ( 505 N. State St.; SableChicago.com ) late last year, the former BIN36 chef had to maintain his newest spot's reputation for provocative, tasty fare.
He succeeds, on many levels.
Indecisive people might take to the menu, which doesn't feature many items ( divided into the categories "Snacks," "Soil," "Sea" and "Land" ). However, the offerings that are there are enticing. Apps such as beer-battered crispy sweet potatoes are tossed in yuzu yogurt, providing a kaleidoscope of flavor. And the pimento fritters are cheesy, in the best possible way.
I'm a big fan of pork bellyand the dish here is exquisite; even the cheeseburger ( with a "special sauce" ) is better than most, if your tastes swing that way. However, Sable also has items such as cauliflower steak and roasted bone marrow that I'm aiming to try during my next visit.
And esteemed bartender Mike Jones makes sure the word about Sable's cocktails is a good one. Sable is known for its incredible and wide-ranging cocktail programso do yourself a favor and try the Pago Pago or Fools in Paradise, the latter being a tasty concoction containing Larceny, a brand of bourbon. However, it would practically be a crime if you didn't try a drink here.
Get a taste of Europe at Cupitol Coffee & Eatery ( 455 E. Illinois St.; Cupitol.com ).
Cupitol ( a European-style place that follows one that opened in Evanstonlast year ) has several things going for it, including an attractive decor, photogenic staffers and some pretty tasty items.
Breakfast items are available starting at 7 a.m. ( until about 2 p.m. ), but lunch and dinner are also offered ( later in the day, of course ). And what variety! Depending on the time, you can get country Benedict ( buttermilk biscuits, pork sausage gravy and poached eggs ), a sweet potato bowl, an avocado wrap, a falafel burger and gravlax baguette.
I liked everything I tried ( honest! ), including the falafel burger, spanokopita ( spinach pie ), the gravlax and a very delicious Banana Energy smoothie that apparently provided me the energy to walk a mile directly after the meal.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.