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Hot List 2008

Brasserie Ruhlman, Chicago, Illinois

Address: 500 W Superior Street

Tel: 312-494-1900

This sleek New York import, named for Art Deco designer Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, has Christian Delouvrier at the helm. The vast, beautifully lit (and rather noisy) dining room is hung with alabaster chandeliers and divided up by glass-topped red velvet banquettes. It has a 30-foot bar, mountainous displays of fruits de mer, mosaic tile floors, and filigree woodwork. Delouvrier, formerly of New York's now-closed four-star Lespinasse, turns out first-rate brasserie stalwarts—escargots, steak au poivre, onion soup—enlivened with his own little touches. A cheese soufflé, molten in the center, is encrusted with salt crystals, and crisp pieces of skate with lemon butter come with tomato concassée. Desserts are traditional: feathery napoleons and apple, lemon, and chocolate tarts (entrées, $22–$42).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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