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Table Fifty-Two, Chicago

52 W. Elm Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 573 4000
view web site ›'s insider take:

Before opening this feverishly anticipated Gold Coast restaurant in a dainty carriage house, Art Smith spent ten years as Oprah's personal chef. Dinner service is like a well-choreographed dinner party: Smith himself plays the congenial host, greeting the local movers and curious civilians seated in the snug dining room. The genteel mood befits the menu of Southern classics, including a textbook buttermilk fried chicken (served Sundays only); shrimp with feathery stone-ground grits; and pan-seared catfish accompanied by crispy okra, bacon-braised collard greens, and more grits (cheese this time). Recognizing there is such a thing as too many grits, Smith wisely offers a few global dishes as well, such as pistachio-crusted chicken breast with lo mein noodles and wood-fired pizza topped with smoked duck. The dessert menu, however, remains firmly rooted in the South—take one bite of the seductive 12-layer Smith family chocolate cake, and you'll understand how Smith won Oprah's favor.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 10 pm, Sundays 10 am to 7 pm; brunch served Sundays only.

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