America's Coolest New Diners
Au Cheval, Chicago
You might call Au Cheval a “finer diner,” given its tufted leather booths, milk-glass pendant lighting fixtures, long zinc bar, and root beer (plus craft brews) on tap. Since it opened in the up-and-coming West Loop district in February 2012, chef Brendan Sodikoff has been dishing out a global mishmash of comfort foods. To wit: his General Tso’s chicken is honey-fried with sesame, chile, and cilantro, while an entire menu section is devoted to dishes with eggs, such as crispy frites with garlic aioli and Mornay sauce and Mexican-style chilaquiles, available only after midnight. After all, the restaurant’s name comes from the culinary slang for adding a fried one (literally, “on horseback”).
Don’t Miss: A reinvented bologna sandwich, with house-made mortadella, sharp American cheese, Dijon mayo, and pickles on a toasted brioche bun—fried egg optional.