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Chicago Restaurants' Southern Influence

The Southern's take on Poutine, in Chicago.

Photo: Cedric Angeles

Andersonville: Vincent

The rich palette of van Gogh red and Prussian blue, aglow beneath amber filament lighting, paints the perfect facsimile of Dutch gezelligheid (a cozy, convivial atmosphere), and chef Joncarl Lachman mines his own family table’s history to complete the picture. In a low-slung building on the edge of the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District, Lachman creates such rustic dishes as a gorgeously textured mustard soup, mellowed with the natural sweetness of carrots and topped with fresh crab salad and tarragon, or snert, a traditional pork-enriched split-pea soup thick enough to hold a spoon upright. Amsterdam bistro favorite moules frites is served five ways, including with an Indonesian chili-based broth that’s been spiked with tamarind and shrimp paste—a testament to the Netherlands’ lingering connection to its former colonies. If you really want to go Dutch, try the oddball maatjesharing appetizer: soused herring, bracing jenever (a juniper-flavored ginlike liquor), and tingly pickle, downed in quick succession like a tequila shot. 1475 W. Balmoral Ave.; 773/334-7168; dinner for two $76.

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