Aigre Doux co-owners, husband and wife Malika Ameen and Mohammad Islam (she's pastry, he's savory) once rubbed elbows with stars like Bono, Cameron Diaz, Lindsay Lohan and Jerry Stiller when they ran the kitchen at Hollywood's famed Chateau Marmont. These days, now that they've returned to their roots (Ameen's a Glencoe Native and Islam a Bangladeshi immigrant, lived here for 10 years and attended college in Chicago) they're stars in their own right, fronting this contemporary American restaurant behind the Merchandise Mart
Featuring warm woods lit by spare antique bare-bulb light fixtures, the modern clean decor here is emblematic of Islam's seasonally focused cuisine. Don't confuse clean and spare with simple, though. Islam's a perfectionist, poaching shrimp for hours at precise temperatures so that the proteins never curl or toughen the tails and slow cooking meat sous vide style for days until it drops off the bone.
And if you're feeling spry after one of his pure clean flavored meals, Ameen's sticky toffee pudding featuring three kinds of oranges and plenty of moist liquor-soaked cake will definitely banish any thoughts of losing a few pounds.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant