Chefs love the no-frills nature of diners—Chicago star Paul Kahan confesses to eating BLTs at lunch counters all over the city. And now they are paying homage to these humble spots by opening their own upgraded versions.
For Dove’s Luncheonette chef Paul Kahan drew inspiration from the classic diners of old: “The social aspect of lunch counters in Chicago had a huge impact on our desire to open a diner–our goal was to create a place without pretense, where people could sit at a counter and enjoy great soulful food at any time of the day.” The menu, however, is distinctly Mexican: one of Kahan’s favorite dishes is the pork shoulder pozole, with guajillo chili broth, hominy, avocado, lime cabbage and crispy tortillas. 1545 N. Damen Ave, Chicago. doveschicago.com.
For Jonathan Brooks, opening Milktooth in Indianapolis was about more than just a new restaurant: after his son was born, breakfast became quality time that he could spend with his wife and newborn. His new venture, serving breakfast and lunch, aims to make breakfast both exciting and comforting. A small but diverse menu features items like sweet tea fried chicken with sausage gravy, biscuits and a sunny-side up egg, of the ultra-luxurious soft scrambled eggs, served with an ingenious combo of Burgundy truffles, Osetra caviar and pork rinds. 534 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis. milktoothindy.com.