Your New Gilty Pleasure

Gilt: covered with gold. Pronunciation: \gilt\ Function: adjective

With a name synonymous for your most precious metal, nothing but decadence comes to mind. Gilt, opening in the former Aigre Doux space on Kinzie has no relation to the Gilt of NYC, but is making a name for itself in its own right. Despite its 24-karart moniker, Gilt is more rustic than showy. Clad with vintage revolving doors, salvaged tables with mismatched chairs, and seating from a reclaimed dollhouse, Gilt is well, refreshingly unpretentious despite the large press its been getting.

Brendan Sodikoff, a former corporate chef for Lettuce Entertain You, whose resume includes stints with Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse at the Ritz Paris, is behind the New River North haute. Downplaying his notable resume, he simply recommends, “start with our fries.” Menu standouts include the roasted bone marrow, pork and duck liver toast, and house-made pasta.

Serving up specialty cocktails like the El Diablo (azul blanco tequila, creme de cassis, ginger beer, lime) and the Maple Leaf (rittenhouse rye whiskey, maple syrup, lemon, egg white, cinnamon), your familiar Grey Goose is substituted for the only vodka in-house, Wisconsin-made Death’s Door as almost everything is locally grown or produced.

Insider’s tip: Save room for dessert because they have homemade caramel corn, licorice, and truffles. Mmmm.

Gilt Bar (open now) is located at 230 West Kinzie St.