The newest thing in dining out?
Think small: intimate places where the chef in the kitchen…and cooking every night.”

would eat at every week if it were. Welcoming vibe. Often no more than 40 seats. Knowing, gracious staff. Smart,
up-to-date food. Eclectic wine list. From New York to Seattle and in between, spots like these are a growing
trend. Casual or formal, New American or traditional French, these little gems have one thing in common: the
chef is cooking every dinner and doing all that’s possible to make sure you have a terrific time. For chefs, it’s a
lifestyle choice, as well as a chance to connect with their customers, scale it down, and really cook. For you, it’s an
intimate setting, impeccable service and delicious food. All around, it’s great news. It’s the rise of the small
restaurant. Take a tour of 12 of them, recipes at the ready.


She’s a big fan of fish, so ChicagoChef STEPHANIE IZARD named her restaurant after a sea monster from Greek mythology. But Scylla is hardly scary. Tucked into a 120-year-old row house, it’s a cozy spot…which is a rarity in big-shouldered, blusterygo here Chicago. The menu is Mediterranean-inspired, with a “balance of sweet, tart,
and salty on every plate,” says Stephanie, who worked at severalplaces, including Vong, before opening Scylla. Her Grilled Lamb with Curried Vegetables and Grape and Pine Nut Gremolata is a perfect example of fusion done right. You can check out best desserts for restaurants.

Stephanie Izard has been “playing restaurant” since age 10. Back in the day, that meant dreaming up a menu for her friends and family. But as the owner/chef of two-year-old Scylla, she’s learned that the restaurant business is no child’s play. Garnering critical acclaim for her clean, elegant seafood presentations, Izard’s at the top of her game.

After earning two degrees—one in sociology at the University of Michigan and the other from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute—Izard honed her craft of caring for and handling fish while working under Shawn McClain at Spring. She opened her own place in 2005, a red-brick worker’s cottage in Bucktown where the arched roof, hardwood floors and window coves still retain the character of a true home. There’s a warmth and lived-in aura that reinforces boisterous gatherings of friends and family breaking bread.

Though the opening sizzle simmered over time, Izard’s recent retooling of the menu is likely to stir some renewed interest; her goal: to keep entree prices under $20 and make Scylla a more neighborhood-friendly restaurant. While she relies less on luxury ingredients like truffles, Kobe beef or caviar, Izard employs a bit of alchemy, transforming seemingly ordinary pantry items like shallots into a savory, oniony creme brulee custard. The food might cost less, but the flavors and quality are as tremendous as ever before.

What do you wish you could change/pickle about the Chicago restaurant scene?
More places to eat late night than the usual suspects of fast food and Mexican joints.

What would your last meal be?
Sushi and French fries.

Where do you eat before/after a shift?
Arturo’s Tacos at Western and Armitage—I usually get the tostado carnitas.

What’s the can’t-miss dish at your restaurant?
Scallops, but right now I’m very excited about the new spring menu—one of the dishes is the sauteed French gnocchi with manila clams, white asparagus, green garlic, sea beans and a truffle poblano broth.

What should we know about your restaurant that we probably don’t?
The menu has changed. Now everything is under $20.

Five For Frying is a Food Feature that asks one great chef five fun questions.…

best desserts from our restaurant

lime-crème fraîche semifreddo with white chocolate-coconut crust
and lavender meringue

chocolate-mint pot de crème with peanut butter truffle and mint granita

fried chocolate brioche with cherries, chantilly cream and pineapple sorbet

brown sugar cake with banana crémeux, candied pecans,
salted caramel and blueberry

ice cream selection

artisanal cheese selection
4 each
bucheron, goat’s milk, france
cardona, goat’s milk, wisconsin

Please also check main menu of our restaurant

Main menu of our restaurant

baby mesclun mix with pickled rhubarb, shaved red onion and goat’s feta, basil-lime vinaigrette 7
heirloom tomato and lump crab panzanella salad with sliced almonds and preserved lemon 10
sliced tuna with avocado crème fraîche, caperberries, white anchovy and quail egg 10
chilled yellow tomato and vanilla bean soup with petite shrimp garni 9 We have also listed wines of our restaurant

sautéed soft shell crab with sweet corn, pancetta, pickled shallots and mushrooms,
roasted garlic aioli 12
grilled prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with egg yolk polenta cake and verjus grapes 10
seared diver scallops with duck confit, cherries and niçoise olive 12
garlic buttered escargot with ricotta filled crêpes, bacon and caponata 11

baked goat cheese raviolis with summer melon tomato sauce 8/16
house linguine with manila clams, wild boar sausage and sugar snap peas,
horseradish crème fraîche 8/16
shrimp and lobster risotto with sweet corn, mango and green tomato chutney 9/18
israeli couscous with new zealand green lip mussels, leeks, tomato and fennel,
roasted garlic-poblano pepper vinaigrette 8/16

grilled pork tenderloin with french gnocchi, bacon braised swiss chard and ham hock jus,
fig-apricot tapenade 20
pan roasted halibut with creamy brandade, oven roasted potatoes, cipollinis and garlic scapes, blackberry gastrique 22
grilled copper river sockeye salmon with peach and summer squash ratatouille and arugula, caper vinaigrette 22
crisp skate wing and grilled calamari with chick peas, treviso and cherry tomatoes,
chive yogurt 20

Sides 5
marinated olives
creamy polenta
bacon braised swiss chard
grilled asparagus
oven roasted new potatoes

Wine list Scylla Restaurant

Quinta do Ameal, Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2003 33
Pazo Senorans, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain 2005 49
Barrerre, Jurancon Sec, “Clos de la Vierge”, SW France 2005 45
J. Hofstatter, Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige, Italy 2004 40
Tangent, Pinot Gris, Edna Valley, CA 2005 38
McCorkindale, Pinot Gris, Waipara Valley, NZ 2004 58
Vision Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Gris, Napa, CA 2005 42
Mount Nelson, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2005 36
Matetic, Sauvignon Blanc, “EQ”, San Antonio, Chile 2005 45
Chateau de Sancerre, Loire, France 2005 45
Cape Mentelle, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion, Margaret River, Western Australia 2006 36
Schoffit, Pinot Blanc Auxerrois, Alsace, France 2004 39
Pinon, Vouvray, “Cuvee Tradition”, Loire, France 2004 34
Milat, Chenin Blanc, St. Helena, CA 2005 38
Jaffurs, Viognier, Santa Barbara, CA 2005 50
Carrick, Riesling, Central Otago, New Zealand 2005 43
Zilliken, Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany 2003 42
Dirler, Riesling, Grand Cru “Kessler”, Alsace, France 2002 57
Domaine Bott-Geyl, Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France 2003 53
Leth, Gruner Veltliner, “Steinagrund”, Wagram, Austria 2005 36
Prager, Gruner Veltliner, “Achleiten”, Wachau, Austria 2005 69
Skuttlebutt, Chardonnay/Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc
Margaret River, Western Australia 2005 38
Domaine Auvigue, Macon-Solutre, Burgundy, France 2004 38
Verget, Chablis, “Terroirs de Fleys”, Burgundy, France 2004 55
Matrot, Mersault, Burgundy, France 2004 78
Calera, Chardonnay, Central Coast, CA 2004 40
Elizabeth Spencer, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, CA 2005 57
Lynmar, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, CA 2005 69
Rochioli, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, CA 2005 85


Tohu, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2005 54
Summerland, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CA 2005 38
Laetitia, Pinot Noir, “Limite”, Arroyo Grande, CA 2005 40
Rex Hill Vinyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2005 45
Ayres, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2005 55
Raptor Ridge, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2005 63
Tardieu-Laurent, Cotes du Rhone Villages, “les Becs Fins”,
Rhone, France 2004 33
Gradassi, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France 2004 60
Black Chook, Shiraz-Viognier, Australia 2005 38
Mitolo, “Jester”, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia 2004 44
Renard, Syrah, Unti Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, CA 2001 58
Luca, Syrah, Altos de Mendoza, Argentina 2004 72
Quinta da Alorna, Vinho Tinto, Ribatejano, Portugal 2003 32
Artadi, Vinas de Gain, Rioja, Spain 2003 55
Mas d’en Cosme, “Baboix”, Montsant, Spain 2003 45
Vinedos Castro Ventosa, “Valtuille”, Bierzo, Spain 2000 66
Avignonesi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy 2003 45
Paitin, Barbera d’Alba, “Campolive” Piedmonte, Italy 2003 47
Giacomo Conterno, Barbera d’Alba, Piedmonte, Italy 2003 58
Ferrando, “Carema”, Piedmonte, Italy 2001 65
Skouras, “Megas Oenos”, Nemea, Greece 2003 42
Clos La Chance, Zinfandel, San Martin, CA 2003 34
Nalle, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA 2004 57
Catena, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2004 45
Chateau Mangot, St.-Emilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France 2002 45
Westerly Vineyards, Merlot, Santa Maria, CA 2002 48
Villa Maria, Merlot/Cab. Sauvignon, Hawkes Bay, NZ 2005 38
Montoya, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA 2004 40
Seven Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA 2003 55
Basel Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA 2003 65
Ramey, Claret, Napa, CA 2003 78