Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Matthias Merges's much-anticipated Hyde Park venture.
Elegantly conceived and designed, this European-inspired south-side spot from Matthias Merges (Yusho, Billy Sunday) manages to feel like part of the neighborhood—as opposed to merely part of the U. of C.'s multimillion-dollar reinvention of the neighborhood. Cocktails are another high point, expertly calibrated whether on draft or stirred and shaken, and while the flavor profiles for these "tonics" may be simpler than at Billy Sunday (no dandelion, cedar berry, or wild cherry bark here), the results are just as complex. On early visits, the food wasn't quite as successful, with dishes like a naked piece of trout over a bed of whipped potatoes suffering from an excess of restraint. But even then there were showstoppers like blood sausage served with pickled squid tentacles, braised cabbage, and ink vinaigrette, and six months in, all former blemishes had been erased. A10 is no longer an exemplary restaurant for Hyde Park. It's an exemplary restaurant, period. Read the full review >>
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Elegantly conceived and designed, A10 is divided into a tasteful, dimly lit bar side and a warmly bright (and comparatively cacophonous) dining side. My suggestion is to eat on the former, but I might be a little biased—I had a significantly better meal on the occasion when I was seated there, and on both occasions the drinks were the high point. In fact, they deserve a star for both quality and inventiveness, whether on draft (batched en masse and carbonated) or traditionally prepared. At A10 the flavor profiles may be simpler than at chef-owner Matthias Merges's Billy Sunday (no dandelion, cedar berry, or wild cherry bark here), but the result is just as complex. The same can be said of A10's stirred and shaken concoctions, including a simple and expertly calibrated manhattan and a more complex layering of Armagnac, maraschino, and Cointreau, aka the Hennessy. —Mara Shalhoup