Media anticipation was high for Bad Hunter as it geared up to open in October in Chicago’s meat-heavy West Loop neighborhood, next door to modern diner Au Cheval—known for its signature burger—and across from Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat. Bad Hunter has since garnered praise from diners and critics for its menu that pairs vegetables with techniques and ingredients found in meat dishes. Small plates include beet tartare and tempura-fried lemons, and a wood-fired grill produces such dishes as grilled apples and fennel with pistachio-green chile pesto. Still, meat can be found in dishes such as the lemongrass breakfast sausage and bacon-topped veggie burger.
The concept comes from MCO Heisler Hospitality, operator of concepts such as Pub Royale and all-day coffee and cocktail spot Estereo. The group’s adult beverage focus extends to Bad Hunter: The bar serves a dozen specialty cocktails spotlighting fruits and veggies in some form.