The best roast chicken I ever had was at Zuni Café, on Market Street in San Francisco. I'm not sure what Judy Rodgers does to it - they're most likely brined to retain moisture well ahead of time, and the heat, well, I'm positive it comes from a lot of hardwood. Chicago isn't exactly a roast chicken mecca. We lean more toward steaks and dogs and as of late, pork belly. But you can still find good roasted chicken all over the place. They all have a few things in common: mainly, beautiful juicy meat that retains moisture, contained beneath a thin sheath of nicely crisp skin. Some herbs are typically rubbed into the exterior, which add to the comfy aroma once the bird is presented at the table. All of these locations take their chickens seriously, but I'm sure there are others out there too. Let me know what you think.
1. Nightwood, 2119 S. Halsted St., 312-526-3385
2. The Athenian Room, 807 W. Webster Ave., 773-348-5155
3. Next Door Bistro, 250 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-272-1491
4. Bistro 110, 110 E. Pearson St., 312-266-3110
5. Longman & Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110
To see some more mouth-watering photos from Nightwood by Joseph Storch, click here.