West Town has waited patiently to shine.
Its moment is now: Shaman, a spin-off of Chilam Balam, quietly opened last week.
Chef Natalie Oswald keeps busy, running between two kitchens to crank out flavor-packed regional Mexican cuisine.
Start with tangy, citrus-flecked guacamole and seasonal ceviche (salmon, kalamata olives, orange, and fennel when we last visited). Crunchy wild mushroom flautas swim in fiery roasted poblano sauce; creamy bacon grits and Brussels sprouts slaw complement pan-seared scallops in pasilla tomatillo salsa. Chilam’s sweet empanadas (peanut butter, Oaxacan chocolate, seasonal compote) are the perfect ending.
Shaman is BYOB (pick up potables at Noble Grape or Lush beforehand); it even takes reservations.
West Town is the best town, after all.
Shaman, 1438 West Chicago Avenue, between Greenview Avenue and Bishop Street (312-226-4175 or shamanchicago.com).
Photo: Nicole S. Young / Getty Images