Inside the Blackstone Hotel, this Catalan-inspired restaurant offers a stylish respite from Michigan Avenue. Philadelphia-based chef Jose Garces returned to his native Chicago for Mercat, where he created a menu of small and midsize plates of Catalan sopas (soup), cured meats, fideos (Spanish pasta), and a variety of vegetable sides, all of which are great for sharing. Be sure to try the cocas, flat breads topped with a range of ingredients, from bean
purée, shrimp, and chorizo to short ribs and horseradish. Don't let the small, cramped bar at the entrance fool you; once you walk up the stairs, you'll encounter an airy dining room with a view of Grant Park.