Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



SAVOR Coconutz; Maple & Ash
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide in Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 5456 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

I'll admit it: I didn't walk into Coconutz (; 13 W. Division St. ) with the highest of expectations.

There were at least a couple of reasons, ranging from the "z" in the restaurant's name to the fact that it's located along a stretch of Division Street that's known primarily for Jager bombs and the occasional thong contest.

However, general manager Josh King told me that the Coconutz aims to "draw the area's condo owners" to the stretch that some have termed a "frat boy's fantasy."

Call the island-inspired Coconutz an oasis that's off to a good start. It's divided into three areas ( a front bar, a dining room and a lounge in the back ), and offers "cabana bites" as well as a cornucopia of cocktails ( including the cringeworthy-sounding Punch in the Nutz ) and wines. By the way, Coconutz makes sure everything is as fresh as possible; even the pineapple juice is squeezed straight from the fruit.

An amuse bouche of tomato with jicama and serrano jam got the evening off to a kicky start, and I really liked the zabouca choka ( Trini-style guacamole and tortilla chips ), which sounded more exotic than it actually was.

I'm always a little cautious around shishito peppers; however, I fortunately didn't encounter any spicy ones with Coconutz's bacon-wrapped offerings. And as for the entrees, my dining partner adored the hot-and-sweet shrimp ( although the heat from the habanero-laced mother-in-law slaw stayed with her for a while ); I had a Malta-braised pork that was certainly satisfying.

Coconutz recently opened, and there are a few kinks ( as with the danger pie, which is a little too sweet ). However, I definitely deem this a promising place ( with kick-ass staff and sangria )—and a nice alternative to the usual Gold Coast Division Street scene.

Maple & Ash

Meanwhile, literally a couple blocks away from Coconutz is Maple & Ash ( 8 W. Maple St.; ), a recently opened steakhouse that has gotten quite a bit of buzz.

It is an impressive spot, overall—although does pay for the experience.

Maple & Ash is a two-story restaurant. The first floor houses a cocktail bar and a more informal ( but still attractive ) menu. Offerings include salmon tartare, shellfish chowder, roasted lamb chops, apple-cider doughnuts and even grilled cheese ( albeit with brioche, dijon aioli and green salad ).

My dining partners and I dined upstairs, which is more formal. ( Sartorial note: Collared shirts are fine. I wore a shirt and jacket, sans tie, and felt a tad overdressed. ) The decor is pretty elegant, with a variety of seats ( plush and otherwise ).

The service was spot-on, with our server being supremely attentive. Also, the restaurant kept one of my friends' food allergies in mind, suggesting alternatives for her. As for the food itself, it's quite good: The foie gras ( with strawberry preserves and brioche ) was the best I'd had since Sepia last year, and the pork chop was pretty tasty, although it seemed a bit small for the price. Also, the drink list was most impressive; sommelier Belinda Chang knows what she's doing.

As for cost, be prepared to shell out some cash if you dine upstairs. The 40-ounce Eisenhower is $115, grilled whole branzino is $55, caviar ( as expected ) is $100-$220—and the "I Don't Give A F*@k" option costs $145. However, if you have the dime, make the time for Maple & Ash.

This article shared 5456 times since Wed Jan 13, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SAVOR Peruvian spot Tanta; fundraiser for The Evolved Network
One of the best things about Chicago cuisine is that you can travel the world without ever leaving the Windy City. The River North spot Tanta (118 W. Grand Ave.; embodies one such example. Tanta ...

Gay News

Let's Talk presents "Let's Talk & Celebrate" foodie bash March 2
--From a press release - (CHICAGO) — Kick off Women's History Month with a "Let's Talk & Celebrate" Gold Glamour Gourmet bash by 35+ Chicagoland Let's Talk Womxn restaurateurs on Thursday, March 2, at Moe's Cantina in River North fr ...

Gay News

SAVOR Le Petit Chef: A singular, (literally) animated experience
There are experiences and then there are EXPERIENCES. If you're familiar with those recent Immersive Van Gogh and Kahlo events, imagine that transferred to a table setting and you have an idea of what's involved with ...

Gay News

FDA to relax rules of blood donations for gay, bisexual men
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly slated to lift restrictions on blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men. However, there's at least one stipulation, The Advocate reported: A gay or bisexual ...

Gay News

SAVOR Bacon Lover's Brunch at Frontier; Chicago Restaurant Week
"Bacon's the best. Even the frying of bacon sounds like applause."—Jim Gaffigan Judging from that quote, revered comic Jim Gaffigan would certainly have had a lot of fun at the Bacon Lover's Brunch at Frontier (1072 ...

Gay News

SAVOR Uproar; Feb. 2 benefit dinner
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an uproar can be "a loud and impassioned noise or disturbance" or "a public expression of protest and outrage." Scott Horwitch—the owner of Old Town spot Uproar (1252 N. Wells ...

Gay News

SAVOR The Hen of Lincoln Park
There are several reasons that The Hen of Lincoln Park (2423 N. Clark St.; is a popular brunch spot. Nested in the heart of—surprise!—Lincoln Park, this casual spot is in a location that draws a ...

Gay News

SAVOR Celebrity Chef Ball; 'Chefsgiving'; Ralph's Coffee
More than 50 top Chicago chefs—including many Michelin, James Beard, and Bib Gourmand awardees—worked together to create a truly unique experience for supporters of Meals on Wheels Chicago (MoWC). Because of their hard work and the ...

Gay News

The West Loop has no shortage of tantalizing brunches to try each weekend. Add Tabu's (401 N. Morgan St.; to the mix. This pan-Latin spot ...

Gay News

SAVOR Matcha Cita
Just steps from the Morgan stop on the Pink and Green lines is a heavenly place. And if you don't believe this writer about Matcha Cita (1017 W. Lake St., with an additional spot at Studio ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more
—COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian co-author discusses 'No More Police: A Case for Abolition'
"We don't need all the answers to start down the road toward where we want to go: a world where everyone has safety, food, clean water, shelter, education, health, art, beauty, and rest."—No More Police: A ...

Gay News

SAVOR Plant-based spot Planta Queen
I will admit it: I was skeptical about dining at the River North spot Planta Queen (413 N. Clark St.; Although I do love my meat, I have occasionally ...

Gay News

SAVOR Hundreds attend Chicago Gourmet
Hundreds of people attended this year's Chicago Gourmet, one of the nation's most distinguished culinary festivals. Founding partner Illinois Restaurant Association, along with presenting sponsor Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits ...

Gay News

SAVOR Latin Restaurant Weeks running Sept. 16-30
Latin Restaurant Weeks (LRW) will take place Sept. 16-30 in various cities, including Chicago. Illinois has the nation's fifth-largest Hispanic population; Chicago has more than 29% of people who identify as Hispanic. LRW partners with Hispani ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.