I remember, at the end of every school year, being handed a list of books I was expected to read before September rolled around. It was the teacher's way of saying, "It may be summer, but you're not supposed to turn your brains off completely."
I can apply this to dining, because, frankly, I apply everything to dining. But consider: Summer is a time of backyard barbecues and ballpark food, but there are still serious restaurants that will require our attention in the coming weeks. Particularly because there are so many new restaurants about to debut, they will be hungry for our discretionary dollars.
And so I present my annual Summer Eating List, a compilation of recently opened, about-to-open and hoping-to-open restaurants in the city and suburbs (and occasionally beyond). This year's class looks very promising indeed.
I don't expect you to visit all of them, which is why I've grouped them in order of presumed importance. The Required Eating restaurants are the ones you simply must check out. Electives deserve serious consideration. Extra Credit restaurants are more offbeat picks, and Field Trips (permission slips optional) are farther past the city center.
Beatnik. Bonhomme Hospitality (Black Bull, Celeste, Fulton Market Kitchen) will open a cocktail bar and restaurant in West Town. Details are sketchy at present. Opening late summer. 1604 W. Chicago Ave.