Husband-and-wife team, chef James Gottwald and Jennifer Monti were longing for a bit of home when they opened Monti’s in Lincoln Square. The Philadelphia natives managed to combine the Chicago craft beer scene with Philly cheesesteaks in a casual bar atmosphere that’s both welcoming and gloriously filling. Their rolls are from Amoroso’s in Philly—adding an inimitable bit of authenticity to the sandwiches, while the local beer selection is impeccable, with an ever-changing chalkboard of options listing what’s currently available. And their cheesesteaks—from the incredibly spicy “The Rocky” (every time we’ve seen it ordered the waitress sternly warns the person about what they’re getting into) to the meatless “Where’s the Beef?” (hey, it’s Lincoln Square) to the truly incomparable South Side Johnny (mushrooms and horseradish cream sauce)—are all delicious and delivered with a mound of fries.
4757 North Talman, (773)942-6012, ilovemontis.com
Best of Chicago 2013