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Chefs + Restaurants

Restaurants Now: Jam


When Jerry Suqi opened his hipster-falafel shop Chickpea last year, he hired his mom to be the executive chef. So it would it not have been a surprise if he had gone the same route—choosing a chef with more experience in the home kitchen than the professional one—for Jam, his new sunny, casual breakfast and lunch spot. Instead, he nabbed Jeffrey Mauro, a veteran of fine dining joints like Charlie Trotter’s and North Pond. The result is a refreshingly serious take on early-to-midday eating: Meals begins with an amuse, such as a perfect little raspberry brown-butter muffin, and continues with unusual fare like pork-belly-and-plum sandwiches and asparagus soup with apricot cream (the menu is the same for breakfast and lunch). Motherly home cooking it’s not—but Mom will be thrilled that at least you’re eating your breakfast.

Jam 937 N. Damen Ave., Chicago (773-489-0302; jamrestaurant.com)