You wouldn’t know the economy was in recession, judging by the crowds spending money in many of Chicago’s newest restaurants. While most of the high-pro le places that have opened since last year’s NRA Show are considered casual, they still command a pretty penny for well-prepared and imaginative food, accompanied by signature cocktails, microbrews or boutique wines. The restaurants listed here are well worth exploring and not far from downtown. —By Carolyn Walkup Ajasteak Ajasteak ...

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