12 Seats, 1 Chef and a Chalkboard

Rick Spiros – although of Greek decent – can cook some serious Asian food. Caterer by day and restaurant chef by night, well, half of the week that is, this man approaches Asian cuisine with finesse.

Spiros has a catering company called Artisan Catering, where he turns the front half of the space to a restaurant on Wednesday-Sunday called The Bento Box. With a limited chalkboard menu and a limited amount of seating, this place is no joke. I kicked off the meal with the Table Salad of red onion, shredded zucchini and carrot, complemented by fish sauce vinaigrette and toasted ground rice on top. I also tried the Spicy Potato Salad, which had a sriracha-like mayo base. His kimchi was spicy, crisp and tasty as well. For the main part of my lunch, I ordered the Noodles with BBQ Pork on top, one of the three offerings on the chalkboard on this particular day. The pork was super tender with an Asian BBQ-like glaze, pulled apart and not shredded, and a beautiful char all around it.

I have since been back a couple times and have loved whatever Spiros has put on the board. While I’m sure the tables fill up pretty quickly at night, don’t miss an opportunity to head over to The Bento Box to try out Sprios’ offerings.

Bento Box, 2246 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647, 773-278-3932

Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan loves food. A professionally trained chef, these days you’ll find him on the road talking up kids and cooking as Director of Yum-o! and keeping special projects running smoothly for Rach, all the while taking a bite here and a bite there as he samples and shares local flavor from across the country, from taco trucks to fancier finds. Follow Kappy on Twitter to see what’s On Kappy’s Plate!

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray