The team behind Peruvian restaurant Tanta has opened a 70-seat globally-influenced craft cocktail lounge, Arbella, just down the street. Arbella, 112 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-344-1673.
With a 10-barrel brewing system and an emphasis on malts, honey and botanicals from Chicago and surrounding areas, Cruz Blanca produces craft beers for all of Rick Bayless’ restaurants. A walk-up taqueria lets guests choose from options like flank tasajo, chorizo or portobello. Cruz Blanca, 900 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-1975.
SteakBar, the first collective concept from Four Corners Tavern Group and Hogsalt, slings tuna poke, burgers and meat and fish steaks to a rowdy Old Town crowd. With fully retractable, garage door-style windows spanning the entire façade of the building, as well as a 30-seat patio along Wells, you can soak up the sun while grabbing weekend brunch or stop by for nachos topped with BBQ brisket, avocado, sour cream and charred tomatillo salsa after a late night on the town. SteakBar, 1500 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 773-966-0404.
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, a Tokyo-based chain, opened its first Midwest location in Chicago. It’s an 85-seat full-service restaurant offering four different types of noodles in creamy pork broth or a vegetarian alternative. The izakaya side of the place serves Japanese-style bar food including pork gyoza, bao buns and chicken wings. Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-270-4150.
Bang Bang Pie Shop's second outpost, located in Ravenswood, serves an assortment of pies and biscuits similar to that offered at its original Logan Square shop. The new place is twice as big, with 34 seats, a bar, communal table and fireplace lounge. Bang Bang Pie Shop, 4947 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, 773-530-9020.
Leña Brava is Rick Bayless' live-fire cooking restaurant in the West Loop. Husband-and-wife team Fred and Lisa Despres helm the kitchen. Expect a raw bar and an expansive selection of mezcal. Leña Brava, 900 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-1975.
Imperial Lamian is Indonesia-based Imperial Group’s first restaurant in the U.S. Enjoy authentic Chinese noodles, dim sum and barbecue in an elegant, modern setting. Imperial Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-595-9440.
The Return of Alinea
Alinea has revealed a completely renovated restaurant and kitchen as well as new menus. The first-floor Gallery accommodates just 16 guests with a 16-18 course menu priced at $285-$345 per person. The second-floor Salon menu is priced at $175-$225 depending on the day of the week. The private dining Kitchen Table can host parties of six for $385 per person. Alinea, 1723 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-867-0110.
Extended Dates for Saved by the Max
Saved by the Max, a pop-up restaurant inspired by the teen sitcom "Saved by the Bell," has extended its run through 2016. Ticketed reservations for dinner are selling out fast. Late night dining and weekend "bag lunch" service are available for walk-ins exclusively. For more information, visit the official website
Chicago's James Beard Foundation Award Winners
The James Beard Foundation Awards took place on May 2, 2016, in Chicago. Alinea was recognized as Outstanding Restaurant, while Curtis Duffy of Grace was named Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Outdoor Dining at Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush’s patio café is open for the season. Both Rush and Bellevue streets offer covered seating with awnings and heaters. There are also four flat-screen televisions for watching games and other televised events. Tavern on Rush, 1031 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-664-9600.
Chef Stephen Wambach joins B. Hospitality Co. as the executive chef and partner at Formento's. His new menu will feature lighter, brighter flavors of Southern Italy. Most recently, Wambach was the executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Formento's, 925 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-690-7295.
Embeya, the modern Asian fusion restaurant in the West Loop, has shuttered. Embeya, 564 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60661, no phone.
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Find out which restaurants and chefs top the list of GAYOT's 2016 Annual Restaurant Awards.