Chef Shin Thompson has opened an expanded version of his ramen shop, Furious Spoon. The second outpost features a limited menu of beer and cocktails, plus late-night eats like duck ramen and veal and mushroom gyoza. Additional locations in Pilsen and The Loop are also in the works. Furious Spoon, 2410 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 , 773-770-3559.
Clodagh and Amy Lawless, siblings of restaurateur Billy Lawless Jr. (The Gage, The Dawson), have opened The Dearborn at the expanding Block 37. The 8,000-square-foot American tavern takes up the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets with 225 seats. The Dearborn, 145 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-384-1242.
Boka Restaurant Group will open GT Prime, a meat-centric sister restaurant to GT Fish & Oyster. GT Prime, 707 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654, no phone.
El Che Bar has opened in the West Loop. Chef John Manion highlights wood-fired cuisine. Look for grilled vegetable, seafood and meat dishes. The same elements of fire and smoke used on the savory side are also seen in the desserts and cocktails. El Che Bar, 845 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-265-1130.
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.
Chef Grant Achatz (Alinea, Next Restaurant) and Nick Kokonas have opened a new restaurant called Roister in the former iNG space adjacent to Next in Chicago. Andrew Brochu and his team present "rustic though refined" food in a space with no distinction between the kitchen and the dining room. Roister, 951 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, no phone.
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
Sepia owner Emmanuel Nony and chef Andrew Zimmerman are planning to open a new restaurant in 2016. The name has not yet been announced. Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-441-1920.
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.
Cantina 1910 (5025 N. Clark St., Chicago) has closed. The restaurant offered contemporary Mexican cuisine and craft cocktails in Andersonville.
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.