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.
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.
Chef Stephanie Izard opened Duck Duck Goat, a Chinese restaurant in the West Loop. Dishes like crispy frog legs & potato, slap noodles, xiao long bao and goat belly lo mein are inspired by Izard's travels throughout Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Taiwan. Nate Meads oversees the restaurant’s pastry program with a Taiwanese-focused dessert menu. Duck Duck Goat, 857 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, 312-902-3825.
Chicago’s first mezcaleria, Mezcaleria Las Flores, opened in Logan Square. The agave-focused bar is helmed by former Rick Bayless chief mixologist Jay Schroeder. It’s located next door to Johnny’s Grill, where mezcaleria guests can order menu items. Schroeder also plans on hosting agave spirits seminars and tastings in the coming months. Mezcaleria Las Flores, 3149 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-278-2215.
Chef Noah Sandoval (Senza) opened Oriole in the West Loop, with his wife Cara and pastry chef Genie Kwon. The 28-seat restaurant serves a 15-course tasting menu, including dishes like Alaskan king crab with ras el hanout, beets and radishes; and Red Hawk with pretzel lavash, pear and Sauternes. Drink pairings include a mixed selection of cocktails, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Oriole, 661 W. Walnut St., Chicago, IL 60521, 312-877-5339.
Lettuce Entertain You has opened il Porcellino in the former Paris Club space. The rustic Italian menu focuses on house-made pastas, vegetable antipasti, focaccia pizzas and the signature dish, il Porcellino, with heritage Berkshire pork and wild Umbrian cicerchia beans. il Porcellino, 59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-595-0800.
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.
Clodagh and Amy Lawless, siblings of restaurateur Billy Lawless Jr. (The Gage, The Dawson), plan to open The Dearborn at the expanding Block 37 in summer 2016. The 8,000-square-foot American tavern will take up the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets with 225 seats. The Dearborn, Randolph & Dearborn Streets, Chicago, IL 60601, 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 from June through August 31, 2016. Ticketed reservations for dinner are selling out fast. Brunch and late night dining 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.
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.
ZED451 Debuts Happy Hour Menu
ZED451 debuted an all-new happy hour menu Monday-Friday from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Highlights include flatbreads, Moroccan chicken, tacos and more. ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-266-6691.
Dolce Italian Launches Brunch and Weekday Lunch Prix-Fixe
Dolce Italian in The Godfrey Hotel recently launched a weekend brunch service and an endless Bloody Mary/champagne Bubbles Package ($19), Saturdays and Sundays, from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., along with an Expresso prix-fixe lunch for budget-minded, quick workweek lunches. Dolce Italian, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, 127 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-754-0700.
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.
Chef de cuisine Kevin McCullen has left the kitchen at Band of Bohemia, the “culinary brewhouse” fromCraig Sindelar (Alinea) and Michael Carroll in the Ravenswood corridor. Band of Bohemia, 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, 773-271-4710.
Tête Charcuterie, a spot from Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski, has closed after two years in business. Tête Charcuterie, 1114 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, no phone.
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