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Chicago Restaurant News

Brendan Sodikoff's Small Cheval in Bucktown is the second outpost of Au Cheval

Read about the openings, closings, chef shuffle, and special events in Chicago here. GAYOT's Restaurant News has the information you want on the local restaurants in Chicago.  

NEW RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO


Michael Jordan's Restauranthas extended its brand to Oak Brook, bringing elevated American fare to its first suburban location. Executive chef Craig Couper, who oversees the operation on the Magnificent Mile, delivers a menu representative of MJ's favorites, including a 23-ingredient chopped salad prepared tableside, Chilean sea bass and a pork tenderloin. The space pays homage to the icon with the largest private collection of career-spanning photographs to date. Michael Jordan's Restaurant, 1225 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523, 630-828-2932.
 
Proxi restaurant has opened in Chicago Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman and managing partner Emmanuel Nony are behind Proxi, inspired by street foods. The restaurant offers snacks, small plates, raw selections, entrées and large-format dishes such as Wagyu sirloin, coal-roasted oysters and raw tuna. Look for brasserie-influenced design — brass-framed mirrors, rustic planks — and remnants of the old Werner Printing Company, now Proxi's home. The modern American concept, from the same team who launched Sepia, adds to the culinary richness of Restaurant Row. Proxi, 565 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-441-1920.
 
Sal's Trattoria, from the team behind Butcher & The Burger, makes a home in West Lakeview. Chef/partner Allen Sternweiler focuses on antipasti, plus from-scratch linguine and clams, spaghetti and meatballs and pappardelle with mushrooms, artichokes, tomatoes and spinach. Entrées include chicken saltimbocca, trout piccata, beef tenderloin and more. Finish with an olive cake, tiramisu or gelato. Sal's Trattoria, 2834 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-857-1401.
 
Adding to just-opened Apogee lounge, Dana Hotel & Spa is again partnering with The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group on two food and beverage concepts to arrive mid-summer 2017: Portsmith, an upscale seafood spot; and Leviathan, a bar from Benjamin Schiller. The former will highlight dishes such as a foie donut, crispy octopus, and fried fish and waffles. Leviathan draws inspiration from the mythical sea monster, a theme that will be carried throughout with dark flavors, striking glassware and a dragon-scaled bar.
 
Chicagoans no longer have to make the trek to Lady Gregory's in Andersonville for traditional Irish fare. The beloved pub has launched an outpost on Wells Street, offering standards such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie and chicken curry to complement the full bar. Lady Gregory's, 1525 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-888-9368.
 
The Hollander welcomes H! Bar, a place for music, craft cocktails, local beer and more just a hop from Wicker Park's Six Corners. The hotel lounge officially opens on June 9 with a three-DJ session and early vinyl lineup curated by local label Closed Sessions. The cocktail menu favors classics such as the Negroni, Moscow Mule, Paloma and Old Fashioned. H! Bar, The Hollander, 2022 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 872-315-3080.
 
The District in Oakbrook Center adds DMK Restaurants' DMK Burger Bar to its haute food offerings that already include Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken and Porkchop BBQ. On the menu: 100 percent grass-fed beef burgers, veggie and turkey burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, hand-cut fries, house-made milkshakes and craft beer. DMK Burger Bar, The District in Oakbrook Center, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523, 630-573-0700.
 
Nutella Cafe has opened in Chicago Can a hazelnut spread sustain a standalone restaurant? On the Mag Mile it can. Swarms of Nutella fans lined up for the opening of America's first Nutella Cafe on Michigan Avenue on May 31. The all-day restaurant dishes up sandwiches, crêpes, gelato, baked goods and coffee drinks. Nutella Cafe, 189 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-729-5186.
 
Two French concepts — Margeaux Brasserie and Petit Margeaux — make their home in Waldorf Astoria Chicago, with chef-restaurateur Michael Mina as top toque and Brent Balika, formerly of The Dawson, as executive chef. The menu for the former favors Midwestern ingredients while staying true to French classics, and includes porclette cassoulet, escargot bordelaise and frog legs à la Trois Gros. Margeaux Brasserie & Petit Margeaux, Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 11 E. Walton Pl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-625-1324.
 
Korean-inspired fare gets the fast-casual treatment at KorFusion in Lincoln Park. With a name befitting its cuisine, this quick-service concept marries traditional Korean recipes with American and other influences. Belly up to the counter for customizable bao tacos, mandu (pot stickers), burritos, tacos, rice bowls, bibimbap, kimchi fried rice and jap chae (traditional Korean glass noodles). Communal dining, delivery and takeout are available. Lunch & Dinner daily. KorFusion, 1234 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60642, 312-929-3166.
 
Ogilvie commuters rejoice: There's a new, larger stall for your poke cravings inside the Chicago French Market. Aloha Poke quadruples the size of its former location to serve the fresh, made-to-order raw fish bowls for takeout or dine-in. This is one of four outposts, with more planned. Aloha Poke, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-285-2887.
 
River Northers head up to rooftop lounge Apogee at Dana Hotel & Spa for large format cocktails from the team at The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. The bar specializes in drinks for four to six guests. From the Panda Party (Blackstrap Rum, Cognac, lime, ginger and absinthe garnished with dehydrated citrus, pineapple leaves, orange powder, mint powder and sesame seeds) to the Surtur (Rye, a five-year-aged dark rum, Falernum, lime, grapefruit and Demerara syrup accented with Manhattan marshmallow), expect plenty of drama and flavor. Apogee, Dana Hotel & Spa, 2 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-202-6000.
 
Rooftop poolside lounge Cabana Club has launched at The Robey hotel in Wicker Park. Exuding a vacation vibe, the bar overlooks the Chicago skyline and the bustling Damen, North and Milwaukee cross streets below. Swimming is limited to hotel guests, but others can dine on small plates and drink Mexican-themed cocktails. Expect dishes such as tostadas with shrimp, tuna, octopus and chicken, and hand-held skewers and fresh vegetable crudité, plus white wine, rosé, and Mexican and local beer. Cabana Club, The Robey, 1616 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 872-315-3083.
 
No, there's no rabbit on the menu --- although that would be ironic. Filling a void on the west side of Division Street, Clever Rabbit focuses on fresh, seasonal vegetables and sustainable meat and seafood divided into four sections: salads, vegetables, plates and for the table. Fresh juices are the secret to house cocktails, including the salt-rimmed carrot margarita with sage. Clever Rabbit, 2015 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-697-8711.
 
The Talbott Hotel experienced a renovation, and welcomes 20 East to its ground floor. All-day dining is offered; look for sandwiches, large plates, specials and more. The bar features wine, craft beer and cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz with Aperol, lemon and Prosecco; and the Lillet Rosé Martini with vodka, Lillet Rosé, St-Germain and lemon. 20 East, The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-944-4970.
 

Find more recent openings with our list of the
Top 10 New & Notable Restaurants
and
round-up of all the NEW Restaurants in Chicago

CHICAGO RESTAURANT UPDATES

Blue Door Farm Stand Re-Opens
For casual, ultra-tasty grub, head to Blue Door Farm Stand, a spot dishing up cold-pressed juices, salads from just-plucked ingredients and sandwiches. The Lincoln Park restaurant has finally re-opened. Blue Door Farm Stand, 2010 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-935-2583.
 
Seven Lions Burger & Cocktail Inspired by Gauguin
Spend a day exploring Art Institute of Chicago’s "Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist" then hop over to Seven Lions for a meal inspired by the artist himself. The Gauguin Burger and Noa Noa cocktail riff off Gauguin's time in Tahiti, the former a single beef patty complemented by country pâté, pork belly, crispy plantains, grilled pineapple, and a coconut and red cabbage slaw. The drink combines dark rum, Tahitian vanilla-infused vodka and fruit served in a hurricane glass with a flower garnish. Seven Lions, 130 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-880-0130.
 
Element Collective Launches All-day Rosé Program
Element Collective has introduced an all-day rosé program at Nellcote (833 W. Randolph St., 312-432-0500), RM Champagne Salon (116 N. Green St., 312-243-1199) and Old Town Social (455 W. North Ave., 312-266-2277). The menu covers 11 new rosé wines at Nellcote and Old Town Social, and as many as 16 new varieties at RM Champagne Salon.
 
Celebrating Thai Flavors at Arun's
Arun's, a standard for Thai cuisine, introduces an immersive, educational experience via its Best of Thailand Monthly Dining Series. For two days each month starting June 21, 2017, diners can sample a themed, 10- to 12-course prix-fixe menu for $150 conceived by chef Arun Sampanthavivat, who has been at the helm for 32 years. The series follows this schedule: June 21-22, Regional Thai Cuisine; July 19-20, Vegetarian Thai; August 23-24, Marriage from Heaven, Wine and Food pairings; September 20-21, War of Thai Chili Dips; October 18-19, Thai Pasta; November 15-16, Thai Curry Night; December 13-14, Thai Comfort Food, Braised Better. Arun's, 4156 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-539-1909.
 



UPDATES ON CHICAGO CHEFS


Working directly with The Barn’s executive chef Nicole Pederson, new chef de cuisine Amanda Barnes arrives just in time to launch the restaurant’s updated menu, outdoor garden and expanded dinner service (nightly) starting in June. With a decade of experience, Barnes will roll out dishes including burrata di bufala with tomato toast, crab spaghetti and seared halibut filet. The garden seats 48. The Barn, 1016 Church St., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-868-8041.
 


CHICAGO RESTAURANT CLOSINGS


CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Chicago to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from yesteryear. The Dining Room, R.I.P.

Balena is closed due to fire damage Balena, located across from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Lincoln Park, is closed to repair damages from a fire in the building. Balena, 1633 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-867-3888 .
 
42 grams, the New American restaurant from chef-owner Jake Bickelhaupt, has closed. 42 grams, 4662 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640, No phone.
 
mk, the flagship restaurant of DMK Restaurants, closed at the end of service on Tuesday, June 13, due to a reported dispute with the landlord. Owners Michael Kornick and David Morton still operate concepts DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, Ada Street, Henry's, Rec Room, County BBQ (which will reopen in August following a fire) and Tavernonna, based in Kansas City. mk had an 18-year run in River North. mk, 868 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
Want to
learn to cook? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.

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RESTAURANT AWARDS 2016

Find out which restaurants and chefs top the list of GAYOT's 2016 Annual Restaurant Awards.

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