Lou Malnati’s Marc Malnati and Kamehachi owner Giulia Sindler have opened Buzz Bait Taqueria, a 30-seat, fast-casual fish taco and beer concept in Old Town. Lunch & Dinner daily. Buzz Bait Taqueria, 1529 North Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-111-2222.
Gene & Georgetti, one of Chicago's first steakhouses since 1941, has opened a second location in Rosemont, featuring 260 seats and an expanded private events venue. Naturally, all the classics will be served. Gene & Georgetti, 9421 W. Higgins Rd., Rosemont, IL 60018, 847-653-3300.
Frontera Grill-trained Anselmo Ramírez opened the 45-seat Ixcateco Grill in Albany Park, serving wood-grilled entrees like carne asada and lomo de puerco as well as vegetarian options, such as squash stuffed with seasonal vegetables and yellow mole, all in a brightly colored dining room. Ixcateco Grill, 3402 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-539-5887.
Chef Shin Thompson will open an expanded version of his Logan Square ramen shop, Furious Spoon, this winter. The second outpost will feature a rooftop bar with 80-100 seats and a limited menu of beer, cocktails and yakitori skewers cooked on a charcoal grill. Furious Spoon, 2410 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 , no phone.
The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet will open this fall in a 7,000-square-foot building in the West Loop as a modern-day wine bar with craft beer, cocktails and a small plates menu.
Earls Kitchen + Bar is scheduled to open this fall and will join the other five U.S. and 58 Canadian locations. The super-eclectic, global menu combines sushi, curry, burgers, fish tacos and more. Earls Kitchen + Bar, 1538 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60642, no phone.
North Center is now home to colorful, lively Via Lima, an authentic Peruvian restaurant with ceviche and other classics, like rotisserie chicken and lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with soy sauce). Via Lima, 4024 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-348-4900.
AMK Kitchen Bar in Bucktown focuses on elevated pub food (grilled chicken with habanero sauce and blue cheese, duck-fat-crust pot pie) and craft cocktails, all in an energetic space with late-night dining options. AMK Kitchen Bar, 1954 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-276-4400.
The General Restaurant & Mercantile in Logan Square sources foods from the Midwest for a menu mixing Southern comfort and Mexican. That means dishes such as slow-roasted Amish chicken and pork belly tacos with collard greens, Southern-spiced aioli and avocado. The General Restaurant & Mercantile, 2528 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-698-8754.
Now open in Lincoln Park, de Quay combines Dutch and Indonesian cuisine, resulting in dishes like fried rice with sambal and grilled pork chop with Gouda mashed potatoes. de Quay, 2470 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 872-206-8820.
The Siena Tavern owners have opened Prime & Provisions, a sleek, 12,000-square-foot steakhouse serving dry-aged steaks and other updated classics in a luxe setting, with marble bars and a patio for cigars. Prime & Provisions, 222 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-726-7777.
Bernie’s Lunch & Supper has opened in River North, with a modern supper club-like menu inspired by Mediterrean cuisine and seasonal vegetables and an expansive, 80-seat rooftop to enjoy it on. Dishes include beef tartare, bass crudo, wood-oven pizzas, sandwiches and larger plates like pork shoulder confit and belly for sharing. Bernie's Lunch & Supper, 660 N. Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-624-9892.
Chef Arun Sampanthavivat opened Taste of Thai Town in Albany Park as a more casual outpost of his original fine-dining establishment, Arun’s. Lunch & Dinner daily. Taste of Thai Town, 4461 N. Pulaski Ave., Chicago, IL 60630, 773-299-7888.
The brains behind the Radler have opened DAS in Logan Square, with a menu of kebab sandwiches and other crave-worthy street food. DAS, 2375 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-276-0270.
Brendan Sodikoff has opened Small Cheval, the second outpost of Au Cheval on Randolph. The new Bucktown location offers the restaurant’s acclaimed burgers in a counter-service, more casual setting with a 100-seat patio. Small Cheval, 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, no phone.
The owners of Dusek’s and Punch House have opened Tack Room, a piano bar with upscale bar food. That includes Slagel Family Farm beef burgers and roasted chili churros. It's part of the latest expansion at Thalia Hall, a historic landmark in Pilsen. Dinner nightly. Tack Room, 1227 W. 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608, 312-526-3851.
After a successful soft opening, The Windsor is now fully open in Streeterville in the former Elephant & Castle space. Just three months after opening Remington’s, Four Star Hospitality Group (Dunlays, Smoque Daddy) brings neighborhood-style service and menu developed by chef Todd Stein, with craveable dishes like slow cooked pork belly and boozy milkshakes. Lunch and Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun. The Windsor, 160 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-943-7777.
Restaurateur Brad Parker opened The Hampton Social in River North, serving up coastal cuisine like Maryland crab cakes, mussels and raw seafood paired with summer-themed craft cocktails in a 7,000 square-foot, 300-seat marine-like setting. The Hampton Social, 353 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-464-0500.
Mara Baer and Manuel Moreno will open The Spanish Square, a European marketplace and restaurant, in Lakeview this summer. While the market will sell jamón Ibérico, cheeses, wine and other specialty items, the restaurant’s menu will focus on inventive tapas.
Dolce Italian has opened at The Godfrey Hotel, featuring a seasonally focused, authentic Italian menu developed by Bravo TV’s "Best New Restaurant" winner, chef Paolo Dorigato. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Dolce Italian, 127 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-754-0700.
Chef Michael Taus is behind Taus Authentic Food & Drink in Wicker Park. A ricotta tart or braised octopus with chorizo and cannellini beans may precede lobster with oxtail ravioli or the lamb T-bones, eggplant gâteau and Brussels sprouts. Taus Authentic Food & Drink, 1846 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, 312-561-4500.
Cruz Blanca will be the latest project from chef Rick Bayless (Topolobampo, XOCO, Frontera Grill). This brewery will include a tasting room, a growler program and food service. Cruz Blanca, 900 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, no phone.
"Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Little Goat Diner) will open a Chinese restaurant called Duck Duck Goat. The opening is tentatively scheduled for late 2015. Duck Duck Goat, 857 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, no phone.
Boka Restaurant Group will open GT Prime, a meat-centric sister restaurant to GT Fish & Oyster. Look for an early 2016 debut. GT Prime, 707 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654, no phone.
Chef Grant Achatz (Alinea, Next Restaurant) will open a new restaurant called Roister in the former iNG space adjacent to Next. Roister, 951 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, no phone.
What’s Next at Next
Chef Grant Achatz has announced the upcoming menus for Next Restaurant. "Terroir" will be offered September 12-December 31, 2015, for $295-$355 per person, inclusive of all wine and food. Next Restaurant, 953 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-226-0858.
New Specials at The Izakaya at Momotaro and Nellcôte
Since the passing of the Happy Hour bill in Illinois, many restaurants have introduced specials around the 5 p.m., after-work time, including two in the West Loop neighborhood. The Izakaya at Momotaro, 820 W. Lake St., offers two courses for $19 or three for $23, including corned Wagyu beef tongue and simmering Asari clams. The price includes a Tiger beer and a flavored shochu shot. Nellcôte, 833 W. Randolph St., offers any pizza (margherita, lamb merguez) and domestic beer for $10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wed.-Sun.
State & Lake Chicago Tavern Serves Up Fried Chicken on Weekends
State & Lake Chicago Tavern at theWIT Hotel offers its popular fried chicken every Saturday and Sunday with live country music starting at 1 p.m. on Sundays. “Fried Chicken Frenzy” features buckets of crispy fried chicken, house-made biscuits and select growlers. State & Lake Chicago Tavern, 201 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-239-9400.
Lunch Service Starts at Bohemian House
Bohemian House is now open for lunch weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Expect offerings such as smoked beef tongue on rye, an open-faced schnitzel sandwich and chicken paprikash. Bohemian House, 11 W. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-955-0439.
Café Spiaggia Gets a Revamp
James Beard Award-winner chef Tony Mantuano revealed Café Spiaggia’s modern new look and revamped menu, including new desserts from pastry chef Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc. After a seven-week renovation, the cafe reopened on July 16, 2015, sporting sleek light fixtures, marble café tables, black chairs, white leather banquettes and brass fixtures. Café Spiaggia, One Magnificent Mile Building, 980 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-280-2750.
Two New Sauces from Hamachi Sushi Bar
Hamachi Sushi Bar has added two new sauces to its roster: Sweet Soy Sauce and Green Goddess Sauce. They join the line of condiments that includes Spicy Mayo, Honey Wasabi Mayo and Orange Ginger Dressing. The sauces are available at Jewel-Osco on Howard, Kol Tuv and Hungarian Kosher Foods. Hamachi Sushi Bar, 2801 W. Howard St. Chicago, IL 60645 773-293-6904.
Craig Degel has taken over the kitchen at Ceres’ Table, replacing original chef Giuseppe Scurato, who will stay on board as a consulting chef.
Aaron Mooney has left Webster’s Wine Bar. Webster's Wine Bar, 2601 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-292-9463.
White Oak Tavern & Inn said goodbye to opening chef John Asbaty. Sous chef Scott Weisner will now helm the kitchen. White Oak Tavern & Inn, 1200 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-248-0200.
Oak + Char sous chef David Wang took over the executive chef position replacing Joseph Heppe. Oak + Char, 217 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-643-2427.
Lula Cafe announced Sarah Rinkavage as the new chef de cuisine, after she spent five years with the restaurant. Kelly Helgesen is the new pastry chef. Lunch & Dinner Wed.-Mon. Lula Cafe, 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-489-9554.
GT Fish & Oyster has a new pastry chef: Andrea Bonitatibus. Her creations include a chocolate tart with candied hazelnuts, sugar cranberries, sage and cranberry sorbet; carrot cake with pineapple, coconut ice cream, orange cream cheese, coconut tuile and thyme; and Key lime pie with raspberry meringue, vanilla whip and gin & tonic sorbet. GT Fish & Oyster, 531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-929-3501.
Cyrano's Farm Kitchen has closed. Cyrano's Farm Kitchen, 546 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, no phone.
Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana, a rustic neighborhood Italian joint in Lakeview, has closed. Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana, 2901 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, no phone.
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