Seven Lions is a contemporary American restaurant from proprietor Alpana Singh. Executive chef Chris Curren offers a menu of modern interpretations of clubhouse fare, including lobster Cobb salad, lamb ribs, chicken and duck club sandwich and citrus-braised pork shank. Seven Lions, 130 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-880-0130.
Takito’s Mario Ponce and Anshul Mangal have opened counter-service ramen spot Furious Spoon, with Shin Thompson (Bonsoiree, Kabocha) in the kitchen. Thompson makes the noodles in-house, using a machine he brought back from Japan. Expect a handful of varieties, along with saké and beer. Furious Spoon, 1571 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-687-8445.
“Top Chef” contestant Spike Mendelsohn (also of "Midnight Feast”) has opened an offshoot of Good Stuff Eatery at 22 S. Wabash Ave. in the Loop. Good Stuff Eatery, 22 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-854-3027.
Intro is the new restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in the former space of L2O. The concept features guest chefs in stints of two or three months. First up is "Top Chef" alum CJ Jacobson (Girasol), who is in residence until the end of April 2015. Intro, The Belden Stratford, 2300 N. Lincoln Park W., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-868-0002.
The team at B. Hospitality Co. has opened Formento's in the West Loop. Chef/partner Tony Quartaro presents an Italian-American menu complemented by a wine list curated by Steven Morgan. Formento's, 925 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-690-7295.
New York-based Shake Shack has opened its first branch in River North in Chicago. Along with burgers, Vienna Beef hot dogs and crinkle cut fries, there are "concretes" (frozen custard) blended with ingredients from local companies Glazed and Infused Doughnuts and Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. Shake Shack, 66 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-667-1701.
For a new modern American option, check out Evanston’s Boltwood, a farm-to-table spot from Brian Huston (ex-The Publican), showcasing everything from pristine oysters to aged sirloin with winter squash, black garlic and caperberry gremolata, and roasted pears with orange cake, figs and toasted almond ice cream. Expect interesting, but unfussy, sips to go with. Boltwood, 804 Davis St., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-859-2880.
Chef Homaro Cantu (iNG, Moto) has opened Berrista, a coffeehouse in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. While specifics have been fairly limited, the "miracle berry" is expected to be featured, along with donuts, sodas and chicken on a cheddar-bacon waffle with maple mustard. Berrista, 4219 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60641, no phone.
For an updated take on Italian, give Billy Lawless' (The Gage) Acanto a whirl. Situated in the former Henri spot, you can bet something sustaining is on hand, whether you settle on suckling pig or creamy duck egg spaghetti with spicy ground pork, pearl onions and rapini, all courtesy of Chris Gawronski. Acanto, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-578-0763.
Boka Restaurant Group (Girl & The Goat, GT Fish & Oyster) has opened Momotaro, a three-story Japanese joint in a former warehouse in the West Loop. D.C. transplant Mark Hellyar (Citronelle, Nora, and Blue Duck Tavern) handles the kitchen concoctions, while Jeff Ramsey (Tapas Molecular Bar in Tokyo) tackles the sushi. Momotaro, 820 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-4818.
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.
What’s Next at Next
Chef Grant Achatz has announced the upcoming menus for Next Restaurant. "Bistro" is taking place January 9-May 10, 2015, for $80-$120 per person; "Tapas" will be the theme May 16-September 6, 2015, for $70-$110 per person; and "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.
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.
Craig Couper has been promoted to executive chef at Michael Jordan's Steak House. Michael Jordan’s Steak House, InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-321-8823.
The seafood-centric restaurant L2O closed its doors after service on December 31, 2014. It has been replaced by Intro, a new concept from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. L2O, The Belden Stratford, 2300 N. Lincoln Park W., Chicago, IL 60614, no phone.
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