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News for Restaurants in Chicago
April 2009 Archive

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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.  

CHICAGO RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Italian coffee anyone? Check out Cafe Wha Who?, a hang-out-worthy place in River North, where board games and magazines---not to mention by-the-glass wines---help pass the time. Cafe Wha Who?, 228 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-475-1820.
 
Bleeding Heart Bakery is behind buzzed-about Smash Cake, a child-friendly (and very cool-looking) spot with organic sweets and served-by-the-slice cakes. Catering to the short set, there will be story hour on weekends. Smash Cake, 2961 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-281-2353.
 
There's another cupcake spot in the works (if you find it's getting a bit hard to keep track of all of them, you're not alone: we feel your pain). Phoebe's Cupcakes---from pastry pros Phoebe Walters and Kate McNamara---will offer a rotating selection of over 200 kinds as well as fair trade coffee from The Coffee & Tea Exchange. Phoebe's Cupcakes, 3327 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-868-4000.
 
The sugar hits keep coming. Next up is Luscious Layers Bakery, an impressive spot you'd hardly notice unless you're in the know. From a husband-wife graphic designer-artist team, it's roomy and geared heavily toward brides in search of custom-made cakes. (They're made from computer-generated images.) But we like it for the changing, tasty array of cupcakes, which are displayed in the case to the right of the shop and only cost a buck. Luscious Layers Bakery, 2315 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-661-1335.
 
There's a tentative name for Jerry Kleiner's soon-to-open restaurant in west suburban Hinsdale: Il Poggiolo. He's opening the place, which is expected---finally---in mid-May, with local business owner Peter Burdi. Il Poggiolo, 8 E. First St., Hinsdale, IL 60521, 630-734-9400.
 
He opened Bolat on Clark (which is temporarily shuttered due to a fire); now, Emmanuel Abidemi is preparing to roll out the red carpet at West African Iyanzé in Uptown, where saucy, spice-laden Jollof rice and grilled fish will draw diners in search of authentic fare. Just be prepared for the cafeteria-style approach. Iyanzé, 4623 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640, 773-944-1417.
 
Fans of Italian cuisine will soon have another spot to choose from with the opening of Salute, a wine bar serving dishes (thanks to Rosebud vet James Caputo) from Italy's many regions. Among the highlights: tramezzi, toasty sammies stuffed with imported meats and cheeses. Salute, 46 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-664-0100.
 


News Bytes
Back to Basics at Between Boutique Café & Lounge
Between Boutique Café & Lounge has launched a Back-to-Basics Sunday Brunch. Dishes include duck confit eggs Benedict, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, and ginger pancakes with apple compote and cinnamon maple syrup. Between Boutique Café & Lounge, 1324 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-292-0585.
 
Sunday Suppers at Blue 13
Chef Chris Curren is offering family-style Sunday Suppers for $20 per person at his River North restaurant Blue 13. The menu will change every Sunday, but a sample menu might feature apple glazed pork loin; spicy au gratin potatoes; Brussels sprouts with bacon; corn and manchego ravioli; a mixed green salad; and blueberry claufuti for dessert. There will be one seating at 7 p.m., so reservations are recommended. Blue 13, 416 W. Ontario, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-787-1400.
 
A Busy Man
Jerry Kleiner (Carnivale, Red Light, Marche) has a trio of projects in the works, starting with old Room 21, which just re-opened as Via Ventuto with Jim Kilberg (Coco Pazzo Café, Bice Ristorante, Gioco) as chef. There, you'll be faced with choices like handmade chitarra and pancetta cauliflower-filled capellacci. In April, his highly anticipated Italian restaurant in Hinsdale is expected to open, while his Old Town American eatery with Daniel Kelly (Tramonto's Steak & Seafood, D. Kelly) is expected to open on its coattails.
 
Building Excitement
Grant Achatz (Alinea) has been all over Twitter these days. Recently, he announced he was looking for a new space in the Lincoln Park and/or possibly the Bucktown neighborhood. No word on what, if anything, will come out of it. Alinea, 1723 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-867-0110.
 

Chef Shuffle

Mark Hannon, Quince's exec chef, is leaving for Australia. But there's a silver lining: adjunct lounge, Q2, just opened. Quince, Homestead Hotel, 1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-570-8400.
 
Marc Stein, the former chef at Hinsdale's Zak's Place, is out. Yamandu Perez will take over the menu; expect it to be more seasonally minded, though the emphasis still will be on seafood and steak. Zak’s Place, 112 S. Washington St., Hinsdale, IL 60521, 630-323-9257.
 
Here's an unlikely one: Jim August (ex-Café le Coq) is now at Wrigleyville's newish Stretch Bar & Grill. Instead of steak frites-type fare he's focusing on Thai ginger BBQ wings and the like. Huh. Stretch Bar & Grill, 3485 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-755-3980.
 
Tomboy chef and partner Linda Raydl has popped up in the kitchen at Oak Park's Briejo. Briejo, 211 Harrison St., Oak Park, IL 60304, 708-848-2743.
 


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.

Longtime Italian restaurant Club Lago is closed for now but expected to reopen this summer after a boiler in the adjacent building exploded and caused damage. Club Lago, 331 W. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-337-9444.
 

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.

View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Chicago

 

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