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News for Restaurants in Chicago
August 2008 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

Il Fiasco, which closed in July, is expected to re-emerge as Tapas Las Ramblas, a by-the-books small-plates spot that won't stray from the norm. Tapas Las Ramblas, 5101 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640, 773-769-9700.
 
As a last semester requirement, students from Washburne Culinary Institute are operating African newcomer Sikia in Englewood, where dishes like berbere braised short ribs, peanut soup and black-eyed pea fritters with red pepper relish sound mighty fine. Sikia, 740 W. 63rd St., Chicago, IL 60621, 773-602-5200.
 
Get your pasta fix in a flash with the opening of Bionda To Go in the Financial District, an offshoot of Café Bionda. On the menu: a meatball sandwich and plenty of salads and pastas. Bionda To Go, 400 S. Financial Pl., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-435-0400.
 
Jimmy Sneed (The Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, Virginia) plans to open SugarToad, a regional American restaurant in Naperville's eco-conscious Hotel Arista. SugarToad, Hotel Arista, Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Ln., Naperville, IL 60563, 630-778-8623.
 
Skip McDonald's and head to Marc Burger, the new joint from Marcus Samuelsson (C-House) in Macy's on State Street. You'll be rewarded with a smoked paprika-seasoned BBQ burger with applewood bacon and a grilled chicken sandwich topped with avocado sauce. It rubs elbows with fellow food-courters Noodles by Takashi, Rick Bayless' Frontera Fresco and LaBrea Bakery. Marc Burger, Macy's, 111 N. State St., 7th Fl., Chicago, IL 60602, 312-781-4884.
 
Bleeding Heart Bakery's Michelle Garcia just opened organic Chaos Theory Cakes and Confections bakery, serving everything from cupcakes and cream puffs to gussied-up carrot cake. Chaos Theory Cakes and Confections, 2961 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-281-2353.
 
Bucktown is abuzz about the opening of Duchamp, in the one-time home of Meritage and from Michael Taus (Zealous' chef and owner) and the folks behind Lumen. The globally tinged American menu ranges from familiar (steak and eggs) to exciting (mini braised duck rillette tartines). The best part? Everything is under $20. Duchamp, 2118 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-235-6434.
 
Rock-themed Blue 13 has opened in the old Tony Rocco's space in River North with a seasonally minded menu from chef and co-owner Chris Curren (ex-Zealous). Look for lobster pizza and orange-glazed opah. There's a late-night menu, too, and a brunch that goes until 7 p.m. (You probably gathered it caters heavily to an industry crowd.) Blue 13, 416 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-787-1400.
 
Get enlightened at Nirvana Wine & Grillerie, a Vernon Hills newcomer that focuses on international dishes, many---not surprisingly---grilled, with plenty of veggie and vegan selections thrown in for good measure. Finds include a ham and apple panino and curried pasta. The brightly colored space also sells wine retail. Nirvana Wine & Grillerie, 701 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, IL 60061, 847-918-7828.
 
Ex-One sixtyblue general manager John Ross is behind The Bristol, a Bucktown bar and restaurant that'll open this fall. The man who will be wearing the toque is Chris Pandel (ex-TRU), who will craft affordable American food.
 
It seems like a lot of "healthy" fast food spots are opening up these days. In August, add the first of two Massachusetts' UFood Grills to the mix. It's the first location in the Midwest, and it will focus on baked, grilled and steamed eats with whole-grain brown rice, plentiful organic ingredients and light condiments. UFood Grills, 200 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60606, 312-922-1200.
 
Billy Dec, Brad Young and Arturo Gomez (Rockit Bar & Grill, The Underground) plan to open Asian spot Sunda---named for Southeast Asia's Sunda Shelf---in River North this fall. Sunda, 110 W. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60610, no phone available.
 
a burger from The Counter California burger chain The Counter will open its first Chicago area location in September with plans for many more. Here's the shtick: the humanely raised Angus patties are hand-packed (turkey, veggie and grilled chicken are options, too). Almost a dozen cheeses, oodles of toppings, a choice of three bun-types and 18 sauces complete the experience. Sound like a lot of options? It is. According to the company, it adds up to 312,000 possibilities. The Counter, 666 W. Diversey Pkwy., Chicago, IL 60614, no phone available.
 
Tango Sur---that beloved Argentinean spot---will open a second installment next month, complete with outdoor seating and live music. Tango Sur, 2100 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, no phone available.
 
Next spring, Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Frontera Fresco) will open a tortería outfitted with a wood-burning oven, where he'll churn out quick-serve Mexican sandwiches as well as house-made ice creams, tortas and churros.
 
The countdown is on for Duchamp, Michael Taus' (Zealous) new spot in the former Meritage space. The cuisine will be varied---from Mediterranean to French and Asian in scope---and there will be grub that's grilled outdoors on Sundays. Duchamp, 2118 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, no phone available.
 
There's a nostalgia factor, for sure, but the Dairy Queen/Orange Julius combo that opened in Bucktown also has an upper-level deck, HVAC and a walk-up carryout window. Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, 1649 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-235-3800.
 
Madame Tartine now holds court in the one-time home of gastropub BB's. Jonathan Foster (ex-Savarin and The Drawing Room at Le Passage) is in the kitchen, and the venture comes from BB's Jack Binyon and Donnie Kruse as well as Jonathan Segal (P.J. Clarke's). Not surprisingly, tartines take center stage, but you'll also encounter the likes of herbes de Provence-spiked, roasted chicken. Madame Tartine, 22 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-755-0007.
 
DIY enthusiasts will groove on newcomer iCream, a soon-to-open Wicker Park place where you can customize made-to-order ice cream (liquid nitrogen is employed), plus there's fro-yo, sorbet and hot pudding. iCream, 1537 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-342-2834.
 
Dudley Nieto (Adobo Grill, Zocalo Mexican Grill & Tequileria, among others) will emerge in the Old Town kitchen of Eivissa, a Catalonian-type pintxo place that's expected to open in August. Eivissa, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-929-2951.
 
waffles from Baladoche Now there's another location of Baladoché to satiate zücker waffle cravings. The pearl sugar-backed, Brussels-style waffles can get topped with cinnamon-sugar or Nutella and can be grabbed from the carryout window (although this location has more seating than its sib). BaladochĂ©, 1217 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL 60660, 773-761-8810.
 
Paul Kahan's new venture has a name. The Publican---a sib to Blackbird and Avec Restaurant & Wine Bar---should arrive late summer and will be located at 845 W. Fulton Market, featuring tons of beer and pork.
 


News Bytes
The Secret is Out
Word has gotten out: Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec Restaurant & Wine Bar) plans to call his new beer, fish and pork-centric spot The Publican. The opening date has been all over the map, but a mid-September date is anticipated. Good news, since we can't wait to try the crisp pork belly with country terrine. The Publican, 845 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, 312-715-0708.
 
Star Power
Emmy-winning chef Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger) just finished filming episodes of "Simply Ming" in the home kitchens of Shawn McClain, Gale Gand and Rick Tramonto. Blue Ginger, 583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482, 781-283-5790.
 
Not Forgotten
Abby Mandel Meyer, food columnist and founder of the 10-year-old Green City Market, died at the age of 75 after battling mantle cell lymphoma.
 
Bravo for Bagels
Those who longed for The Bagel Restaurant & Deli's return got their wish this month when it reopened. The Bagel Restaurant & Deli, 3107 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657, 773-477-0300.
 
Old, But Not Forgotten
Oak Tree restaurant has closed for a few months to update the space, though the all-day breakfast and sandwich-centric menu will remain. That said, there will be a greater emphasis on healthy dishes, plus house-made breads. Look for an early October re-opening. Oak Tree, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-751-1988.
 

Chef Shuffle

Martial Noguier is leaving his post at One sixtyblue in early September and will head up the kitchen at Café des Architectes. CafĂ© des Architectes, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-324-4000.
 
John Manion (Mas) is now consulting in the kitchen at newcomer Old Oak Tap, where he'll craft bar bites to the tunes of indie rock. Old Oak Tap, 2109 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-772-0406.
 
Paul Wildermuth (ex-Opera, Marché, Red Light) emerged at Briarwood Country Club. Briarwood Country Club, Briarwood Country Club, 355 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield, IL 60015, 847-945-2660.
 
Douglas Rodriguez's DeLaCosta filed for Chapter 11 in an effort to pay down debt, while swearing the focus in the kitchen will remain intact. Sous chef Randall Jacobs, amidst it all, was promoted to executive chef. DeLaCosta, River East Art Ctr., 465 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-464-1700.
 
Cindy Schuman (formerly of Kevin) is now handling Sepia's desserts. Mmmmm, brown sugar biscuits with lemon ginger curd and blueberry compote are calling us. Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-441-1920.
 


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.

Yikes. Robert LaPata, owner of Omaggio, La Petite Amelia and Über Bürger closed his trio of Evanston restaurants simultaneously in July.
 
Redfish, the Cajun restaurant in River North (400 N. State St.), is closed.
 

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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