Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

News for Restaurants in Chicago
December 2009 Archive

Search / Openings / Closings / Chef Shuffle / News Bytes / Culinary Events / Wine Dinners / Sign up for our free, monthly newsletter / News Archive

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

Who doesn't love a good cream puff? Judging from the popularity of Japan-based Beard Papa's, not many folks. Filled with custard-cream, they come in three standard flavors (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate), plus a changing flavor like green tea. Other treats include mochi and cheesecake as well as Illy coffee. Beard Papa’s, 108 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60602, 312-960-9000.
 
The Karen's Cooked concept has expanded with the opening of Karyn's on Green, a vegan restaurant serving imitations of beloved meat dishes, like fried "chicken." Karyn’s on Green, 130 S. Green St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-226-6155.
 
Authentic French fare is the focus at newly opened Bistro Bordeaux in Evanston, which comes from Bordeaux native Pascal Berthoumieux. Frank Mnuk (ex-NoMI, Thomas Keller's Bouchon) is in the kitchen, prepping local, sustainably driven dishes. There's an affordable French wine list, too. Bistro Bordeaux, 618 Church St., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-424-1483.
 
Gibsons Steakhouse & Bar is going to open another outpost in Oak Brook on the outskirts of the mall. So, prepare to munch on massive lobster tails, Prime filets and martinis amidst a sea of suits. Gibsons Steakhouse & Bar, 2105 Spring Rd., Oak Brook, IL 60523, No phone yet.
 
Balsan and Ria have opened in the Elysian hotel. The former is casual, the latter is fancy-schmancy, global and dinner-oriented (as in gussied-up Peking duck for two). Ria, 11 E. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-880-4400.
 
Epic A new heavy hitter has hit River North: BLT Restaurant alum Stephen Wambach's Epic. The bi-level American eatery and lounge is dishing out spiced duck breast with kumquats and a foie gras crouton and Kobe rib-eyes. As if that's not enough, there's a former Charlie Trotter's and mk pastry chef in the house. Epic, 112 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-222-4940.
 


News Bytes
Gem of a Deal
Gemini Bistro has lowered the price of its three-course prix-fixe menu to $31 ($49 with wine). The thing is, diners won't suffer in the taste department with choices like roasted mushroom risotto with Parmigiano and white truffle oil and grilled hanger steak frites with maître d' butter, bordelaise and crispy frites. Gemini Bistro, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-525-2522.
 
Bait & Switch
"Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard, who has yet to open her highly anticipated restaurant, has changed its original name from Drunken Goat to Girl & the Goat. She's currently aiming for a spring 2010 opening. Girl & the Goat, 809-813 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60606, No phone yet.
 

Chef Shuffle

Kendal Duque (ex-Sepia) is going to consult at Paolo Acuña's Cuna, which is coming at the beginning of the year. In addition to developing its menu, he'll be in the kitchen cooking---at least for now. Paolo Acuña's Cuna will be at 1113 W. Belmont Ave., 312-224-8588.
 
Atwood Café's Heather Terhune is leaving after a decade of service to oversee the soon-to-open gastrolounge Sable Kitchen & Bar at Kimpton's Hotel Palomar Chicago. House-made sausages and pretzels will be on the menu---plus loads of dishes using local ingredients. Atwood Café, Hotel Burnham, 1 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602, 312-368-1900.
 
John Manion (Goose Island Brewery, Mas, Old Oak Tap) is now in the kitchen at Branch 27, and he has introduced a new menu, which includes tagliatelle with sweetbreads, house-made Jagerwurst and a cassoulet of lamb meatballs, braised pork belly and duck confit. Meanwhile, Goose Island has announced its replacement to fill Manion's void: Andrew Hroza, a certified cicerone (beer sommelier). Branch 27, 1371 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642, 312-850-2700.
 
Admittedly, we weren't huge fans of Eivissa---chef Dudley Nieto's Spanish experiment---when it opened. He has since returned to San Gabriel Mexican Cafe in Bannockburn, and Jorge Miranda (Adobo Grill) is in the kitchen whipping up Ibiza-inspired dishes. Eivissa, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-654-9500.
 
Given how quiet things were after his near-win on "Top Chef" season three, you might have forgotten about Dale Levitski (La Tache, Trio). But he's back, and he's upping the ante at Sprout, Lincoln Park's French-American hybrid that already has seen its share of changes. Sprout, 1417 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-348-0706.
 


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.

After less than a year in business, Michael Lachowicz's Wally & Agador's Gourmet Café has closed. Wally & Agador’s Gourmet Café, 3310 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657, no phone.
 
It's hard to believe---and certainly sad to see go---but 30-year institution Healthy Lithuanian has closed up shop. Healthy Lithuanian, 3236 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60608, no phone.
 
Despite being super-sleek, Bluprint in the Merchandise Mart has closed its doors, citing its location as a major challenge. Bluprint, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654, 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.

View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Chicago

 

View archived news: November 2017 | September 2017 | August 2017 | July 2017 | June 2017 | May 2017 | April 2017 | March 2017 | February 2017 | November 2016 | October 2016 | September 2016 | August 2016 | July 2016 | June 2016 | May 2016 | April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008

AMERICA'S TOP RESTAURANTS

Discover the best female chefs, top pizzerias and stellar seafood restaurants with GAYOT's Top 10 lists of the best restaurants in America.

MASTERS OF MIXOLOGYDiscover craft cocktail bars and restaurants that put as much thought into what goes in your glass as what goes on your plate.