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News for Restaurants in Chicago
July 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

Enough with all the fast food in the Loop. Offering an alternative is soup and salad spot Freshii. You can design your own meal (rice bowl, soup, salad or wrap) with vegetables and sauces. Freshii, 311 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606, 312-435-0311.
 
More---the cupcake spot from Patty Rothman, with the help of Gale Gand (TRU) and Henry Adaniya (of the late Trio and Trio Atelier)---has been proofing for some time. It looks like it'll open in the next few weeks. The space will be confection inspired, so expect a nod in the form of chocolate-type hues. The menu will offer up over 30 cupcakes, both sweet and savory. Mmmm, corn, maple and bacon. More, One E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-951-0001.
 
Since Maiz owner Carlos Reyna couldn't take the Mexican street food staple to the avenues in Chicago, he opted to open Tamalli in Logan Square. Its namesake eats are cooked in banana leafs or cornhusks. Salads and more familiar selections round off the mostly carryout experience, which is augmented by fruit waters to wash everything down. Tamalli, 2459 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-276-1441.
 
Bill Kim (Le Lan) has finally opened highly anticipated Soul in west suburban Clarendon Hills. Serving regional American dishes with a comfort food bent, it smacks of a hit. And, it turns out, Kim has a lot of irons in the fire. He's planning to open Urban Belly (3053 N. California Ave.) with his wife, Yvonne, sometime in July. It'll emphasize noodles and serve a dumpling brunch on Sundays. Soul, 1 Walker Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514, 630-920-1999.
 
Texas de Brazil has opened its second meatery in the Chicagoland area, this one spanning two floors and sporting a glass-encased wine cellar equipped with an aerial wine "artist" who floats around procuring bottles. Expect the same gaucho-carved meats, delivered in ample doses, tableside. Oh, there's a great salad bar, too, which can be ordered on its own. Texas de Brazil, 51 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-670-1006.
 
Chicago isn't exactly a tropical locale, but a taste of the islands is in reach at two new Hawaiian barbecue spots: Big Ka Hoo Na Hawaiian BBQ and meat-on-a-stick-minded Skewerz. Big Ka Hoo Na Hawaiian BBQ, 822 Clark St., Evanston, 847-475-1234; Skewerz, 1560 N. Damen Ave., 773-276-9805.
 
Do you dig rock ‘n' roll? Like food? Then get ready for Blue 13, a soon-to-debut American restaurant with a tunes aesthetic, tattoo-esque décor and Chris Curren (ex-Zealous) at the helm. It'll open in the old Tony Rocco's space later this summer. Blue 13, 416 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-787-1400.
 


News Bytes
Game Day
Each Tuesday from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (with the exception of Cubs home night games), Harry Caray's Tavern is hosting Nintendo Wii Wars on its 123" HDTV. Each week, the venerable shrine to the Cubs will feature different games, prizes and celeb appearances. Participation is first come, first play. Drink specials include $3 Miller Lite bottles and $4 Captain Morgan cocktails. Harry Caray’s Tavern, 3551 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-327-7800.
 
Breathing New Life
Lettuce Entertain You concept Foodlife is undergoing a big renovation. Each of its 13 kiosks will be revamped. Among the changes, Chinese by Big Bowl is replacing Laser Noodles. Foodlife also is introducing new Sacred Grounds Bakery and Café on the mezzanine level of Water Tower Place. Changes are expected to be completed this fall. Foodlife, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-335-3663.
 
A New Record?
After weeks of opening its resort hotel-inspired Tree Top Room, P.J. Clark's has closed it---and its Lincoln Park location---for renovations. It's even stranger since the owners charged Eric Possa (Avenues, TRU and Spiaggia) with designing the modernized American menu. Tree Top Room, 1141 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, no phone available.
 
Times, A Changin’
In 2009, NoMI---along with the Park Hyatt Chicago---will undergo a renovation. So, too, will the menu. NoMI, Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-239-4030.
 
Chefs, Chefs, Everywhere
Rumors are swirling that Todd English and Gordon Ramsay are scouting out spaces for Chicago establishments. More to come.
 
Highly Seasoned
Chicago has another feather in its cap: native Stephanie Izard---of now-shuttered, foodie fave, Scylla---won the fourth season of "Top Chef." She's currently shopping for a space to open a new restaurant.
 

Chef Shuffle

No surprise here: Eric Aubriot (Aubriot, Tournesol, Fuse) already departed from Il Fiasco. Il Fiasco, 5101 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640, 773-769-9700.
 
NoMI NoMI has a new pastry chef---26-year-old Columbia-born Andrés Lara, who spent the last three years working at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark; El Bulli in Roses; and Restaurant Bagatelle in Oslo, Norway. He also spent time in Spain working with acclaimed pastry chef Albert Adria. NoMI, Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-239-4030.
 


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.

We're sad to hear this one: although it was barely a year old, East African Masala Yangu in Naperville has closed its restaurant. It will, however, continue to operate as a catering business. So much for spicing up that suburban town. Masala Yangu, 43 E. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540, no phone available.
 
My Pie in Lincoln Park (2417 N. Clark St.)---a pizza mainstay for over 30 years---has closed. Its Bucktown location, however, remains (2010 N. Damen Ave., 773-394-6900).
 
It came as a surprise to its fans, but Milk & Honey Bake Shop (1543 N. Damen Ave.)---the adjunct of Milk & Honey Café---has closed. Owner Carol Watson plans to morph it into Cipollina, a deli serving Italian sammies. Milk & Honey Café, 1920 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-395-9434.
 

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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