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News for Restaurants in Chicago
June 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

Among the flurry of June openings was Kobe-minded Ajasteak in the Dana Hotel & Spa. For those who don't have that kind of bank, there's always Wagyu, sushi and sashimi. Ajasteak, Dana Hotel & Spa, 660 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-202-6000.
 
French-trained, Mexico-born Carlos Gaytan is the man behind Mexique, where worlds collide with a crab mousse tamale cooked in banana leaves with clam-tomato sauce. Mexique, 1529 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 312-850-0288.
 
ENO---the chocolate, cheese and wine bar in the Intercontinental Chicago---has a new sibling at the just-revamped The Fairmont Chicago hotel. On offer are handmade truffles and bars from local chocolatiers (available by the piece or flight). As for the cheese selection, expect more than two-dozen artisanal choices (also served by the flight) from international small producers, including a number of Midwest-sourced varieties. ENO, The Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-946-7000.
 
Stay healthy (and feel good about doing it) at the Lincoln Park Zoo's new Café at Wild Things, a stand featuring all-organic, sustainable and locally-grown ingredients---not to mention environmentally friendly flatware, plates, napkins and cups made from compostable materials. Bites include smokehouse-rubbed organic sirloin of beef on a Kaiser onion roll and a sliced organic banana, honey and organic peanut butter panini. CafĂ© at Wild Things, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-742-2000.
 
C-House We checked out C-House, which just opened for dinner service after weeks in daytime soft-opening-mode. Marcus Samuelsson---cookbook author, TV host and owner of NYC's Aquavit (among others)---crafts a fine meat and seafood menu with beyond-the-norm highlights from the raw bar like sea urchin and abalone. The setting? Subtly maritime and totally chic. C-House, 166 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-787-6000.
 
Shochu Sip something new at just-opened Shochu, the buzzed about Asian small plates place from Deleece's Lynne Wallack (Josh Hansen is the chef). In addition to its namesake distilled spirit, which appears in cocktails and straight, there's blueberry teriyaki quail with quinoa spätzle. Shochu, 3313 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-348-3313.
 
If you're a fan of food on a stick, head to Skewerz, an island-inspired eatery serving cilantro-inflected shrimp with mango chili. Skewerz, 1560 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-276-9805.
 
Fast food has a conscience at the new Epic Burger, a South Loop spot with a short list of all-natural burgers, fries and sandwiches. Epic Burger, 517 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-913-1373.
 
Vegetarians will rejoice when MANA Food Bar opens. It's courtesy of Sushi Wabi and de cero's Susan Thompson and Jill Barron (de cero's executive chef). Thankfully, it'll veer away from ingredients like tofu and seitan in favor of creative, globally minded vegetable dishes. MANA Food Bar, 1742 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-342-1742.
 
Richard Melman's sons plan to open HUB 51, an all-over-the-map eatery with dishes crafted by Michael Bellovich.
 


News Bytes
James Beard Winners
Congratulations to the Chicago chefs who took home James Beard Foundation awards. Grant Achatz of Alinea was honored as Outstanding Chef and Carrie Nahabedian of Naha was named Outstanding Chef for the Great Lakes region. For more winners, including Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Restaurateur, check out our coverage here.
 
In the Loop
The old Carson's building is going to be put to good use: gourmet food store Fox & Obel and Chicago-based FlatTop Grill restaurant will take up residency on State Street sometime next summer.
 
Deal or a Steal?
Cafe Matou will kick off the season by offering a light-minded $23 three-course prix-fixe menu, Sunday through Thursday. Dishes range from linguine with mussels and red bell pepper jus to grilled French horn mushrooms with raw milk cheddar and lemon. Cafe Matou, 1846 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-384-8911.
 
Terrace Time
Conrad Chicago's The Terrace has reopened, serving bubble tea from its Bubble Bar as well as a tapas-like menu with duck confit spring rolls, mini crab cake burgers, Typhoon sushi platter, Vietnamese-style soft summer rolls, vegan samosas, cinnamon chip nachos, tea-infused panna cotta, crispy apple wontons and cheesecake flautas. The Terrace, Conrad Chicago, 521 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-377-0979.
 
Foie Pas
Among the biggest news of note this month is the fact that---two years after enacting the silly rule---Chicago's city council lifted the ban on foie gras. Needless to say, the vote of 37 to 6 means the super-rich goose or duck liver dish has already started popping up on menus, including at TRU and Sweets & Savories.
 

Chef Shuffle

Randy Zweiban has left his post at Nacional 27 with plans to open Province in the West Loop neighborhood (161 N. Jefferson St.) sometime this fall. The dishes will be American-bent with global influences. Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-664-2727.
 


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.

Check back soon for more news.

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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