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News for Restaurants in Chicago
June 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

There's something exciting going on along the North Shore, and it's called Inovasi. Now officially open, it's the brainchild of John des Rosiers (ex-Gabriel's). Adding to the allure, the kitchen goes the extra mile by having custom-grown veggies and locally sourced meat. Here's a taste: braised, smoked Dugan Farms suckling pig, marinated with grains of paradise, Carolina Gold rice, pistachios and scallions; and wild black bass cevicheria with Peruvian lime juice, tomato, sweet corn, fresh basil and fried semolina pasta strips for crunch. There's a smart kids' menu, too. Inovasi, 28 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff, IL 60044, 847-295-1000.
 
We like the sound of the organic eats at Browntrout, the just-opened modern American spot from Sean Sanders. In a bite, there's a trio of peas---shoots, tendrils and warm English---with house-made ricotta and orange vinaigrette; a small plate of merguez sausage with warm lentils, arugula, dried tomato and picholine olives in lamb jus; and pan-seared pike with salsify root, morel mushrooms, haricots verts, pea sprouts and salsa verde.  Browntrout, 4111 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60613, 773-472-4111.
 
Everyone, understandably, is talking about Nightwood, the Pilsen newbie from the Lula Café crew. The rustic space sports an open kitchen, and the super-seasonal menu offers up choices like orecchiette with cured trout belly, porcini, shallot and chili; a corned beef and pâté sandwich with mustard slaw; and radish and ricotta agnolotti with chard and butter. Nightwood, 2119 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60608, 312-526-3385.
 
Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) has just opened Terzo Piano, a modern Italian lunch spot in the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. There's a cheese cave and dishes like crispy fried lake perch with arugula, coriander and caper berries as well as a soft shell crab sandwich and handmade pasta. Dinner is served a few nights a week, and it's possible to dine here without paying admission. Terzo Piano, 159 E. Monroe Dr., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-443-8650.
 
Remember Heat? Lan's Old Town---a Chinese BYO---has opened in the space. It's serving MSG-free takes on Mandarin, Szechuan and dim sum classics in a minimalist setting. Lan’s Old Town, 1507 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-255-9888.
 
There's a down-home feel to Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, a newly opened place from Tonya Pyatt (Webster's Wine Bar) and Pops for Champagne, Goose Island and HotChocolate pros, who were involved to varying degrees. Emphasizing craft beer and boutique wine in equal measure, it's chef Remy Ayesh (ex-Spiaggia) that is behind the ambitious menu, which includes a selection of domestic cheeses with house-made jam and pickle accompaniments. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, 954 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-292-1616.
 
Keep your eyes peeled: Carlos and Debbie Nieto (Carlos') will open The Happ Inn Bar & Grill sometime in July. It's not going to be anything wacky---burgers, stuff cooked in a wood-burning oven and a few Mexican-tinged dishes will comprise the menu. But there will be a few fun touches, too. Case in point: Debbie's mom's cake in a cup. The Happ Inn Bar & Grill, 305 S. Happ Rd., Northfield, IL 60093, 847-784-9200.
 
Grab something fresh on the fly at Double Apple, a Mediterranean BYO and market where you'll find baba ghanouj alongside strong Turkish coffee and---wait for it---hookahs. Double Apple, 2750 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-327-9000.
 
Todd Stein (ROOF) is behind the soon-to-debut Cibo Matto in theWit hotel, where he'll do bucatini carbonara topped with a duck egg. The wine list comes courtesy of Josh Kaplan (mk). Cibo Matto, theWit, 201 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-467-0200.
 
Katie Garcia (formerly of Mundial Cocina Mestiza) has partnered with Tassili's Mohammed Djeddour to open Mediterranean newcomer Zebda in the Avondale neighborhood. Mostly carryout, its menu offers a bevy of Algerian-tinged flatbreads, Moroccan-scented tagines and couscous. Look for Algerian sweets for breakfast, too. Zebda, 4344 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60641, 773-545-7000.
 


News Bytes
Meat of the Matter
Nacional 27 is now offering gaucho barbecues, big skewers of meat meant to serve two. Starting at $13.95 per person, choices like chimichurri veggies and beef tenderloin come with coco rice, black beans and a trio of salsas. Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-664-2727.
 
Switch ’Em Up
Rosebud Trattoria is the new name for Ballo, the place owned by the Rosebud crew. Other than that, there aren't many changes yet. Ballo, 445 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-832-7700.
 

Chef Shuffle

With much controversy, Andre Christopher (Japonais, Pops for Champagne) left The Grocery Bistro. For the time being, you can find Christopher at Little Bucharest Bistro. Little Bucharest Bistro, 3661 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-604-8500.
 


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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