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News for Restaurants in Chicago
May 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

Fans of Fonda del Mar should check out its new sibling, FDM Mexican Cuisine & Lounge. You'll find many of its predecessor's seafood selections as well as rack of lamb in mole negro. FDM Mexican Cuisine & Lounge, 3908 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60613, 773-348-7635.
 
Just in time for picnic season, Michael Lachowicz of Winnetka's Restaurant Michael opened Wally & Agador's Gourmet Café in the Boystown neighborhood. The menu is sandwich-centric (go for the Marilyn Monroe with chicken liver mousse, duck pâté, shaved red onions and Brie on a Dijon-slathered baguette). And, in case you're curious, the place is named after his dogs. Wally & Agador's Gourmet Café, 3310 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-325-9664.
 
Whoever said you can only do one thing well didn't know about Italiasia in the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza. It goes something like this: slow-cooked veal shank with saké, edamame, saffron risotto and gremolata. Italiasia, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, 15th Fl., 350 W. Mart Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-529-1157.
 
He's at it again: Geno Bahena (Real Tenochtitlán) opened Los Moles, a spot specializing in the sauce he's famous for. Does the red, black or green variety steal the show? You be the judge. Los Moles, 3140 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 773-935-9620.
 
The location---Lake Bluff---may seem unlikely, but already people are buzzing about soon-to-open Inovasi from Culinary Institute of America grad and Charlie Trotter's alum John des Rosiers. The 31-year-old chef, who most recently was at Bank Lane Bistro in Lake Forest, will keep things hyper-seasonal. He's even having folks custom grow wacky veggies like white romaine. Inovasi, 28 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff, IL 60044, 847-295-1000.
 
Nightwood, from Jason Hammel and Amalea Tshilds of Lula Café, has opened its doors---and everybody appears to be stopping by. As if they needed more star power, the pair teamed with Matt Eisler (Empire Liquors, Angels & Kings, Bar DeVille) and designer Kevin Heisner. In the kitchen: Jason Vincent, who crafts an oft-changing menu with highlights like beef carpaccio with sorrel and ash-roasted beets. Nightwood, 2119 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60608, 312-526-3385.
 
Get healthy at Protein Bar, a spot from ex-sports agent Matt Matros. The focus is on blended drinks, most of them mixed with protein powders. Just start with the base---soy, egg or whey in chocolate, vanilla or strawberry---and build from there. Protein Bar, 235 S. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60606, 312-346-7300.
 
Sidle up to the cork and copper bar: Eivissa, the highly anticipated pintxos place from Dudley Nieto, has opened its doors. Look for modern takes on Spanish cuisine, like a salpicon of coastal seafood and shellfish with passion fruit caviar and lobster coral. Eivissa, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-654-9500.
 
Here's one we're really excited about: New York transplant Mercadito. It'll have chef Patricio Sandoval at the helm, and it's getting closer to completion. While we don't have a date yet (watch for it mid-summer), we're already anticipating the pollo a las brasas---grilled whole adobo marinated chicken, three-corn pico de gallo and chile de arbol salsa---and estilo baja, beer-battered mahi mahi, Mexican-style coleslaw and chipotle aïoli tacos. Mercadito, 108 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-329-9555.
 
Pizza and smoothies---it's a match made in heaven at Mod Pizza, opening in the West Loop. It's the brainchild of a one-time partner at Phil & Lou's, and it'll mostly emphasize thin-crust pies. Mod Pizza, 1222 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-666-1222.
 


News Bytes
Fulton, Meet Otom
Daryl Nash (Otom) has contributed a menu of small plates to the existing offerings at Fulton Lounge. Fulton Lounge, 955 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, 312-942-9500.
 
Transformation Time
Merlo is in flux; it'll become Merló La Salumería. It'll have a cheese cave and will spotlight imported salumi (speck, prosciutto) as well as house-made pastas with sauces to match. Merlo, 2638 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-529-0747.
 

Chef Shuffle

Longtime Smith & Wollensky chef Hans Aeschbacher is moving on to Trader Vic's. Smith & Wollensky, Marina City, 318 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-670-9900.
 


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.

Sushi spot Tsunami closed its restaurant but hopes to reopen in another neighborhood soon. Tsunami, 1160 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610, no phone.
 
Pete Miller's Steakhouse closed its Schaumburg location. However, the outposts in Evanston and Wheeling will carry on. Pete Miller’s Steakhouse, 1385 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173, no phone.
 
No one saw this coming: Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop shuttered on June 7. But you'll still be able to get a lot of its greatest hits at nearby Calypso Café. Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop, 5225 S. Harper Ave., Chicago, IL 60615, no phone.
 
It was a bad month for Howard Davis: he closed both Le Lan and Soul, citing business was down due to the economy.
 

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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