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News for Restaurants in Chicago
November 2011 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

Matt Eversman, who clocked time at Charlie Trotter's and May Street Market, left Saigon Sisters to open Southeast Asian-bent Oon Chicago early next spring at 802 W. Randolph St., across from Girl & The Goat. Oon, 802 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60661, phone not available.
 
The old Osteria di Tramonto space in The Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling has welcomed Saranello's, a filament-lighted Italian venture from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises serving hand-crafted pizzas and pastas, plus steak and fish. Saranello's, The Westin Chicago North Shore, 601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, IL 60090, 847-777-6878.
 
Filini restaurant in the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago Filini, a modern Italian restaurant in the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, opened with executive chef Christian Fantoni, a Le Bernardin and Le Cirque vet, in the kitchen. Get ready for a large wine list, along with gnocchi with braised oxtail, vegetable ragù and Pecorino fonduta; osso buco Milanese; and homey Italian dinner specials, prepared in traditional clay casseroles. Meanwhile, the bar features a stuzzichini menu of small bites, meant to be enjoyed while imbibing. Filini, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, Aqua Tower, 221 N. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-477-0234.
 
Gregory Ellis and Steven Fladung, both having clocked time at Charlie Trotter's, opened 2 Sparrows, a buzzy Lincoln Park spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch. The menu includes a pork belly biscuit sandwich with sunnyside-up egg and pickled onions; maple-bacon donuts; and foie gras-cherry Pop Tarts. 2 Sparrows, 553 W. Diversey Pkwy., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-234-2320.
 
Allen Sternweiler made waves with his burger at Duchamp. Now, he's taken the concept to Lincoln Park's Butcher & The Burger, a butcher shop and design-your-own burger joint with standard and fancified toppings, along with salads, soups and frozen custard. Butcher & The Burger, 1021 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-697-3735.
 
Mark and Elizabeth Mendez have rolled out the red carpet for highly anticipated Vera Chicago (previously Uva), a chef-driven wine bar named for Mark's grandmother and a region in Spain that informs its cuisine. In addition to having an ambitious, seasonal sherry and wine program, the regional Spanish fare offers plenty to entice. That means rabbit and duck chorizo paella; black cod with clams, butifarra and saffron broth; and beef tripe with morcilla and garbanzos. Vera Chicago, 1023 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-243-9770.
 
Nella Grassano---remember her from Spacca Napoli and Nella Pizzeria Napoletana? Well, she's working on opening Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana in time for the holidays. She'll turn out about two-dozen Neapolitan pies (including one premium version), plus a dozen pastas and craft and Italian brews. Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana, 1443 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, phone not available.
 
Brothers Michael Sheerin (ex-Blackbird) and Patrick Sheerin (ex-Signature Room at the 95th) have teamed to open The Trencherman in the space that once housed Spring. The seasonal, locally driven spot---expected to open early next year---will be a partnership with Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner (Bangers & Lace). The Trencherman, 2039 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, phone not available.
 
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's reconcepted Pump Room is now in full swing in Chicago. While some vintage touches remain (celeb photos, for example), the orbs of light and cool color palette---not to mention the scenester crowd---don't exude a yesteryear tone. Neither does what's on plate. Expect dishes like roasted beets with house-made yogurt, house-made pasta and pizzas with whole-wheat crust, plus a few oldies but goodies thrown in for good measure. Pump Room, PUBLIC Chicago, 1301 N. State Pkwy., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-601-2970.
 
Bread & Wine---an Irving Park wine bar from attorney Lisa Fosler Kelly and model Jennifer Wisniewski---is slated to open mid-December with a menu of farm-to-table fare (olive oil cake with citrus curd, a beef-chorizo burger), turned out from an open kitchen. It'll also feature plenty of wines by the glass and a small, locally driven grocery with grab-and-go artisanal items. Bread & Wine, 3732 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60618, phone not available.
 
The crew from Bangers & Lace is feeling sporty---in a throwback sort of way. They'll soon open retro sports bar The Anthem and start serving TV dinner-inspired eats in River North. The Anthem, 1725 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, phone not available.
 


News Bytes
Carlos' Now Closed
After 30 years on the North Shore, Carlos' has closed to reconcept the space. Carlos', 429 Temple Ave., Highland Park, IL 60035, no phone.
 

Chef Shuffle

Chris Nugent has left his longtime post at Les Nomades to open Goosefoot, a market-driven BYOB that'll launch in the old Rendezvous Bistro space at 2656 W. Lawrence Ave., 60640, 773-942-7574. Les Nomades, 222 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-649-9010.
 
Brandon Baltzley was briefly the new chef, after a revolving door of chefs, at Pensiero Ristorante. He's since left his post. Pensiero Ristorante, Margarita European Inn, 1566 Oak Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-475-7779.
 


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.

Seasons at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago closed January 1 Seasons has closed after a 22-year run to reconcept to something more casual---but still full of locally sourced ingredients. Kevin Hickey will stay, but the new concept will be located in the lounge bar/bistro space, while the Seasons dining room will be used for private functions. By the looks of things, the menu will be catch-all when its replacement emerges in February. Seasons, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-280-8800.
 
Jam has closed its 937 N. Damen Ave. location to make way for its new address, 3059 W. Logan Blvd. Jam, 937 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, no phone.
 
Deleece has closed its current location and is moving to 3747 North Southport Ave., next to Mercury Theatre. Deleece , 4004 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60613, no phone.
 
Dudley Nieto's short-lived Totopo Mexican Grill has closed. Totopo Mexican Grill, 3041 Butterfield Rd., Oak Brook, IL 60523, 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

 

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