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News for Restaurants in Chicago
October 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

Small plates at Vera Chicago Mark and Elizabeth Mendez (formerly of Carnivale) have opened Vera Chicago in the West Loop neighborhood. This wine bar features a global selection of wines, with a focus on Sherry and Rosé, and a menu of artisan cheeses and Spanish sharable plates. Dishes might include grilled octopus with pimento and extra virgin olive oil; paella with rabbit and duck chorizo; and suckling pig confit with spicy greens. Vera Chicago, 1023 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-243-9770.
 
Grilled cheese is popular for a reason. Celebrating that fact, Dion Antic (Iggy's, Porkchop, Bagel on Damen, Harry's Velvet Room) is opening Melt Sandwich Shoppe, where fancied-up hand-helds---like a pastrami Reuben---couple with soul-warming soups. Melt Sandwich Shoppe, 1840 N. Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, 773-292-6358.
 
The countdown is on for Charlie Trotter's vet Matthias Merges' new place. Yusho, expected to open in November in Logan Square, will meld Basque grilling techniques with a Japanese sensibility. The result: yakitori, a hot pot stocked with tripe and daikon and a kitchen table with its own multi-course menu. Yusho, 2853 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-904-8558.
 
The Southern's Southern Mac & Cheese Truck is an unstoppable force for lunchtime fare. Now, it's also behind The Southern Mac & Cheese Store. In addition to serving as the mobile truck's prep kitchen (in Chicago food cannot be prepared on board), it'll turn out the mac ‘n' cheese, plus salads, grilled cheese and "pop," from its new digs. The Southern Mac & Cheese Store, 60 E. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-262-7622.
 
Keep a look out for Geno Bahena's (Ixcapuzalco, Chilpancingo) latest, Mitad del Mundo in Logan Square. Naturally, the moles he's famed for will come into play, along with Mayan-esque meats and mole-sauced burgers. Mitad del Mundo, 2833 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-661-1150.
 
The upcoming restaurant Acadia from Ryan McCaskey (Courtright's, Vivere, Tizi Melloul, Rushmore) isn't expected to open until December, but that's not stopping the buzz. So far, we know it'll serve seafood from Maine, prepped with the help of sous chef Chris Walker (Pops for Champagne). Acadia, 1639 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60654, phone not available.
 
If you plan on being anywhere near the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago this fall, be sure to swing by Filini, an upcoming Italian restaurant expected to open in November. In addition to serving coal-fired Neapolitan pies, it'll turn out snacks at a stuzzichini bar. In the kitchen: Christian Fantoni (Le Bernardin and Le Cirque as well as Bice in Chicago). Filini, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, 221 N. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-565-5258.
 
Tony Hu---the maestro behind Lao Sze Chuan, Lao Beijing and Lao Shanghai---has opened his latest: Lao You Ju, a spot for modern Asian small plates, like cumin beef skewers and preserved pork with cauliflower. Lao You Ju, 2002 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60616, 312-225-7818.
 
Michael Jordan's Steak House has opened in the InterContinental Chicago, and the place is packed. Bypassing staid preparations for something decidedly sleek, its lineup of dry-aged beef is offset by interesting sides (a mashed potato trio), a seafood tower and inventive desserts, like a Key lime bombe. But the star of the show? It may just be the stack of garlic bread with Wisconsin blue cheese "fondue." Michael Jordan’s Steak House, InterContinental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-321-8823.
 


News Bytes
Bayless Hits the Boards
Rick Bayless has mad kitchen skills. He's also on TV. But no one would call him an actor---until now. Catch the chef in a starring role in "Cascabel," a circus-bent play at the Lookingglass Theatre, which includes a three-course meal from Frontera Grill. For details, visit lookingglasstheatre.org. Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-337-0665.
 

Chef Shuffle

After recently reopening, Gioco has gotten a new chef: Gaetano Ascione, a Naples native. And, already, he has added new dishes to the menu, including tortellini with truffle cream sauce. Gioco, 1312 S. Wabash St., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-939-3870.
 
Brendan Neville (The Black Sheep) has moved over to Bite Café, where he's dishing up braciola with pork ragù. Bite Café, 1039 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-395-2483.
 
Erin Mooney (Green Zebra) has taken over the pastry program at Custom House Tavern. Custom House Tavern, 500 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-523-0200.
 
The dining room of GT Fish & Oyster Sarah Jordan (The Black Sheep, Blackbird) has moved on to fashion finales alongside Giuseppe Tentori at Boka and GT Fish & Oyster. GT Fish & Oyster, 531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-929-3501.
 
Michael Shrader departed his post at Epic and will join Jason Chan (Butter) to open Urban Union on Taylor Street. The wine-centric small plates spot will have a communal feel and price points for all pocketbooks. Urban Union, 1421 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607, phone not available.
 
Maria Selas has joined the team at newcomer Quay in the former De La Costa space, where she's sating sweet tooths with her upside-down Key lime tart. Quay, 465 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-981-8400.
 


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.

James Toland's short-lived The Black Sheep has closed its doors. The Black Sheep, 1132 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60642, no phone.
 
Cibo Matto---theWIT hotel's Italian restaurant---has closed. Currently, the space will be used for private events. Cibo Matto, theWIT Hotel, 201 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601, no phone.
 
After the departure of Curtis Duffy, Avenues closed its lauded dining room, with plans to open a new concept in 2012. Avenues, The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611, 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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