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News for Restaurants in Chicago
September 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

Republic Pan-Asian Restaurant & Lounge closed up shop and will reopen shortly (under the same ownership) as Farmerie 58. As the name implies, it'll focus on organic and sustainable farm-fresh fare, which will be prepared by Billy Alexander (Commander's Palace, Emeril's). Farmerie 58, 58 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-440-1818.
 
Blame it on the homemade jerk sauce, but things are certainly heating up in Evanston with the opening of casual islander Jamaica Jamaica. Be sure to try the vast array of tropical drinks to cool tingling tongues. Jamaica Jamaica, 1512 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-328-1000.
 
If you haven't already caught the fever, it's time to hop aboard the bandwagon. Urbanbelly, a Bill Kim (Le Lan, Soul) venture devoted to noodles and dumplings, is a popular destination. We're salivating over the very thought of pork belly ramen with shiitakes in pho broth. Urbanbelly, 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-583-0500.
 
The space that once housed Wolfgang Puck Grand Café---a fave among moviegoers at Evanston's Century Theatre---is now the site of Bravo! Cucina Italiana. Veal Marsala, shrimp fra diavolo? There's something to be said for sustenance. Bravo! Cucina Italiana, 1701 Maple Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, 847-733-0917.
 
Spring may seem like a long way off, but Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) has something for you to look forward to. He'll open a yet-unnamed, local- and organic-minded, mostly lunch restaurant in the Art Institute (museum admission not required). Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-443-3600.
 
Fans of Sonic Drive-In can now trek to its spanking new location out west in Aurora. Sonic Drive-In, 2974 Kirk Rd., Aurora, IL 60502, 630-375-8360.
 
Randy Zweiban (ex-Nacional 27) is getting ready to unveil Province, a sustainable South American and Spain-tinged modern American restaurant in the West Loop. Province, 161 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-664-2727.
 
Tea aficionados unite at The Green Teaist on the North Shore. Emphasizing its namesake Japanese tea, there are some seriously posh picks in the house. The Green Teaist, 647 Bank Ln., Lake Forest, IL 60045, 847-735-0400.
 
The hype officially is in motion at Jimmy Sneed's highly anticipated SugarToad (the name is a nod to a Chesapeake Bay blowfish). Dishes from the land and sea range from Wagyu with maître d'hôtel butter to grilled cobia with green and black olives. SugarToad, Hotel Arista, Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Ln., Naperville, IL 60563, 630-778-8623.
 
Jerry Suqi (ex-Narcisse, Sugar, etc.) will soon open Chickpea in Ukie Village, a spot that---unlike the nightlife ventures he's known for---will focus on dishes from Palestine. Aiming to be the real deal, his mom will be wearing the toque. Chickpea, 2018 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 312-245-9555.
 
You no longer have to travel to Motor City to enjoy the grub from Steve's Deli, a kosher-style sandwich shop where pastrami and corned beef---piled high---come highly recommended. Steve's Deli, 354 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-467-6868.
 
The owners of Hackney's on Printer's Row opened up Flaco's Tacos in the South Loop, where classic Mexican dishes---think tacos and burritos---save trips to Pilsen. Flaco's Tacos, 725 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-922-8226.
 
a burger from The Counter Go ahead: get that burger fix at The Counter, a California-based burger joint that touts countless custom-built creations, plus a burger of the month. Japanese-style ahi with pickled ginger, furikake nori, daikon, ribbons of carrots, scallions and wasabi aïoli anyone? The Counter, 666 W. Diversey Pkwy., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-935-1995.
 
Named after the 'hood where it's located, RoPa Restaurant & Wine Bar is a Mediterranean-inspired newcomer, serving pasta to steaks, in the space that once housed Café Suron. RoPa Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1146 W. Pratt Blvd., Chicago, IL 60626, 773-508-0002.
 
Fans of the comfort food at John's Place in Lincoln Park can find more of the same at the new Roscoe Village location, serving the same chipotle barbecue-slathered turkey meatloaf. Be sure to check out the tasty lineup during brunch. John's Place, 2132 W. Roscoe St., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-244-6430.
 
Lincoln Park locals are rubbing elbows with DePaul coeds at the latest Boston Blackie's location, where burgers like the Fire Alarm---gooey with cheddar, dripping with chili and giardiniera---continue to be the star of the show. Boston Blackie’s, 1962 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-661-5555.
 
Logan Square's (recently sold) Cafe con Leche, a staple for affordable Mexican fare, now has an installment in the Bucktown neighborhood. The menu is the same as its predecessor's---crave-worthy breakfast sammies, jibaritos and potent Cuban coffee---but owner Ulysses Salamanca (Flash Taco, Underdog) has added American mainstays to the mix. Cafe con Leche, 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-342-2233.
 


News Bytes
Shopping in Style
Commuters at the Ogilvie Transportation Center will have a lot more options before them when MetraMarket---a big gourmet French market---opens shop. MetraMarket, 118 N. Canal St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-456-7000.
 
Gig on The Strip
Shawn McClain (Spring, Green Zebra, Custom House) is preparing to gamble in Las Vegas when he opens a TBD venture in MGM Mirage's CityCenter late next year.
 
Two Become One
Longtime Peruvian joint Rinconcito Sudamericano (1954 W. Armitage Ave., 773-489-3126) is merging with South American restaurant Rios D'Sudamerica. Rios D'Sudamerica's menu will expand to include dishes from Rinconcito (the two are run by members of the same family). Rios D’Sudamerica, 2010 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-276-0170.
 
Japonais Mr. Robata
Chicago is about to get a taste of robatayaki, or at least an incarnation of it, at Japonais' riverside lounge sometime this winter. In case you're not in the know, a robata is a charcoal grill and here it will make way for a handful of new options. Japonais, 600 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-822-9600.
 
iCream for Nothing
High tech, design-your-own ice cream (and hot pudding) shop iCream---which employed liquid nitrogen to custom-create icy treats on the spot---opened, only to close weeks later due to equipment malfunction. Rumor has it, the place plans to reopen soon. iCream, 1537 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-342-2834.
 

Chef Shuffle

Spiaggia exec chef Missy Robbins has left for A Voce in New York. Spiaggia, One Magnificent Mile, 2nd Fl., 980 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-280-2750.
 
Heads are cocking at the fact that touted chef Kevin Shikami (Kevin) has left both Shikago and the industry. Ryan McCaskey (Courtright's) is filling the void. Don't expect things to stay the same menu-wise: it's going from modern Asian to global. Shikago, 190 S. La Salle St., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-781-7300.
 


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.

Erba, a trattoria in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, has shuttered and has plans to morph into a new concept this fall. Erba, 4520 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, no phone.
 
After a string of changes in the kitchen, Oak Park's Café le Coq has called it quits. Chef-owner Jim August is now manning the griddle at Bucktown's Cortland's Garage, 1645 W. Cortland St., 773-862-7877. Café Le Coq, 734 Lake St., Oak Park, IL 60301, no phone.
 
After a short (but positive) run, Lakeview Turkish spot Nazarlik has closed.
 

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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