Chicago Restaurant News
The team behind Oriole and Kumiko unveils Kikkō, a 10-seat counter in the West Loop. The production by executive chef Noah Sandoval and chef de cuisine Mariya Russell features a seven-course omakase menu for $130 (without cocktails). For an extra $65 per person, enjoy the experience with cocktails concepted by creative director Julia Momose. Look for dishes including golden osetra caviar with cured Hudson Canyon scallop, finger lime and smoked soy; confit Berkshire pork and Carabineros prawn dumpling with spring onion, coriander and genmai; and mackerel with kombu sabayon and nasturtium. Reserve on OpenTable for seatings at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Kikkō, 630 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-285-2912.
Fresh off an April opening, The Smith launches weekday lunch and weekend brunch service. This makes the seventh location for the popular New York restaurant known for its American brasserie fare: seafood platters, steak, salads and burgers. Brunch highlights Sicilian baked eggs, fried chicken and waffles, Ranchero scramble and breakfast pot pie. The Smith, 400 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-312-5100.
Venice native Dario Monni and wife Chicago-born Jill Gray realize their dream with the summer 2019 opening of Tortello, a Nonna-style pastificio (fresh pasta shop) in Wicker Park. The eatery pays homage to the sfoglinas (pasta makers) of Monni's childhood. His grandfather owned a specialty food shop sourcing some of the best products across Italy. These ingredients would also appear in Monni's long Sunday lunches, assembled with love from his Sardinian family of shepherds, cheesemongers and butchers. At Tortello, diners will be able to view pasta being made in real time, while passersby can catch a glimpse of the action from a large storefront window. Sample Italian cocktails, espresso, wine, beer and pastries. Tortello, 1746 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, no phone.
Revamped Menu at Kaisho
Yūgen's sister concept Kaisho celebrates warmer weather with a revamped menu of cocktails and à la carte dishes. The izakaya-style experience just appointed Stella Miller (Alinea, Boka, EL Ideas) as head bartender, and with that comes cocktails based on the Japanese ideals of Wabi-Sabi. The foundation: Appreciate the complexity and the simplicity of life. Sip on Shizen, a concoction of chrysanthemum vodka, fresh muddled shiso and yuzu juice, or Kawaii with aged rum, coconut milk, Rihei Ginger shōchū and matcha. The walk-in restaurant also spotlights a Kaisho charcuterie plate and mentaiko carbonara. Kaisho, 652 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-265-1008.
Summer Ice Cream Cart at Somerset
Frosé all day? How about ice cream on summer Sundays? Head to Somerset's patio, where chef Meg Galus rolls out the ice cream cart each Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., tempting with flavors such as mango passionfruit, chocolate cookies and cream and Key lime pie. Make it a sweet one with pops, pints, bars and sandwiches. Diners can walk up or request a table. Somerset, 1112 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-586-2150.
Three Concepts & One Riverfront Setting for RPM
The team behind RPM Restaurants (RPM Italian, RPM Steak) take their empire waterfront starting with Pizzeria Portofino, a pizzeria serving hand-stretched pizzas, vegetable antipasti and artisan pastas complemented by lively spritzes and coastal wines. The restaurant will be the first among its siblings – the others RPM Events On The Water and fine dining concept RPM On The Water – to open. The other two will arrive by fall 2019. Pizzeria Portofino comes to Chicago from R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, chef Doug Psaltis and celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic. Expect the drama from design firm Rockwell Group, with RPM On The Water boasting two expansive private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the city and river views.
Acadia House Provisions Opening in Maine
Chef Ryan McCaskey casts his net into the territory that made South Loop Acadia so memorable: his love, Maine. In June, McCaskey will open Acadia House Provisions, a more casual version of the original restaurant in a coastal setting. The eatery will source from local farms, purveyors and fishermen within a 40-mile radius. Unlike its sister restaurant, Acadia House Provisions is set in an idyllic spot: in a summer-inspired cottage with a 72-seat patio right on the water. Of course, lobster will play a huge part on the menu, in dishes like lobster grilled cheese, the signature lobster roll and the lobster pie loaded with butter, pea tendrils, whipped potato and bisque. Acadia House Provisions, 27 Main St., Stonington, ME 04681, 207-365-2555.
Benny’s Chop House & All That Jazz
Benny's Chop House returns to Chicago's jazz roots with performances in the North Lounge every Wednesday to Saturday featuring artists Carmen Stokes, Julie Ponce, Leandro Lopez Varady, Lynn Hilton and Margaret Murphy-Webb. The live series starts on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Performances straddle traditional to modern contemporary funk and fusion styles. Benny's Chop House, 444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-626-2444.
The Arts District downtown will welcome an LA location of Chicago’s famous Girl & the Goat restaurant, overseen by Iron Chef champion Stephanie Izard. Look for an opening in summer 2019, with a menu featuring some of the more popular dishes like escargot ravioli, duck tongues with piri piri, and wood oven roasted pig face. Girl & the Goat, 555 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA 90013, no phone.
Balena, located across from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Lincoln Park, is closed to repair damages from a fire in the building. Balena, 1633 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-867-3888 .
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