Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Chicago Restaurant News

Beatnik woos with flora, fauna and flourishes from around the world




Hungry for Chicago restaurant news? Tap into what's happening with new restaurants, find out what your fave chefs are up to, and learn everything else you need to know on the Chicago food landscape.

Also, check out GAYOT's calendar of food events in Chicago.

NEW RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO

Le Colonial ushers in a new era on Oak Street One of Chicago's most beloved and romantic restaurants ushers in a new era on Oak Street. The French-Vietnamese boîte Le Colonial has planted roots at 57 East Oak Street, a ritzy strip dotted with high-end boutiques (Above Le Colonial? None other than Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels.) Le Colonial had a 22-year run on Rush Street, only 150 steps from the new location. Executive chef/partner Quoc Luong has refreshed the menu with seafood and meat dishes enhanced both in flavor and presentation. Look for more than 200 global wine selections, including Le Colonial 2017 AOC Côtes de Provence Rosé created exclusively for Le Colonial by French producer La Cave du Lac. Le Colonial, 57 E. Oak St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-255-0088.
 
Ocean Prime, the glitzy modern American restaurant-lounge from restauranteur Cameron Mitchell, will debut its Chicago home at LondonHouse on April 3, 2019. The upscale restaurant has sister locations in Denver, Beverly Hills, Washington D.C. and other cities, and will boast expense account-worthy steaks, seafood, signature cocktails and vino. The second-floor space will seat up to 350 diners and include three private dining rooms, and two bars. Ocean Prime, 85 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-428-4344.
 
Chef Dave Park and Jen Tran opened Jeong in West Town following the success of their chef-driven food court concept Hanbun. The team named the restaurant after Park's grandmother, and the Korean idea of soulful connection and community. The menu highlights a seven-course $87 tasting option, plus à la carte dishes featuring in-house specialties such as silken tofu and kimchi. Korean touches permeate the 40-seat space, from rice paper dividers to servers wearing traditional Korean hanbok dress designed by the couple's friend Joanna Um. Expect this to be a tough table to score; reservations on OpenTable are limited the first month. Jeong, 1460 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago , IL 60642, 312-877-5016.
 
Chicago diners ate, and Lettuce Entertain You listened. Now the restaurant group adds its first Beatrix in Oak Brook, where shoppers can pick up coffee, stop for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner or host a private event. This will be the fourth Beatrix under Lettuce's umbrella. The Oak Brook location boasts the largest coffee bar and lounge with seating for up to 100 guests. The healthy menu offers signatures including burnt honey toast, grilled swordfish kebab and pepper steak with sweet peppers, pearl onions and peppercorn sauce. Come spring, diners will be able to sit on the patio to enjoy their fresh-squeezed juices, juice cocktails or wellness shots. Beatrix, 272 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523, 630-491-1415.
 
The budget hotel once known as Essex Inn gets an elegant revamp come April, when Hotel Essex, its $75 million replacement, makes a play for high-end travelers on Michigan Avenue. With that comes SX Sky Bar, a bi-level nightlife destination where guests will nibble on elevated small plates and sip on craft cocktails. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the city in, even though there'll be plenty of eye candy inside, from black and white geometric designs to a grand staircase winding up to a dance floor. Essex will also be home to LM Restaurant Group's Grant Park Bistro, a 40-seat restaurant specializing in French fare. SX Sky Bar & Grant Park Bistro, 808 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605, no phone.
 

Find more recent openings with our list of the Best New & Hip Restaurants in Chicago

NOTEWORTHY ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.
 
Travelle Kitchen + Bar Hosts Brunch & Calligraphy Class
The culinary arts meet the long lost art of handwriting during a calligraphy workshop series followed by brunch at Travelle Kitchen + Bar on April 13, May 18 and June 1. Guests will learn the strokes from local teachers Ricki DiCola of r + ink and Julie Wildman of Wildman Designs followed by a three-course brunch by chef Jeff Vucko, which will feature chicken and waffles and avocado toast, various Benedicts or a burger, and chocolate cake or banoffee bread pudding. Cost of $65 includes the meal, a glass of Champagne and supplies for the class. Reserve your spot by calling 312-923-7705. Travelle Kitchen + Bar, The Langham, Chicago, 330 N. Wabash Ave., 2nd Fl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-923-7705.
 
Beatnik On The River Goes Year Round
When Bonhomme Hospitality Group renovated the sister outpost of the original Beatnik in the Loop, it faced a tall order: conjure the same visual magic that drew Chicagoans to the boho chic brand in the first place. Fast forward from July 2018, and Beatnik On The River is unlike any of the restaurants on Wacker Drive: fun, funky and Insta-worthy. The remodel includes taking a 20 by 20 foot Nashville jewelry store – complete with chandeliers and sconces – and making it the centerpiece of the space. Plop down some Persian rugs, hand-painted glazed tiles and pillow-topped Indonesian daybeds and you have a true oasis on the river. Open weekdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. and for post-work cocktails. Beatnik On The River, 180 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606, 312-526-3345.
 
New Home for Entente
Entente will soon have a new home. Come this spring, the upscale modern American restaurant will move from its Lakeview location to 700 N. Sedgwick in River North. The new site will allow the team – Ty Fujimura of Fujimura Hospitality and executive chef Brian Fisher – to leverage a larger kitchen and front-of-the-house area. The original location will be transformed into an event space where locals can experience new chefs and new cuisines from around the city. Entente, 3056 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 872-206-8553.
 
U.S. Pizza Museum Lengthens its Tenure
U.S. Pizza Museum won't be leaving Chicago anytime soon. The pizzaporium, which included interactive exhibits, art, rare pizza boxes, vinyl records, vintage ads, toys, video games and more, is extending its stay through the fall season, with tickets available as late as January 2019. The museum's popularity prompted the decision to add more tickets. The location is open on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

UPDATES ON CHICAGO CHEFS

Chef Stephanie Izard will open Girl & the Goat in LA 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.
 

CHICAGO RESTAURANT CLOSINGS

Lincoln Park's White Oak Tavern & Inn has closed. The restaurant served American cuisine utilizing the output of local farms. White Oak Tavern & Inn, 1200 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, no phone.
 

View archived news: February 2019 | January 2019 | December 2018 | November 2018 | October 2018 | September 2018 | August 2018 | July 2018 | June 2018 | May 2018 | April 2018 | March 2018 | February 2018 | January 2018 | December 2017 | November 2017 | September 2017 | August 2017 | July 2017 | June 2017 | May 2017 | April 2017 | March 2017 | February 2017 | November 2016 | October 2016 | September 2016 | August 2016 | July 2016 | June 2016 | May 2016 | April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008



RESTAURANT AWARDS

GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.