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

News for Restaurants in Chicago
August 2010 Archive

Search / Openings / Closings / Chef Shuffle / News Bytes / Culinary Events / Wine Dinners / Sign up for our free, monthly newsletter / News Archive

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.  



No, Chicago isn't wanting for barbecue. But it has yet another newcomer. Rub BBQ Company is now serving its brand of slow-and-low meats, dry-rubbed and smoked for 24 hours. Rub BBQ Company, 2407 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago, IL 60645, 773-675-1410.
Sono Wood Fired opened next door to Urban Burger Bar, both of which are owned by former Levy Restaurants vet John McLean. The emphasis is on wood-fired pizzas, and they're topped with everything from mascarpone to soppressata and caramelized fennel. Sono Wood Fired, 1582 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60642, 312-255-1122.
Four Corners Tavern Group has expanded its repertoire with the opening of Benchmark, its second-floor beer garden as appealing as its Merkts-topped burger. Benchmark, 1510 N. Wells St. , Chicago, IL 60610, 312-649-9640.
Focusing on modern Vietnamese fare, Sawtooth---a restau-lounge along Restaurant Row---serves small plates, like lotus stem salad, in swanky surroundings. There's a serious wine and craft beer list available, too. Sawtooth, 1350 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-526-3320.
Stacks of pancakes are the shtick at Stax Café, a breakfast through lunch spot offering ten varieties, including a pineapple upside-down version. In the kitchen is Chris Barron (Park 52, Opera, Red Light, Market). Stax Café, 1401 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-9871.
The barbecue scene in Chicago continues to be white-hot. Another joint on the cusp of opening is Chicago Q, which comes from Lee Ann Whippen (Wood Chick's BBQ in Chesapeake, Virginia, and a competitor in TLC's "BBQ Pitmasters"). Her itineration is dry-rubbed, with a choice of sauces. Chicago Q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-642-1160.
Craving Korean tacos? Wish the trend would make its way to Chicago? You're in luck---or at least you will be soon. Del Seoul, which will offer up versions like soy-soju-marinated kalbi, also will turn out dumplings and bánh mì in Lincoln Park. Del Seoul, 2568 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-248-4227.
Keep watching for Mastro's Steakhouse, an offshoot of the grown-up Scottsdale original, which has locations in Nevada and California, too. It'll open in late October. Mastro’s Steakhouse, 520 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-521-5100.
Arun Sampanthavivat (Arun's) is, in part, behind the upcoming Thai Town Center, a community center where he'll serve regional Thai cuisine in small-plate fashion about a year from now. Thai Town Center, 4461 N. Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60630, no phone available yet.
Billy Lawless (The Gage) made good on his promise to open the upscale, Louis Henri Sullivan-inspired French dining room, Henri. Dirk Flanigan is overseeing the kitchen here, too, emphasizing locally sourced products and serving the likes of rabbit agnolotti with summer squash and slow-roasted Illinois lamb for two. Henri, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603, 312-578-0763.
A second location of M Burger has opened in River North. Expect the same burger and shake formula that drives the crowds. M Burger, 5 W. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-428-3548.
Yet another place to score smoky 'cue is quick-serve Smokey Bears BBQ House in the North Center neighborhood. Early faves include brisket and pork butt---not to mention ribs, which are a steal at $16.75 for a full slab and sides. Smokey Bears BBQ House, 3314 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, 773-583-2327.
Hoping to grab a bench at Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard's Girl & The Goat? Good luck, since reservations are hard to come by. Keep trying, though, and be rewarded with dishes like ham frites with smoked tomato aïoli and smoked Swiss sauce. Girl & The Goat, 809 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-492-6262.
Pork Shoppe---from the Tizi Melloul set---is officially on the scene in Avondale, proffering an organic-leaning menu of barbecue faves as well as brews and bourbon. Pork Shoppe, 2755 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-961-7654.
Keep an eye out for Bangers & Lace, a beer-minded venture from Matt Eisler (Bar DeVille) and Jason Freiman and Nick Podesta (Lumen, Duchamp). Sausage, not surprisingly, will be featured prominently. Bangers & Lace, 1670 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622, No phone yet.
A duo from Japonais is behind Joey's Shrimp House, a casual seafood joint serving by-the-pound, fried fare with Caribbean, Puerto Rican and Louisianan touches. That means everything from ceviche to jerk and Creole shrimp. Joey’s Shrimp House, 1432 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-772-1400.
Two Spiaggia vets---husband-wife team John and Christine Tully Aranza---plan to open Autre Monde Café & Spirits in October, a restaurant serving farm-centric fare. Autre Monde Café & Spirits, 6727 W. Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn, IL 60304, No phone yet.
A former Tizi Melloul chef, John Boudouvas, has opened Mia Figlia in the Edgebrook neighborhood. On the menu is eggplant Parm, as well as some lesser-knowns. Mia Figlia, 5304 W. Devon Ave., Chicago, IL 60646, 773-792-8300.
City Provisions Deli is slotted to open in early August, its space full of reclaimed wood and sustainable materials. Sound familiar? You're right---it's an extension of the catering company, which also hosts farm-to-table dinners. City Provisions Deli, 1818 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, 773-293-2489.
Sprinkles---the Los Angeles cupcake phenomenon---opened a Gold Coast location in Chicago, where it offers flavors like red velvet and chai tea, slathered with chai-vanilla frosting. Soon to follow is Sprinklesmobile, an ideal way to soothe your sweet tooth when going from point A to B. Sprinkles, 50 E. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-573-1600.

News Bytes
Rick Tramonto on the Move
Rick Tramonto (ex-TRU, Tramonto's Steak & Seafood) is leaving Chicago for New Orleans, where he'll oversee Restaurant R'evolution on Bourbon Street with John Folse, Louisiana chef and cookbook author, next summer. The food will be Creole and Cajun-influenced---but modernized.
It Comes and Goes
Bill Kim (Urbanbelly, Belly Shack) is testing the waters by launching periodic pop-up concepts, including a recent endeavor at the Logan Square Kitchen in July, where bites included a curry-inflected Asian version of elotes and citrus-salted watermelon. Joining Kim---who was busy testing out grub for his tentative next project---was Jason Hammel (Lula Café, Nightwood). Urbanbelly, 3053 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, 773-583-0500.
More of More
Much like peers Flirty Cupcakes and The Cupcake Gallery (and, soon, Sprinkles), More Cupcakes is hitting the streets. More Mobile will dish up a dozen flavors at once. Look for it in the next few weeks. More Cupcakes, 1 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-951-0001.
Sepia's Seeing Stars
Perhaps you've heard? Sepia closed for a few days to accommodate the filming of a Ron Howard flick. Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, IL 60661, 312-441-1920.
Cost-conscious Eats at Carlos'
Head to Carlos' this summer to try its new al fresco menu, which is loaded with cost-conscious eats, from a martini-inspired blue cheese and olive-topped Kobe burger to a salad with prosciutto and grilled peaches. Best of all, dishes are priced under $20. Carlos', 429 Temple Ave., Highland Park, IL 60035, 847-432-0770.

Chef Shuffle

Although he still consults on the menu at Sunda, Rodelio Aglibot---along with Christophe Bellanca---will now oversee New York-based BLT Restaurant Group's 18 restaurants, including Chicago debut, The Florentine, which will open in the JW Marriot in October. Aglibot has moved to New York, though he'll keep the menu at Sunda intact. Sunda, 110 W. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-644-0500.
Christophe David has left his post at NoMI and is moving to Switzerland. NoMI, Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-239-4030.
Alinea's chef de cuisine Dave Beran will run the kitchen at Grant Achatz's upcoming venture, Next Restaurant, while chef de tournant Craig Schoettler will oversee Aviary, a molecular-minded cocktail lounge. Alinea, 1723 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 312-867-0110.
TRU's pastry chef Meg Galus has left to handle sweets at Café des Architectes. This news comes not long after Anthony Martin took over on the savory side at TRU for Rick Tramonto. Café des Architectes, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-324-4000.
Molly Harrison, who has been at the restaurant since 2008, has left her post as chef de cuisine at Green Zebra. Green Zebra, 1460 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 312-243-7100.
Chef Phillip Foss left Lockwood, where he made culinary waves and, apparently, ruffled feathers. No word yet on who his replacement will be. Lockwood, Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., Lobby level, Chicago, IL 60603, 312-917-3404.
Chad Starling (formerly of Saltaus and Le Lan) is heading the kitchen at Aria Restaurant & Bar, where the menu has shifted to new Asian, adding up to dishes like Swan Creek Peking duck breast with Anson Mills coconut polenta, yu choy and mango-chile jam. At tables, iPads detail dish specifics, while including info about farms where the ingredients have been procured. Aria Restaurant & Bar, The Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-444-9494.


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.

Shikago is no more. In its place is Ara On, an upscale Japanese-Korean restaurant with a massive sushi bar and James Okuno, Shikago's former chef, in the kitchen. Shikago, 160 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL 60603, no phone.
For 44 years, Edna's served soul food in East Garfield Park. Two months after its namesake, Edna Stewart, passed away, it closed its doors. Edna’s, 3175 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612, no phone.
Singha Thai Restaurant served its last meal on August 31. Singha Thai Restaurant, 350 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610, no phone.
Dean Zanella has already given up ship, closing Aldino's. Co-owner Scott Harris (Mia Francesca, et al.) plans to reopen it as The CooKoo Room, a cost-conscious bar, with Joe Farina (Café Bionda) and Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven, The Purple Pig) in its place. Aldino’s, 626 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, IL 60607, 312-226-9300.
The patio of Brasserie Jo At the end of August, venerable Frenchie Brasserie Jo closed its doors, but will reopen in October as an extra-affordable French restaurant. Heading the kitchen will be Tim Graham (formerly of TRU) and Walter Manzke (previously of Church & State in Los Angeles). Chef Jean Joho will remain involved. Brasserie Jo, 59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60610, 312-595-0800.

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


View archived news: August 2020 | July 2020 | June 2020 | March 2020 | February 2020 | January 2020 | December 2019 | November 2019 | October 2019 | July 2019 | June 2019 | May 2019 | April 2019 | March 2019 | 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


GAYOT's Wine & Spirits Editor presents the
Wine of the Week, featuring tasting notes as well as history on the vineyards and winemaker.


The charm of Provence right on your table.

Read the article and see photos.

Proper Hotel Santa Monica RooftopThe view is not the only reason to dine at Calabra in Santa Monica, CA.

Read the review and see photos.