Segal’s culinary resume reads like a who’s who of Chicago chefs. She has worked with Erwin Drechsler at Metropolis 1800, Michael Kornick at Marché and at Charlie Trotter’s. In 2005 she opened her own restaurant in Bucktown, but after seven years of profitable business, was dissatisfied with her success. Time Out Chicago reported on her time away from the kitchen that led Segal to rethink her approach to food.
No longer fixated on the artistry of perfect composed pastries, the new menu revolves around the craft of cooking. Comforting options are bowls of mac 'n' cheese, shrimp and grits, and mussels steamed in PBR & Kilgus cream broth. Salads and sandwiches feature local ingredients such as kale, beets, spinach and house-ground lamb sausage. The protein selection changes daily and includes steak, chicken and fish dishes.
This is still not only a restaurant, but also a shrine to Segal’s sweet creations. Her specialties such as salted chocolate tart will remain, but part of the dessert menu will change monthly. Also each month, the entire staff will devote time to study one ingredient. In May, rhubarb can be enjoyed in desserts and cocktails.
The beverage program has also been taken back to a simpler time. Cocktails are inspired by pre-1900 classics such as Sazeracs, Bulleit sours and gimlets. The limited beer menu focuses on craft brews including Allagash White on draft and Brother Thelonious, Alpha King and Red Eye Coffee Porter available by the bottle.
Even the decor has a refreshed feel. New skylights illuminate caramel booths and round tables. Mirrors on one wall reflect the bar on the opposite wall stocked with soda in retro bottles, rare teas and wine. We stepped inside for a look at the space.