9/21/2012 02:09:00 PM

Openings: Four New Buzz-Worthy Restaurants In Chicago

Cuttlefish at Embeya courtesy of Galdones Photography
Trends, we love to hate ‘em, can’t get enough of ‘em, and can’t believe we are still writing about ‘em. Alas, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, so this week we had a farm-to-table, modern Asian, Italian small plate and locally-driven restaurant open in Chicago. Although we’ve heard it all before, let’s see what makes these trendy spots different than the other lemmings.

There is a buzz trifecta at this local, organic and sustainable restaurant from chef/owner Iliana Regan. Regan spent the past three years operating an underground supper club, One Sister. She is taking the concept to a brick-and-mortar location in Lincoln Square. Elizabeth will serve prix-fixe 8-10, 12-15 or 20-25 course meals each night ranging in price from $65-$205. The shortest menu will focus on farm-to-table fare, the second option featured woodland-influenced food, while the most expansive option will be focused on modern gastronomic techniques. Reservations are taken via a Next-style ticketing system and while October is almost entirely booked, November dinners will be available soon.
4835 N. Western Ave. Unit D; 773-681-0651

When Attila Gyulai (former director of operations at the Elysian Hotel Chicago, Four Seasons) and executive chef Thai Dang (RIA, L2O) decided to join forces they took inspiration from Dang’s childhood nickname, Embeya, which translated from Vietnamese means “Little One.” The cuisine will be progressive Asian using  French techniques, resulting in dishes like coconut-lime mussels, bone marrow stuffed squid, and ribs seasoned with tamarind, toasted garlic and hoisin. At the bar, which stays open one hour later than the dining room you can  find cocktails made with jackfruit, Thai chilies and smoked heirloom tomatoes.
564 W. Randolph St.; 312-612-5604

Does Michigan Avenue scream rustic Italian? Maybe not, but the new Italian eatery is attempting to bring a bit of the old Europe to the south end of the street. Adjacent to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the new joint is sure to attract a pre and post concert crowd. It is also open for lunch with a menu of salads and sandwiches. The dinner menu is broken into traditional primi pasta courses and secondi plates that include duck two ways, grilled pork chop and lamb shank. The chef behind it all is Andrew Deuel, who learned the tricks of the trade at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners while working at Ristorante San Domenico.
65 E. Adams St.; 312-786-9911

Local Root
Adding something a bit more sustainable to the quick service counters and cozy taverns of Streeterville, Local Root’s mission is to offer all things, well, local. It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and turns into a bar after dark. Organic ingredients are used in dishes like lamb scramble with eggs, vegetables and goat cheese, brisket and blue cheese poutine and an apple-bacon flatbread. The new spot also pours Intelligentsia coffee and wine by the glass or bottle. A concise cocktail menu features classics such as the aviation and Manhattan.
601 N. McClurg Ct.; 312-643-1145


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