Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alhambra Palace Already Changes Chef

IN THE NEWS: Reports Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby of Chicago magazine chicagomag.com: "Eric Aubriot, after mere weeks as exec chef at Alhambra Palace (1240 W. Randolph St.), is out of there. Replacing him are Daniel Wright (Souk, Blackbird) and the Moroccan-born Bouchaib “Bouch” Khribech, chef-owner of Ravenswood’s Marrakech Expresso. ... Trattoria Trullo, formerly across from Ryan Field in Evanston, will open in Lincoln Square (4767 N. Lincoln Ave.) the first week in June. ... Winston’s Market (3440 N. Southport Ave.), a 2,500-square-foot cafĂ©/gourmet takeaway, opened last week on the heart of Southport Avenue. We have high hopes: partners Jerry Winston, his wife, Kim Winston, and his brother, Mike Winston, lured Janet Kirker—a Charlie Trotter’s alum who ran the kitchen at Trotter’s To Go—as chef for the airy 24-seat (plus 15 outdoors) spot. ... Dib Sushi Bar and Thai Cuisine (1025 W. Lawrence Ave.), a new 37-seat Uptown BYO, is the love child of Tai Thongthomya and her boyfriend, chef Montra Kaenkumjorn (Edo, Kikuya). ... Brio Tuscan Grille, an Italian chain with 20 links nationwide, is opening another branch at 330 Yorktown Center in Lombard this summer." ... See David Tamarkin's review of Alhambra Palace in TimeOut Chicago. ... The magazine has a few questions for chef Dirk Flanigan of The Gage and also notes, "The process of opening the Midwest’s first certified-organic restaurant almost drove Michael Altenberg certifiably insane. The chef-owner of Bistro Campagne has long been dedicated to organic and sustainable ingredients, but for his new pizza project Crust (slated to open May 24), he decided to go all the way. ..." The mag also features Milwaukee Avenue's Silver Palm, the transformed railroad car/turned restaurant from owner David Gevercer, who also owns the Matchbox bar next door. timeout.com/chicago ...

The Trib's Phil Vettel blogs leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/thestew about three restaurants that deserve more attention in Chicago's touristy areas: the Italian eatery Club Lago (331 W. Superior St.), Spanish small plates joint De Cero (814 W. Randolph St.) and Devon Seafood Grill (39 E. Chicago Ave). ... The Trib's Glenn Jeffers reports on Bucktown wine bar-bistro-gastropub called Bluebird (1749 N Damen Ave), the newest concept from Webster Wine Bar owner Tom MacDonald. Opening in late June, Bluebird will be a European-style restaurant pairing a small-plates menu with an expansive wine and beer list. ... The Trib's Joe Gray takes a first look at panini shop Vella Cafe ... Cheap Eats column gives two forks to Eggsperience Cafe (2000 Tower Drive, Glenview). chicagotribune.com ... The Chicago Reader's Nicholas Day has a full-fledged review of Vella Cafe (1912 N. Western) and also includes a lengthy list of sublime sandwich shops, topped by Ba Le Sandwich Shop (5018 N. Broadway). chicagoreader.com ... Blogger ChicagoBites.com reviews Figo (110 N. Third St., St. Charles) ... The Sun-Times reports, "In February, the Andersonville community lost one of its most revered and prominent businesses when Ingvar Wikstrom, 79, closed his Swedish deli on North Clark Street. This summer though, the Wikstrom name returns to the area as daughter Marie opens a new deli next door to the Swedish American Museum her dad helped to build." The deli is to open in July at 5217 N. Clark. ... The paper also features the city's customized lunch trucks. ... Misha Davenport profiles Rasheed Williams' nightime dessert shop Carolina Caramel (1511 S. State). ... Reports religion writer Susan Hogan-Albach, "Friday afternoons, taxis cram the parking lot and streets around Zaiqa's Restaurant on North Orleans, just north of downtown. Indian and Pakistani cuisine are kept hot, while the drivers -- dozens and dozens of them -- gather on prayer rugs in the basement. Zaiqa is among a dozen businesses that also double as "mini-mosques" rimming the Loop. They're more than prayer rooms, but hubs for working Muslims who have only a brief time to relax, eat and pray before getting back to their jobs. suntimes.com ... Blog ChicagoFoodies.com samples the barbecue at Fat Willy's (2416 W. Schubert).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

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