Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mag's Best-Ofs Tap La Sardine, Toro Sushi

IN THE NEWS: Chicago magazine's August 2007 Best of Chicago issue includes critics picks for La Sardine (111 N. Carpenter St.) as Best Affordable French, City), Toro Sushi (2546 N. Clark St.) as Best Cheap Sushi, and Pasticceria Natalina (5406 N. Clark St.) as Best New Bakery. ... Critic Dennis Ray Wheaten reviews new gastropub The Gage (24 S. Michigan Ave.), and restaurateur Jerry Kleiner's (Marche, Opera, Carnivale) new Room 21 (2110 S. Wabash Ave.) ... The mag notes: Otom (951 W. Fulton Market), Anteprima (5316 N. Clark St.), Whiskey Bar & Grill (Sutton Place Hotel, 1015 N. Rush St.), Chaise Lounge (1840 W. North Ave., Sepia (123 N. Jefferson St.), and Xni-Pec (5135 W. 25th St., Cicero) ... Dish columnists Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby's Hot List for August: Crust, Room 21, Coalfire, Anteprima, The Cage, Cordis Brothers Supper Club, Caoba, Pinstripes, South Coast, and Uber Burger. ... Pollack and Ruby chat with Frank Brunacci, the chef that will anchor the restaurant coming to the 16th floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago (401 N. Wabash Ave.) when it opens in December. A native of Melbourne, Brunacci, 36, has worked under Alain Chapel and Joël Antunes, learning the ropes in kitchens from London (Les Saveurs) to Atlanta (Ritz-Carlton Buckhead) to New Orleans (Victor’s) to Sedona, Arizona (L’Auberge de Sedona). ... Dish also reports: Sean Eastwood and Dean Georgelos, the chef and partner respectively in Isabella’s Estiatorio (330 W. State St., Geneva;) plan to open Olo, a 110-seat Mediterranean restaurant, at 1152 West Randolph Street this fall. ... Allen’s (217 W. Huron St.), Allen Sternweiler’s River North café, will close after Aug. 18. ... O’H American Grill (9300 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont), the new upscale comfort-food restaurant in the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, is the centerpiece of the hotel’s $60-million makeover. ... Café Bionda, Joe Farina’s Southern Italian restaurant at 1924 South State Street, has spawned another location, this one in Wicker Park at 1467 North Milwaukee Avenue. ... Ditto for Davis Street Fishmarket (501 Davis St., Evanston), Evanston’s 22-year-old seafood standby, which is branching out to Schaumburg (1383 Meacham Rd.) on Aug. 13. ... Paddy Long’s (1028 W. Diversey Ave.), co-owned by Loyola rugby coach Patrick Berger, recently opened in the old Lawry’s Tavern space. chicagomag.com. ....

Chicago chef Charlie Trotter is preparing to return to Vegas, Zagat Buzz reports. A representative from Las Vegas Sands has confirmed the "worst-kept secret in Vegas", namely that Trotter is preparing to open a 100-seat restaurant in the new Palazzo hotel currently being built next door to the Venetian. The new restaurant, which has the working title Restaurant Charlie, will have a full bar and a seafood focus and is scheduled to open in November. According to the Sun-Times, John Shields will be running the kitchen. This is Trotter's second go at running a restaurant in Vegas. In 1995 he opened a restaurant at the MGM Grand, but left within a year over disagreements with new hotel management. zagat.com ... The Daily Southtown reports that longtime family restaurant Harry's in Midlothian (14753 Cicero Ave.) closed July 5 after the family that leased the eatery for 13 years didn't pay rent or taxes for months. Catherine Nakos, whose family has owned Harry's since the 1970s, has been awarded $64,437.90 in Cook County Court, records show. She could receive more money if a judge grants her attorney fees. dailysouthtown.com ... The Trib's Phil Vettel gives three stars in reviewing Boka (1729 N. Halsted St.). ... The Trib's Kevin Pang takes a first look at Table Fifty-Two (52 W. Elm St.). ... Vettel reports, "The bad news: Scylla (1952 N. Damen Ave.) is serving its last meal on August 25, confirms chef/owner Stephanie Izard. The good news: Takashi Yagihashi, the award-winning chef who was once chef de cuisine at Ambria, is taking over the space, and hopes to open Takashi, a contemporary-French restaurant with plenty of Asian influences, by mid-November." ... Patrick Cassata, last seen running 10 West in downtown Naperville and Eclectic in Barrington (both gone the way of all flesh), is back in business, the executive chef of The Bank (121 W. Front St., Wheaton), scheduled to make its debut on Sept. 10 in downtown Wheaton. chicagotribune.com ... The Sun-Times' Frank Bruno gives two stars to Wishbone (6611 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn; www.wishbonechicago.com). suntimes.com ... The Reader's David Hammond looks at Filipino cooking, including Cid's Ma Mon Luk (9182 Golf Road, Niles), and rounds up off-the-beaten-path Asian eateries, including Adobo Express (5343 N. Lincoln). chicagoreader.com ... TimeOut Chicago reviews Shikago (190 S LaSalle St), Jerry's Sandwiches (1938 W Division St), and notes the opening of the Reagle Beagle (160 E Grand Ave). timeout.com/chicago ... Menu Pages notes the openings of Il Fiasco and Pie. blogs.menupages.com/chicago ... ChicagoBurgerProject.blogspot.com visits Lux Bar (18 E Belleview, Chicago). ... Chicagoist.com stops by Mundial-Cocina Mestiza.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

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