Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe Closes Doors

IN THE NEWS: Chicago magazine Dish columnists Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby note the opening of Asian fusion spot Thalia (833 W. Chicago Ave., 312-226-6020) and report: Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe (1701 Maple St., Evanston) unexpectedly shuttered its doors on Sept. 16, while Delicioso y Sabroso Grill, Geno Bahena’s two-pronged Mexican restaurante just off the Skyway (10468 S. Indianapolis Blvd.), opened in May and closed last week after the sale of the building. ... Dish also chats with Dave Wolfgram, 49, CEO of San Francisco–based bakery Boudin SF, which opens in west suburban Lombard (348 Yorktown Center) on Oct. 9. chicagomag.com ... Joe King, a partner at Le Colonial (937 N. Rush St.; 312-255-0088), is working on King Cafe Gourmet & Go, which is taking over the former Corner Bakery space at 900 North Michigan Avenue. ... ChicagoBites.com reviews Tizi Melloul (531 North Wells). ...

The Tribune's Phil Vettel awards three stars to Sepia (123 N. Jefferson St., 312-441-1920), while Monica Eng reviews Curio Cafe (3400 N. Lawndale Ave., 773-463-2233, www.curiocafe.net). ... Glenn Jeffers and Trine Tsouderos takes a first bite at the new Bluebird Bistro & Wine Bar (1749 N. Damen Ave.; 773-486-2473) and Trine Tsouderos takes a first bite at The Reagle Beagle (160 E. Grand Ave.; 312-755-9645, www.reaglebeaglechicago.com). ... Vettel reports good news for chef Grant Achatz (Alinia), whose battle with oral cancer has become a coast-to-coast story. Doctors say the primary tumor, located on the chef's tongue (there has been, and continues to be, fear that the surgical removal of part or most of the tongue might be necessary eventually), has shrunk by 75 percent. This based on chemotherapy alone, and not the combination of chemo and radiation treatment that's just now getting underway. ... Vettel also reports the Sept. 18 shutdown of Bice Chicago Ristorante (158 E. Ontario St.) by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Inspectors reported a cockroach infestation in the two kitchens and a fruit-fly infestation in the bar area, among other citations. Bice remains closed pending re-inspection. ... Kevin Pang raves about the roast beef and bacon sandwich at Perry's Deli (174 N. Franklin St., 312-372-7557) and also visits Dirk's Fish and Gourmet Shop (2070 N. Clybourn Ave.; 773-404-3475). chicagotribune.com ...

TimeOut Chicago's Heather Shouse gives two stars to Rosebud Prime (1 S Dearborn St, 312-384-1900) and four stars to Korean eatery Su-Ra (2257 W North Ave, 773-276-9450), and also notes the opening of Macello (1235 W Lake St, 312-850-9870). ... David Tamarkin notes the opening of Reggie’s Music Joint (2105 S State St, 312-949-0125). timeout.com/chicago ... The Sun-Times' Pat Bruno recounts the most notable closings (Ambria, Le Francais) and openings in the Chicago area thus far in 2007. And while doling out birthday wishes to Twin Anchors on North Sedgwick (75 years), Charlie Trotter's (20 years), and Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights (35 years), he lists his hot spots of the moment: The Gage (24 S. Michigan, 312-372-4243), Sepia, Table Fifty-Two (52 W. Elm, 312-573-4000), Maijean (30 S. Prospect, Clarendon Hills, 630-794-8900), Anteprima (5316 N. Clark, 773-506-9990), Room 21 (2110 S. Wabash, 312-328-1198), Gloria's Cafe (3300 W. Fullerton, 773-342-1050), Boka (1729 N. Halsted, 312-337-6070), and Quartino (626 N. State, 312-698-5000). suntimes.com ... The Reader rounds up what's new, including Exposure Tapas Supper Club (1315 S. Wabash, 312-662-1082). chicagoreader.com ... Menu Pages notes the opening of Pannenkoeken Cafe. blogs.menupages.com/chicago ... Metroblogging Chicago visits Gene & Georgetti steakhouse. chicago.metblogs.com ... GapersBlock.com's Drive-Thru visits coffeehouse Sweet Bean and More (1855 W. Diversey Pkwy. 773-857-3100), Star Lounge Café (2521 W Chicago Ave. 773- 384-7827), and The Gage. ... LA-based blogger The Delicious Life raves about Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (1.800.LOU.TO.GO, www.loumalnatis.com). thedeliciouslife.blogspot.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Revived Palmer House Readies Lockwood

IN THE NEWS: Chicago magazine's Dish columnists Peggy Pollack and Kevin Ruby note the $150 million renovation of The Palmer House Hilton, which includes a new restaurant called Lockwood, a 125-seat contemporary spot with French and Italian touches. It launches in early November in the former Windsor’s Bar and gift shop spaces with exec chef Phillip Foss (Le Cirque in New York, Bistrot Margot in Chicago) on board. ... Dish's reported chef moves: Dudley Nieto (the closed Xel-Há) to former small-plates spot Zócalo (358 W. Ontario St.; 312-302-9977) in place of Saul Roman, who moves to Zapatista (1307 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-435-1307.) ... Noted openings: Thai Urban Kitchen (500 W. Madison St.; 312-575-0266) from the owners of Sura (3124 N. Broadway; 773-248-7872), and Eppy’s Deli (224 E. Ontario St.; 312-943-7797) adds another location in the Loop area (162 North Franklin Street) sometime in October. ... Sarah Stegner’s shepherd’s pie recipe from Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; 847-205-4433) appears on page 70 of Bon Appétit’s October issue. chicagomag.com ... The Tribune's Phil Vettel gives two stars to Bluprint (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 312-410-9800). ... Monica Eng notes the slated Sept. 29 opening of Willie Wagner's Honky Tonk Barbecue in Pilsen (1213 W. 18th St., 312-226-RIBS). chicagotribune.com ... The Sun-Times' Pat Bruno gives one star in reviewing Tavern at the Park (130 E. Randolph, 312-552-0070), while Thomas Witom considers Tivoli Ristorante (956 N. Neltnor, West Chicago, 630-957-6500) and Aroma Tapas Restaurant (3907 W. Algonquin, Algonquin; 847-658-5656). suntimes.com ... The Reader's Dawn Reiss reviews MetroKlub (733 W. Madison, 312-602-2104), while the paper also rounds up supper clubs and steakhouses. chicagoreader.com ... CenterstageChicago.com reviews Cuban eatery Cafe Bolero. ... Menu Pages visits The Orbit Room, a bar and grill in Avondale. blogs.menupages.com/chicago ... ChicagoGluttons.com visits Chicken Hut and Kuma's Corner. ... Saveur magazine's October 2007 issue features Chicago in numerous stories, including "Eight Chicago Taverns". Among them: circa-1881 Schaller's Pump (3714 South Halsted Street, 773/376-6332), seven blocks from Comiskey Park on the South Side and reputed to the city's oldest bar. saveur.com ... The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mexican food expert Rick Bayless, chef-owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, will open his first restaurant outside of the Windy City at Macy's Union Square in November with Frontera Fresco, a modified quick-service spot serving Mexican street food. sfgate.com ...

Zagat Buzz reports that to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the James Beard Foundation is hosting a series of food festivals and special dinners in 20 cities nationwide. The events kick off on September 18th in New York with a lavish menu inspired by Beard at Four Seasons. The celebrations continue the next week with elaborate dinners cooked by first-rate toques in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Short Hills, NJ and Washington, DC. All of the events are unique, with different chef lineups and dining formats ranging from gala dinners to walk-around tastings, so check the individual city pages for details. Though prices for the dinners vary, all of them will be followed up on September 29th with special events at local Williams-Sonoma stores where chefs will be offering cooking demos, book signings, specialty food tastings and kids' educational activities free of charge. For more information about the event, logon to www.jbftasteamerica.com. zagat.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Flagship Ann Sather to Close, Relocate

IN THE NEWS: Gapers Block's Drive-Thru blog reports the flagship Ann Sather on Belmont is closing temporarily, as soon as next month. Alderman Tom Tunney has sold its building and has begun renovation on 909-913 W. Belmont, the building just east of the entrance to the Sather's parking lot (and former home of the alderman's service office). gapersblock.com/drivethru ... Chicago magazine's Dish column notes the recent opening of Mohammad Afzal's (Baba Palace) additional Pakistani spot, Village Restaurant (310 S. Canal St.; 312-880-0010). chicagomag.com ... The Tribune's Phil Vettel lists 10 great restaurant salads, including salade lyonnaise at La Sardine, while Joe Gray reviews Cuisine of Vietnam (2269 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-0884), and Trine Tsouderous has a first bite at the new gastropub English. chicagotribune.com ... The Sun-Times' Pat Bruno reviews Table Fifty-Two (52 W. Elm, Chicago, 312-573-4000) from former Oprah Winfrey chef Art Smith, and visits Erie Cafe (536 W. Erie, 312-266-2300). suntimes.com ... TimeOut Chicago reviews Bluebird (1749 N Damen Ave, 773-486-2473) and Cafe 103 (1909 W 103rd St, 773-238-5115) and features the opening of Rockwell Lounge (710 N Clark St, 312-787-2675). timeout.com/chicago ... The Reader's Mike Sula reviews Turkish spot Nazarlik (1650 W. Belmont, 773-327-5800). chicagoreader.com ... The Chicago Burger Project visits Pop's Italian Beef (10337 S. Kedzie Ave., 773-239-1243). chicagoburgerproject.blogspot.com ... Veal Cheeks reviews Otom (951 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, West Loop, 312-491-5804, www.otomrestaurant.com). vealcheeks.blogspot.com ... The Detroit Free Press reports that Certified Master Chef Michael Russell, executive chef of Detroit's MotorCity Casino for more than eight years, has been named executive chef of Chicago’s McCormick Place, the largest convention complex in North America. freep.com ... The Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports the closing of Erik & Me, a riverfront restaurant that over two decades became a staple of dining in downtown suburban St. Charles. dailyherald.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chef Eastwood's Olo Set for Late October

IN THE NEWS: The Tribune's Phil Vettel gives one star to Cooper's Hawk (15690 S. Harlem Ave., Orland Park, 708-633-0200) and notes the planned late-October opening of chef Sean Eastwood's (late of Isabella's Estiatorio in Geneva) Olo (1152 W. Randolph St.), while Monica Eng's Cheap Eats gives two forks to the Ethiopian eatery Blue Nile (6118 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-465-6710), and Trine Tsouderos has a first bite at Trattoria 225 (225 Harrison St., Oak Park; 708-358-8555). ... Eng has a first bite at Su-Ra (2257 W. North Ave.; 773-276-9450), while Vettel follows up that Hot Doug's (3324 N. California Ave., 773-279-9550) will reopen later than previously reported, more like mid-September, because of owner Doug Sohn's foot surgery. chicagotribune.com ... TimeOut Chicago reviews Otom (951 W Fulton Mkt 312-491-5804), and Table Fifty-Two (52 W Elm St, 312-573-4000) and notes the opening of Paramount Room (415 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-829-6300). timeout.com/chicago ... The Reader's Mike Sula reports on the Sept. 1 closing of chef John Bubala's Baccala in Wicker Park. ... The Reader reviews Mexx Kitchen at the Whiskey (1015 N. Rush, 312-475-0300), The Bluebird Bistro & Wine Bar (1749 N. Damen, 773-486-2473), and CJ's Eatery (3839 W. Grand, 773-292-0990). chicagoreader.com ... The Sun-Times' Pat Bruno gives one star in reviewing Maijean (30 S. Prospect Clarendon Hills, 630-794-8900). suntimes.com ... In its September 2007 edition, Chicago magazine's Dennis Ray Wheaton also reviews Maijean as well as Viet Bistro (1346 W. Devon Ave., 773-465-5720), while Jill Rohde's Budget Beat visits the Peruvian spot Machu Picchu (3856 N. Ashland Ave., 773-472-0471). chicagomag.com ... The Oregonian reports that Alfred Peet, founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea, died Aug. 29 at his Ashland, Ore. home at age 87. Peet opened the original Peet's store on the corner of Walnut and Vine in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, and eventually added shops in Menlo Park, in Oakland and another in Berkeley across from the Claremont Hotel. Although he retired in 1983, Peet never fully gave up his passion in coffee. He continued to consult with coffee companies and was often known to drop by coffee stores and taste samples of coffee beans with its proprietors, his company said in a statement. oregonlive.com ... ChicagoBites.com visits Adesso (3332 N. Broadway). ... Gapers Block's Drive-Thru considers Julius Meinl and Shikago (190 South LaSalle). gapersblock.com/drivethru ... The Wall Street Journal's Janet Adamy details Alinea chef/owner Grant Achatz's battle with tongue cancer. online.wsj.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com