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

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