Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

Alinea creators coming to Fulton Market with Next Restaurant and The Aviary!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on July 29, 2010

Brought to me by the weekly Fulton River District Association bulletin, the creators of the world-famous restaurant, Alinea, are making their presence known in the Fulton Market.  Currently under construction, two new businesses are taking shape at 953-955 W. Fulton Market.  

Next Restaurant will explore world cuisine and instead of taking reservations, your booking will be made more like a theater or a sporting event where your tickets will be fully inclusive of all charges, including dining service.  Obviously, ticket prices will depend on the time and day of your visit. 

The Aviary won’t technically be defined as a bar or a lounge, really.  They’ll have chefs producing the drinks so not only will they have the classic cocktails, but you can bet they’ll have some amazing and beautiful cocktails to compliment the menu at Next Restaurant

Both Next Restaurant and The Aviary are slated to open later this year. 

Chef Grant Achatz of Alinea and one of his food creations.

Posted in Construction, Food, Fulton River District, Restaurant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Owners of Rosebud plan for a late-night comfort food spot, Eatt, in River North.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on March 29, 2010

Rosebud owner plans late-night comfort food spot in River North

By: Eddie Baeb March 29, 2010

(Crain’s) — Rosebud Restaurants Inc. is planning a new eatery in River North that will feature fresh-made baked goods in the morning, comfort foods at lunch and dinner and a kitchen that will be open well past midnight.

The café, dubbed Eatt, is under construction and is slated to open by June at 6 W. Hubbard St., the longtime home of Vong’s Thai Kitchen, a popular Lettuce Entertain You Inc. restaurant that closed in December when its lease was up.

The concept is loosely modeled after European cafes that are open for breakfast – where diners often grab bread or pastries to go – and then cater to lunchtime, dinnertime and bar-time crowds, says Rosebud owner Alex Dana. Eatt will stay open until either 2 a.m. or 4 a.m.

The location, at the corner of Hubbard and State Street, should work well for a late-night eatery because of the numerous nightclubs and bars nearby, according to Phil Mott, a professor at Chicago-based Kendall College’s School of Hospitality Management.

“Chicago has certainly become a nightclub city, much more than it used to be,” Mr. Mott says. “You can only go to the Wieners Circle so many times.”

Rosebud, which is best known for upscale Italian restaurants and steakhouses, is looking to capitalize on the popularity of the Hubbard Street area for diners and club-goers. Mr. Dana says he also expects Eatt’s fare, items such as short ribs, hamburgers and tuna sandwiches, to play well in a difficult economy.

“It’s going to be a little higher-end comfort food with a real heavy value to the portions,” says Mr. Dana, whose Chicago-based Rosebud has 11 locations in the city and suburbs, including a Rosebud Trattoria in River North at 445 N. Dearborn St.

Mr. Dana first tested some elements of the comfort-food menu last year in west suburban Naperville, where he overhauled the menu of the Rosebud there to focus on items like hamburgers, chicken in a basket, ribs and hot dogs. The experiment lasted only about six months, though, as an outcry from the locals for the old Rosebud menu prompted Mr. Dana to reverse course.

He says the comfort food was well-received, though the family-oriented Naperville crowd was more interested in having Rosebud’s traditional Italian menu than they were in paying upwards of $8 for a burger.

“Sometimes you’re not as smart as everybody thinks you are, and you’ve got to be willing to eat a little crow,” Mr. Dana says. “The town was so caught up with our Italian culinary, they didn’t want to hear about burgers. They wanted their spaghetti back.”

That’s partly why Eatt will have its own, distinct brand separate from Rosebud, Mr. Dana says. He also thinks the River North location is well-positioned for the concept because of the tourist crowd along with nearby bars, restaurants and hotels.

“That location is so hot. There’s so much foot traffic,” he says. “There are a lot of people in the (restaurant) industry who work late and want a place to eat after work. There are all the people in their hotels. They don’t want to eat in their rooms….”

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

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Happy New Year from ChicagoismynewBlog!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on December 31, 2009

Hey everyone!  I hope you all have a very happy, healthy, successful, and safe 2010!  Have fun tonight and stay safe.  I’m for sure going to one of my favorite Thai restaurants, the Silver Spoon, and of course a bit of champagne…all night!

Also, the real estate market always starts to pick up after the new year because the holidays are winding down and everyone’s always more optimistic and ready to get out there.  So when you’re ready to buy, sell, or even find an apartment in Chicago, don’t hesitate to contact me or your favorite @properties agent.  I would love to help out!

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I FINALLY went to Rick Bayless’ new restaurant Xoco in Chicago’s River North (2.5/5 Stars).

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 8, 2009

So after opening up a couple months ago, all I’ve heard is that everyone I know in Chicago wants to go to Rick Bayless’ new restaurant, Xoco, located at 449 North Clark Street.  I wanted to visit Xoco because I had heard it was more of a fast food and more inexpensive version of Rick’s other restaurants, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.  While I agree that Xoco is both of the above, it’s still expensive as hell.  I spent over $19.00 for my meal which is not what I consider inexpensive.

I ordered the Pepito ($12.00) which is braised Tallgrass shortribs, caramelized onion, artisan Jack cheese, black beans, pickled jalapenos.  Now, I have to admit, the Pepito was an awesome sandwich.  Now, I’m sure Rick Bayless would hate to have his sandwich described as a much better Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich but that’s all I thought about when I was eating it.  Personally, I would take this as a compliment because Portillo’s Italian beefs are awesome.  I also had an order of fresh chips and Frontera guacamole ($4.00) and one homemade churro ($1.25).  Obviously I could have gone without the churro in order to save money, but I felt like the chips and guac were necessary.  You know how a burger comes with fries?  Well, this sandwich didn’t come with anything else.

My sister ordered the Gunthorp Chicken sandwich which is wood-roasted red chile chicken, caramelized onion, black beans, avocado and tomatillo salsa ($8.50).  She didn’t like it and only finished half of the sandwich.  I thought it was alright, but the red chile sauce was so thick and almost chalky in texture.

Our friends both ordered the slow-cooked pork carnitas with potato-masa dumplings, chayote, roasted serrano chile, spinach, arugula, avocado…all in soup form ($11.50).  Neither of them liked it and for one, it was too spicy and painful to even finish.  Again, I thought it was good but not $11.50 good.  Everyone but me ordered the hot chocolate and althought it was very rich for two of the three, I thought it was awesome…think melted chocolate mixed with a teaspoon of water.  That’s how rich it was. 

 The service and food came out very fast and they definitely have it down to a ‘T’ so I give them props for that.  Too bad Xoco isn’t larger because it could definitely use more tables at times.  Click HERE for their menu!


The Pepito sandwich!


Posted in Restaurant, River North | 3 Comments »

Little Mel’s Place on 18th Street in Pilsen opened by a great, young couple!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on August 22, 2009

After a second time eating at Little Mel’s Place, located at 1800 S. Jefferson Street, in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, I realized I should have posted about this place after my first visit.  I’m all about no frills places where I can actually leave full and satisfied for not much money and where I know I’m contributing to a small neighborhood restaurant.  A very nice, young couple were the ones to open up Little Mel’s and they will also be the ones to take your order and cook your delicious food…plus, they happily took my townhome brochures which was extra cool.

Both times I visited, I was lame and got the same thing but I swear I only did so because it was so good.  I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger meal which includes a drink and fries.  Let me tell you, the burger was massive and with the pickle spear, lettuce, tomato and onion, I could have died a happy man right there.  BUT, I’m not one to turn down these fries because they taste similar to McDonalds fries but are a bit bigger.  I also skipped the pop and went with a large strawberry shake which was perfect for the 95 degree day.  All of this set me back a little over $7.00…not bad for being able to fill me up.  Kudos Little Mel’s, kudos.

Little Mel's Place

Thanks to “Yelper” Southside S. for the photo of Little Mel’s.  I couldn’t find any picture of the place.

Posted in Food, Pilsen, Restaurant | Leave a Comment »

New location for Orange Brunch, with a peel at Halsted/Grand/Milwaukee!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on August 18, 2009

About two weeks ago, Orange opened its fourth location at 730 W. Grand Avenue, in Chicago’s Fulton River District.  Orange is the newest culinary addition to the neighborhood where they specialize in all things brunch.  Orange’s new restaurant will be open seven days a week and is often descibed as Charlie Trotters in his jammies, or the fine dining version of brunch.  From looking at THE MENU, it looks like omelete and pancake meals generally run around $8.95 and they sound pretty good.  I haven’t paid a visit but will definitely do so pretty soon.  I love me some pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice…too bad I work weekends…

Posted in Food, Fulton River District, Restaurant | Leave a Comment »

A taste of Latin America at Lito’s Empanadas in Lincoln Park! (5/5 Stars)

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on August 10, 2009

I LOVE LITO’S EMPANADASLito’s, which is located in a small storefront at 2566 N. Clark Street in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  I first started making my own empanadas after seeing a recipe in my high school Spanish book…random I know…so when I saw Lito’s open up, I immediately went in to check it out.  If you’re driving by, you may easily miss the restaurant because of its small presence from the street.  Inside, there’s only a small bar with about five stools to eat at making Lito’s good for carry-out. 

Whenever I go, I order one ‘Beef’ which includes ground beef, olives, raisins, potato, tomato and onion ($2.29), one ‘Chicken’ which has chicken, rice, tomato and onion ($2.19) and one ‘BBQ Chicken’ which is made with slow-cooked BBQ chicken and potatoes ($2.29).  One is a snack, two can make me content, but I always get three so I can enjoy my uncomfortable fullness.

According to their website, Lito’s now delivers and caters their empanadas which range from sweet (Choco-Banana), savory (Beef and Rice), and even vegetarian empanadas…all for a pretty awesome price.  I have to give props for their marketing efforts because I constantly see articles on them in places like the Red-Eye and Time Out Chicago.



Posted in Food, Lincoln Park, Restaurant | Leave a Comment »

Uncomfortably full, but so good at Texas De Brazil! (5/5 Stars)

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on July 4, 2009

I randomly signed up for Texas De Brazil’s eClub program and they emailed me a buy one dinner, get one free for their all you can eat dinners.  Texas De Brazil, located at 51 E. Ohio Street, is one of two prominant Brazilian steakhouses in Chicago, Brazzaz is the other. 

The concept of Texas De Brazil is that you have a harvest table which is full of vegetables, types of salads, cheeses, small dishes, sushi, and much more.  This table is basically an all you can eat buffet.  BUT, I don’t like to waste my time on this “filler” table.  Texas De Brazil gives each person at the table a two sided token.  Flip the token to the green side, the servers bombard you with different cuts of meat, ranging from shrimp to filet mignon.  Flip the token to the red side, and the servers ignore you until you switch back to green.  And if you actually have room in your stomach for dessert, a friend and I tried their bananas foster and key lime pie and they were both amazing.

Texas De Brazil is huge, I’m talking about two stories tall and seating for what seems like 1,000 people.    Prices are not cheap, that’s why I only go here when I have a buy one dinner, get one free coupon.  Plus, you literally have to prepare your body so you can accommodate this much food.  STILL, I highly recommend you pay a visit at least once because Texas De Brazil knows how to cook amazing food.



Posted in Food, Restaurant, River North | Leave a Comment »

One of Pilsen’s most talked about new restaurants: Simone’s Bar

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on June 28, 2009

I FINALLY got to pay a visit to Simone’s Bar in Pilsen, the neighborhood’s most talked about new restaurant and bar.  Luckily, I got to combine work with pleasure as well, due to a lunch meeting with a coworker and a great contact in the Pilsen neighborhood, Norma Alanis.  Norma owns and operates Chocolate For Your Body Spa, located at 1743 S. Halsted Street.

Simone’s Bar, located at 960 W. 18th Street, opened a few months ago and already has quite the following throughout the area.  The inside of Simone’s is decorated with recycled materials such as old bowling lanes for tables and the bar and glass bottles for light fixtures so it’s pretty unique.

Their outdoor patio recently opened so we all decided to eat outside because the weather was so nice.  I ordered the Simone’s Burger which is a 100%  hand pressed beef patty filled with bleu cheese and served with a mixture of hand cut regular and sweet potato fries ($9.00).  Norma ordered the Cheeseburger with American cheese, also served with the mixture of fries ($8.00), and Zev ordered a cup of tomato soup and had a panini sandwich which was the special for the day (price not known).

Overall, our server was very attentive and the food came out very quickly and I’m always a fan of outdoor eating which made the experience even better.  The food was great and I look forward to trying some other entrees the next time I pay a visit.  Simone’s Bar is open from 11:30am – 2am daily so definitely check them out!



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Thai hideaway and good food at Silver Spoon on Rush Street (4/5 Stars).

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on June 21, 2009

First introduced to me by a couple friends who live in the neighborhood, I have now passed my love of the Silver Spoon to other friends and visitors.  The Silver Spoon, located at 710 N. Rush Street, is a hole in the wall Thai restaurant that is tucked away in the basement level of a building but within a minute from the Mag Mile.  Most times that I have visited, there was no wait, and every time the service was attentive, and the food came out very quickly.  For my most recent visit to Silver Spoon, I went with my sister Diane and our friend Andrea and we went the whole “sharing route”…here’s what we ordered:

I ordered the Bamee BBQ Pork without broth which is steamed egg noodles topped with sliced BBQ pork, garlic, green onion, bean sprouts, and cilantro.  The reason I stray away from having broth is strictly because I am not a huge fan of soup. 

Andrea ordered the Ginger Chicken which has stir-fired chicken sautéed with ginger root, onions, mushrooms, carrots and baby corn.  Out of all three dishes, we all agreed this was the least favorite…but good nonetheless.

Diane ordered the Pad Thai…go figure.  Her Pad Thai had thin noodles, stir fried with egg, bean sprouts, onions, tofu topped with carrots, green onions and ground peanuts.  Diane opted out of the tofu for this dish.

We also split an order of spring rolls which were amazing and, for an appetizer, the quantity was pretty large.  I’ll definitely order them again the next time I’m at the Silver Spoon.

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