I went to the opening of the über hip-and-happening Soho House Chicago (113-135 N. Green St., Chicago, 312-521-8000) last week.
Aside from the not-very-surprising realization that I am, in fact, a middle-aged suburban mom, I was duly impressed with the whole operation. The six-story hotel/private members’ club—one of 12 worldwide, including U.S. outposts in LA and NYC—is just south of Randolph in the bustling-with-hipsters West Loop restaurant corridor.
They offer both “Local” and “Every House” memberships, which gain you access to the massive gym facilities (complete with boxing ring), screening room, rooftop pool, all bars and restaurants and events. But fear not if you simply want to take advantage of the public facilities, which include the Cowshed Spa, The Allis (the “social gathering hub for the neighborhood,” or as we know it, a big bar), Pizza East (rustic pizzas, antipasti) or the Chicken Shop (rotisserie chicken and sides). The food, by the way, was surprisingly delectable.
New in Northbrook
There’s been a plethora of North Suburban openings this summer, including the urban-vibey House 406 (1143 ½ Church St., Northbrook, 847-714-0200), a “modern steak house” brought to you by Stephanie Izard acolyte Jennifer Eisen and Chef Eloin Amador. Modern, in the sense of intriguing craft cocktails, clever takes on steakhouse favorites, and the general approach to the restaurant. Look for my review in a few weeks.
27 Live (1012 Church St., Evanston, 855-927-5483) has re-concepted its restaurant as The Treble-Maker Grill, featuring a new menu replete with catchy music-themed names (try the “Juicy Lucy in the Sky,” the “Yardbird Pressed Pita” or “The Santana” Salad). Hopefully this will bring in the crowds that eluded them in their previous iteration.
I’m trying to make it out to Spears Bourbon-Burgers-Beer (723 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, 847-353-8933) soon, because: Bacon at the Bar. Mac and Cheese Muffins. Bourbon Bacon Deviled Eggs. Grilled Shrimp Tacos. I mean, fight fair, people. Owned by Joe Romeo (of Vernon Hills’ Beer Market and Jilly’s Piano Bar), they are in the forefront of the bourbon craze.
I’m also a little intrigued by the menu at Cadwell’s Grille (located in the Embassy Suites, 1445 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, 847-945-4500), which is much more interesting than the usual suburban-hotel restaurant. Chef Moises Ibarra has worked in the kitchens of Carlos’ Restaurant and The Four Seasons, so perhaps that’s the reason. Whatever, Deerfield needs more good restaurants. Perhaps this is one.
Lake Forest Hideaway
Westwood Bistro (950 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest, 847-295-2500) is now open. Owned by Ted Boufis of Grille No. 43, it sports a large outdoor area and a contemporary American menu with Asian and French accents.
Chicago’s Best Chefs Honored
Although it isn’t until October 16, discounted presale tickets for the Chicago Culinary Museum’s 2014 Chefs Hall of Fame may only be purchased through August 31, so I wanted to tell you about it. This year’s inductees include: Chef of the Year Stephanie Izard; Pastry Chef of the Year Gale Gand; Chef Michael Kornick for Legendary Chef; Phil Stefani as Industry Leader; and Larry Levy as Industry Legend. The event, which will take place at Castle (632 N. Dearborn, Chicago), is a fundraiser for the Chicago Culinary Museum and features an open bar, a wandering feast, silent auction and awards presentation.
The Perfect Furniture Find
If you’ve visited Found Kitchen and Social House (1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8945) and coveted the eclectic mix of furniture curated by owner Amy Morton, you aren’t alone. After umpteen requests, Morton is making her “salvaged furniture and repurposed relics,” as well as a variety of other “found” objects around the restaurant, available for purchase. So whether it’s the Turn-of-the-Century Red Velvet Petit Tufted French Settee or the 1880s Sofa with Cowhide Upholstery that captures your fancy, you can, in fact, take it with you—for a price. Make sure to ask if there’s a particular piece you’d love to see in your home. And don’t worry, this isn’t a fire sale. Morton is continually replenishing her finds for Found, so there’s plenty to share.