Just in time for spring—because rumor has it that it’s going to happen, at some point in time—are some fun new openings featuring everyone’s favorite food from some familiar faces.

Burgers, Burgers Everywhere!

Excited to report the opening of David Morton andMichael Kornick’s DMK Burger and Fish Bar  (815 Noyes St., Evanston, 847-424-8226), where they’re doing surf and turf in all the best ways.

We stopped in at 9 p.m. on a recent Friday night and gorged on perfect Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon-Tabasco Aioli; the Turkey Burger with Smoked Swiss Cheese, tomato, arugula and dijonnaise on a very tender potato bun; a delicious Veggie and Grain Burger with Aged Cheddar, eggplant, tomato and pesto mayo; crunchy Cod Fish Sandwich with housemade tartar sauce and American cheese; yummy Parmesan Fries with Truffle Cream and, of course, the #1 (grass-fed beef burger with aged cheddar, smoked bacon, charred balsamic red onions and BBQ sauce).

We weren’t alone; the place has been jammed since it opened mid-February. The concept is a mash up of their über-popular Lakeview restaurants, DMK Burger Bar  and DMK Fish Bar . It’s a marriage made in tummy heaven.


Another perfect pairing? The Hearty Boys  (winners of “The Next Food Network Star”) and celebrity chef Gale Gand. They’ve teamed up to bring us SpritzBurger  (3819 N. Broadway, Chicago, 773-868-9866). Yes, there are Dan’s myriad burgers—including one topped with poutine—and they are juicy and oh-so good. But there’s also Steve’s take on vintage-seltzer cocktails, Gale’s justly renowned desserts and brunch treats (pictured above), and even Mac & Cheeto (every teenager’s culinary dream team: Mac & Cheese and Cheetos). Can’t wait to try that one!


Hello Burger, Goodbye Hot Dog…

Sadly, D’s Haute Dogs in Winnetka has closed. It was a favorite in our office, just across the street, and a happy source of homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and yes, hot dogs. They will be missed.

Brunch Comes to Glencoe

Guildhall  (694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-8100) is now serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, and it’s pretty damn delish. An added bonus: The room looks absolutely gorgeous during the day, and the sound level is much reduced—perhaps because everyone is so blissed out eating these tasty brunch creations.

Start with the homemade cinnamon roll served in its own cocotte, or maybe one of the addictive donuts. But by all means, save room for the Guildhall Eggs Benedict with Nueske’s Canadian bacon, creamed spinach, roasted tomatoes, softly poached farm eggs and a lemony hollandaise sauce on toasted English muffins; or perhaps the House-Made Chorizo and Hominy Hash with Salsa Verde, Pickled Onions, Fried Eggs and Queso Fresco. If you’re a dessert-for-breakfast person, then the light-as-air Lemon and Ricotta Hotcakes with Lemon Curd and Raspberry Syrup are your play. It’s all good, and the service was delightful.


Musical Chairs, Restaurant Style

Michael Tsonton is in as the new exec chef at Market House on the Square  and MH Fish House(670 N. Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-234-8802), while Dominic Zumpano is out—but will helm the soon-to-open, high-end steakhouse PM Prime, which will open later this spring at 310 Green Bay Road in Highwood.

March Madness

Apparently, beer’s been around for a long time: on March 19, The Gage  (24 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-372-4243) is having an unusual and very special Sumerian Beer Dinner  in partnership with Great Lakes Brewing Company  and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago . Great Lakes’ co-owner Pat Conway has enlisted U of C historians, scientists and archaeologist to brew an accurate version of the first-recorded beer recipe from ancient Sumer. ChefPeter Coenen is doing a three-course dinner (including Crispy Line-Caught Black Bass, Pork Two Ways, and a decadent peanut-chocolate dessert) paired with Great Lakes’ terrific beers (including the Edmund Fitzgerald). A good time is guaranteed for all.


Not Your Average Dinner Party

Speaking of good times, Elysabeth Alfano hosts the best Dinner Party  in town at City Winery (1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago, 312-733-9463); the next one will be on March 31 at 7:30 p.m. Alfano will interview and dine with Chef Rick Bayless, New Yorker cartoonist Pat Byrnes, and author Sara Paretsky on stage, while you listen in from the audience and enjoy the food of ChefCarrie Nahabedian of Naha  and Brindille . Wine is poured, Vosges chocolates are eaten, and you will be happy you came. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased here .