15 Chicago Restaurants Opening This Fall: Torali

Torali's Cheese Tortellini (Photo by Kailley Lindman.)

The turn of the seasons always brings a flurry of frantic restaurant activity to Chicago, and this year is certainly no different. A whole new slew of restaurants has appeared — from rustic to gourmet, counter service to 4-star hospitality — and the real question is, where do we eat first?

Open for Business:

Beatnik

1604 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 312-929-4945

New Chicago Restaurants:Beatnik

Beatnik’s Lamb Feast (Photo by Kailley Lindman.)

The newest member of the Bonhomme Hospitality Group (Celeste, Fulton Market Kitchen), this groovy West Town spot is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Design elements from around the globe (a circa-1900 Parisian patisserie counter, antique bronze candelabras from Argentina, a carved teak home façade from Bali, to name a few) combine to create a boho-chic atmosphere with eclectic world music to match.

Dishes to Die For: Grilled Oysters ($14) with shakshuka verde, egg yolk jam and chili powder; Cheese Dumplings ($14) stuffed with ricotta and Idiazábal cheese in a saffron broth, topped with a duck egg; Roasted Lebanese-Style Lamb ($55), a shareable feast with pistachio tzatziki, sherry vinegar pickled radishes, garbanzo bean salad and roti.

Opened: September 2017

Blu 57

5701 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-944-0575

New Chicago Restaurants: Blu 57

Blu 57’s Mussels (Photo courtesy of Blu 57.)

Co-owners Jai Sephora and Chef Joe Sukjam bring exciting Thai-influenced food to Andersonville. We’re not talking mee krob here, but rather Instagram-worthy continental dishes updated with Asian ingredients. Order a la carte, or put your trust in the chef with a six-course, prix fixe menu ($85) at his whim (call ahead for this special option).

Dishes to Die For: Smoked Mussels in White Wine Sauce ($13) with mesquite wood smoke, coconut foam and cilantro; Maine Lobster Tail ($25) with spicy curry leaf butter; BBQ Roasted Duck ($24) basted with “Blu” BBQ glaze and served with duck fat-infused emperor rice.

Opened: August 2017

Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar

2700 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 773-661-9577

New Chicago Restaurants: Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar

Photo courtesy of Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar.

An ambitious outing from a group of Chicago restaurant vets, including beverage manager/GM Jan Henrichsen and Executive Chef Guy Meikle, this Ukrainian Village spot is clearly a labor of love, reflecting the stories and recipes of the Eastern Europeans who make up a large portion of our city. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus offering a crazy-good bar program, this team is firing on all cylinders. A must visit.

Dishes to Die For: Pelmeni ($15), tender dumplings stuffed with ground duck and foie gras, sauced with melted onions and a Tuica (Romanian plum liquor) reduction; House-Smoked Sturgeon ($6/$11) with horseradish and black pepper and house-made brown bread; Bone-In Pork Chop ($30) with Carolina Gold rice grits, knob onions, sesame, peanuts and green oyster kimchi; Baked Alaska ($12) made with cherry and pistachio ice creams, chocolate cake, meringue, pistachios and pickled cherries (scrumptious!).

Opened: August 2017

Honeygrow

179 N. Morgan St., Chicago, 312-989-3926; 70 E. Lake St., Chicago (opening fall 2017)

New Chicago Restaurants: Honeygrow

Honeygrow’s The Capone (Photo by Jason Varney.)

Founded five years ago in Philadelphia, Honeygrow is a company on the move with 20+ restaurants on the East Coast, and now two in Chicago. They champion a plant-based diet — with meat in smaller proportions, and always all-natural selections. Choose one of their featured stir-fries or salads, or create your own, and wash it down with a cold-pressed juice. Dessert is from the “honeybar,” a make-your-own fruit parfait with honey, yogurt and other toppings. Perfect for a healthy lunch on the go.

Dishes to Die For: Walnut St. Noodle Salad ($9.29) with whole wheat noodles, arugula, mushrooms, cauliflower, roasted walnuts and parmesan crisps tossed with walnut-lemon dressing; Sweet Soy Five Spice ($9.39) with brown rice, togarishi-spiced turkey, green beans, red onions and sesame seeds; Green is Good Juice ($5.99) made with apple, spinach, cucumber, lemon and basil.

Opened: August 2017

Katana

339 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, 312-877-5544

New Chicago Restaurants: Katana

Photo courtesy of Katana.

The eye-popping, two-story design of this River North newcomer sets the tone for the creative sushi- and robata grill-driven menu. Big flavors, inventive cocktails, and an in-crowd vibe right from the get-go.

Dishes to Die For: Hamachi Diced ($19), yellowtail sashimi dotted with jalapeño and ginger and drizzled with sizzling olive oil; Popcorn Rock Shrimp Tempura ($19.50) with miso glaze; Robata-Grilled Salmon ($5.50 per skewer) with shiso gremolata.

Opened: August 2017

Maison Marcel

3114 N. Broadway, Chicago, 773-661-6942

New Chicago Restaurants: Maison Marcel

Photo courtesy of Maison Marcel.

This light and bright Lakeview spot, filled with comfy rattan chairs, birdcages and plants, is just the right stop for a light and healthy lunch and a fabulous French pastry … or two. Lovely salads, tartines, smoothies and juices help refuel your weary soul and get you primed to face another round of shopping.

Dishes to Die For: Crêpes Maison Marcel ($11) with homemade marmalade; Tartine Ricotta ($14) with figs, arugula and honey; Moroccan Couscous ($17) with red peppers, potatoes, eggplant, raisins, mint and your choice of free-range chicken or merguez sausage. 

Marisol at the MCA 

205 E. Pearson St., Chicago, 312-799-3599

New Chicago Restaurants: Marisol at the MCA

Marisol at the MCA’s Chicken (Photo by Jeff Marini.)

Named for the artist (and Andy Warhol confidante) who started the MCA’s collection with a gift of one of her sculptures in 1968, this newcomer is helmed by the beloved Jason Hammel (Lula Café) and Chef de Cuisine Sarah Rinkavage. The seasonal nature of their cuisine makes the menu somewhat of a moving target, but it’s sure to be delicious. Currently open for dinner only; lunch and brunch coming soon.

Dishes to Die For: Stuffed Prawns ($22), roasted in walnut oil with lardo and bitter greens; Rye Bucatini ($21) with pancetta, sage, goat’s milk butter and clams; Tres Leches Cake ($10) with coconut, squash and cajeta (goat’s milk caramel).

Opened: September 2017

Pearl Brasserie

180 N. Upper Wacker Drive, 312-629-1030

New Chicago Restaurants: Pearl Brasserie

Pearl Brasserie’s Filet with Foie Gras (Photo by Francis Son.)

Chef Jason Paskewitz (The Blanchard) is back, and he’s taking the Pearl Tavern and Oyster Bar on a trip to France. Along with the name change comes extended service hours (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and a brand-new menu. Expect great things from Steve Carrow’s beverage program, including classic and original cocktails, and nearly two dozen wines by the glass. So pull up to the 40’ marble-top bar (so very French!), order a Piscine cocktail and some freshly shucked oysters, and dig in.

Dishes to Die For: Chilled Foie Gras Torchon ($21) with fig and smoked sea salt; Steak Frîtes ($34) with maître d’ butter and sauce Bèarnaise; Poached Maine Lobster Roll ($18) with chives and lemon aioli on a buttered roll.

Opened: August 2017

Porter Kitchen and Deck

150 N. Riverside Plaza, Chicago, 312-781-7580

New Chicago Restaurants: Porter Kitchen and Deck

Porter Kitchen and Deck’s Wedge Salad (Photo by Emily Mortier.)

The Four Corners Tavern Group (Benchmark, Gaslight, Ranalli’s) has opened their most recent offering in a striking new skyscraper on the banks of the Chicago River, right at Wolf’s Point. This is well-made, craveable comfort food, and the location is spectacular.

Dishes to Die For: Crispy Brick Chicken ($19) with lemon, fried rosemary, roasted garlic, roasted fingerling potatoes and jus; Short Rib Pappardelle ($28), made with house-cut pasta, fennel-crusted beef, pork ragout, chopped parsley and parmesan cheese; Elotes ($7), a side dish made with grilled corn, spicy mayo, lime juice, chopped cilantro and Mexican cheese.

Opened: September 2017

Portsmith and Leviathan

Dana Hotel and Spa, 660 N. State St., Chicago, 312-202-6000

New Chicago Restaurants: Portsmith

Portsmith (Photo by Julie Chernoff.)

Sustainable seafood is the linchpin of this gorgeous menu, brought to you by the Fifty/50 Group (The Sixth, Steadfast, Homestead on the Roof), and the cocktails served up at Leviathan by beverage wizard Benjamin Schiller are nothing short of remarkable, both in taste and appearance. The luscious desserts ($12 each) are inspired by the flavors in different ports of call: Cuba, Greece, The Philippines, etc.

Dishes to Die For: Smoked Salmon & Caviar Laminated Brioche ($10), but all of the house-made breads and bespoke butters are amazing; Fancy Oysters ($5/ea or $30/half dozen), topped with shaved or finely diced foie gras torchon, yuzu flake daikon, and green apple; Turbot with Meyer Lemon ($38), with shaved black truffle and truffle buerre blanc.

Opened: August 2017

Somerset

1112 N. State St., Chicago, 312-586-2150

New Chicago Restaurants: Somerset

Somerset’s Whole Roasted Chicken (Photo by Huge Galdones Photography.)

The Boka Group’s latest, ensconced in the brand new Viceroy Hotel on the Gold Coast, features the cuisine of Lee Wolen (Boka) and Pastry Chef Meg Galus. The stunning décor of the two-story space is an inviting backdrop for their seasonal delights. Wolen has quite a way with vegetables, but don’t worry — his legendary whole roasted chicken is on the menu, too.

Dishes to Die For: Smoked Beet Tartare ($16), served with cumin yogurt, goat Gouda, sunflower seeds and flatbread; Grilled Beef Short Ribs ($34) with eggplant, Chinese broccoli and salsa verde; Grape Parfait ($10) with Concord grape ice cream, fromage blanc, moscato and crispy meringue.

Opened: September 2017

Torali Italian — Steak

Ritz-Carlton, 160 E. Pearson St. , Chicago, 312-573-5160

New Chicago Restaurants: Torali Italian — Steak

Torali’s Seafood Tower (Photo by Kailley Lindman.)

Located on the 12th floor of the hotel (where a number of other restaurants have tried and failed before), Torali strides confidently into the Chicago steakhouse fray with an Italian twist all their own. Expect freshly made pasta, prime and dry-aged meats, and great coffee from La Colombe (not Italian, but damn, is it good).

Dishes to Die For: Torali Shellfish Tower ($145), Garganelli ($26) with lamb Bolognese, English peas and fiore sardo cheese; Bistecca NY Strip ($65) with lardo pesto or black truffle-garlic butter.

Opened: August 2017

In the Pipeline:

Fred’s Garage  

574 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-496-3733

The team behind Evanston’s popular Ten Mile HouseRobert LaPata, Joe Krouse and Fred Gale — bring the love to Winnetka with the imminent opening of Fred’s Garage, constructed on the old site of Fred’s Mobil Station. Chef Michael Luth (Dusek’s) will be cooking upscale comfort food in a family-friendly atmosphere, but expect a rockin’ good bar scene at night, as well as an expansive, covered outdoor patio.

Opening: late September 2017

Lonesome Rose

2101 N. California Ave., Chicago

From Land and Sea Dept. (Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Cherry Circle Room, Longman & Eagle) comes this eagerly anticipated Logan Square joint overseen by Chef Jared Wentworth, with drinks from the revered mixologist Paul McGee. The food will skew toward Mexico and the Southwest.

Opening: late fall 2017

Pacific Standard Time

151 W. Erie St., Chicago

Erling Wu-Bower, Cosmo Goss and Joshua Tilden, veterans of One Off Hospitality (and disciples of Paul Kahan), are setting up shop in the old Tavernita Space in River North. Much of the menu will revolve around wood-fired oven cooking; expect deliciousness.

Opening: fall 2017


Because you’re not the only one who’s hungry…

We hope you’ll get the chance to check out all of these incredible local restaurants, but the next time you do, take a moment to remember how fortunate you are to be able to enjoy such fabulous food. Feed your stomach, then your soul by paying forward your good fortune and supporting one of these food-centric nonprofits.


 

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Julie-ChernoffJulie Chernoff, Make It Better’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz ScaggsRick Bayless and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and sits on the boards of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and Northlight Theatre. She and husband Josh are empty nesters since adult kids Adam and Leah have flown the coop. Rosie the Cockapoo relishes the extra attention.