Chicago

Restaurant-Guide für NRA Show 2011

Vom 21. bis 24. Mai findet in Chicago das große jährliche Messe-Ereignis für die Gastronomie in Nordamerika statt: die NRA Show – The International Foodservice Market Place. Über 1.800 Aussteller in mehr als 900 Produktkategorien.

Viele und immer mehr Gastronomen aus Europa nehmen die Messe zum Anlass, das Neueste auf dem US-Markt zu studieren. Und natürlich ist der Chicago-Besuch auch eine erstklassige Gelegenheit, die Gastronomie dieser kraftvollen Metropole ebenfalls zu studieren. Hier fachliche Besuchertipps, fokussiert auf Neueröffnungen, der Fachzeitschrift ’Restaurant Hospitality’.

Grahamwich, 615 N. State St., 312-624-9188
This quick-service sandwich shop is a far cry from Chicago’s ubiquitous hot dog and Polish sausage stands. Chef Graham Elliot of his namesake fine dining restaurant touts his whimsical style with a limited menu of eight sandwiches, such as a Vietnamese-inspired banh mi with pork belly, roasted pineapple, daikon slaw and shiitake mushrooms on a French baguette; a few breakfast items; and addictive snacks, including popcorn flavored with truffle oil, grated parmesan and chopped chives. All sandwiches are $10, and payment is cash only. Limited seating at a long communal table and at a counter is available.
www.grahamwich.com

Henri, 18 S. Michigan Ave., 312-578-0763
Fine dining is alive and well at this contemporary French restaurant next door to its more casual cousin The Gage, both owned by Billy Lawless and presided over by chef Dirk Flanigan. The kitchen’s pretty presentations and twists on the classics match the style of the dining room inspired by iconic Chicago architect Louis Henri Sullivan. Dishes include lobster and foie gras Wellington, bouillabaisse and fig-glazed duck breast. Entrees range from $17 to $38 in an elegant space.
www.henrichicago.com

Girl & the Goat, 809 W. Randolph St., 312-492-6262
Fun fine dining best describes the atmosphere at this much-publicized spot featuring chef Stephanie Izard, winner of the Top Chef prize in Season 4 of Bravo television’s tension-ridden reality show. Her quirky personality comes through in dishes with provocative names, all served on small plates. Owners Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of Boka, Perennial and Landmark in Chicago allow her to focus on the food while they take care of business in the casual converted loft space.
www.girlandthegoat.com

Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800
Chicago continues to be known for great steaks with openings of still more downtown steakhouses. In addition to its on-premises dry-aged steaks and other familiar steakhouse menu classics, Chicago Cut boasts nonchain local ownership (Matt Moore and David Flom) and a rare location on the Chicago River, complete with seasonal patio. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this luxurious dining room presents its wine list on an iPad. Jackie Shen, one of the city’s best-known female chefs, heads the kitchen.
www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com

Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., 312-944-8400
Parisian-born Martial Noguier left Café des Architectes to work his magic at this more personal modern bistro with partners Matt Fisher and John Ward. With just over 100 seats, the cozy, photography-filled restaurant (above) transports guests to the Left Bank with the chef’s homemade pate, ahi tuna tartare with avocado, basil and lemon vinaigrette, braised lamb shoulder with dried fruit, saffron and couscous and chocolate hazelnut bars with crispy praline and orange sauce. Entrees range from $16 to $26, and a cheese and charcuterie menu is especially popular at the bar.
www.bistronomic.net

Davanti Enoteca, 1359 W. Taylor St., 312-226-5550
Scott Harris and partners, who opened his first Mia Francesca restaurant in town umpteen years ago, have grown his empire to some 30 restaurants and counting, with about a half-dozen opening in the past year alone. Varying a bit from his core trattoria concept, Davanti Enoteca focuses on a wine bar where guests may choose their own bottle from two walls at the retail price plus corkage. The rustic Italian food is influenced by leading Italian restaurants the culinary team explored across the U.S.
www.davantienoteca.com

The Florentine, JW Marriott Hotel, 151 W. Adams St., 312-660-8866
New York’s BLT Restaurant Group operates this Italian-American ristorante in the new luxury outpost of the Marriott empire. The menu combines coveted Italian imports alongside stellar foodstuffs from local and organic farms. Hearty Tuscan cuisine dominates with dishes including handmade pastas in full or half portions, veal porterhouse, Great Lakes whitefish in white bean puree with rock shrimp and green beans, thin-crust pizzas and breakfast staples on the morning menu.
www.bltrestaurants.com

GT Fish & Oyster, 531 N. Wells St., 312-929-3501
Boka Restaurant Group is on a roll, as evidenced by the newest of its five concepts and the first to focus primarily on seafood. Veteran Boka chef Giuseppe Tentori, a previous Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef and Restaurant Hospitality Rising Star, conceived a seasonal menu that aims to remain moderately priced. Shared plates are featured, as are craft cocktails. Nautical décor accents the mix of traditional and nontraditional seafood dishes.
www.bokagrp.com

Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., 312-222-1331
A tavern with a big menu, Hubbard Inn is an eclectically decorated newcomer that aims for broad appeal, from vegetarian dishes such as truffle ravioli with mushroom ragout to meaty short ribs with bone marrow radish salad. Classic cocktails, 22 craft beers on draft and even punch bowls emphasize the thoughtful beverage program, conceived by partners Adolfo Garcia, Daniel Alsonso and David Mitria. Bohemian décor is a mélange of objects the owners have collected during world travels.
www.hubbardinn.com

Ing, 951 W. Fulton Market St., 855-835-6464
Visionary chef Homaro Cantu continues the culinary adventure he began a few years ago at nearby Moto by debuting a new modernist cuisine emporium with an Asian twist. Menu descriptions range from “Heating” and “Cooling” to “Melting” and “Sweetening.” Dining here is meant to be fun, interactive and engaging for all of the senses. Diners may observe exhibition cooking at several stations, including the kitchen chef’s table. All-inclusive pricing by the hour is recommended for the full experience, but a la carte ordering also is available. www.ingrestaurant.com

Paris Club, 59 W. Hubbard St., 312-595-0800
The sons of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants founder Richard Melman are putting their own mark on their second restaurant under the LEYE umbrella with the opening of Paris Club in the space that formerly housed the company’s Brasserie Jo. Brothers R.J. and Jerrod Melman retained the French theme but are keeping the dishes uncomplicated. A few recommended examples are skate wing with lemon, capers and brown butter and confit of duck leg with wheat berrries and candied cherries. Bistro classics and luxury items offer something for everyone.
www.parisclubchicago.com

Public House, 400 N. State St., 312-265-1240
Public House has special appeal for beer lovers, with some 103 choices, including 25 on tap. The large pub, with its self-serve beer and chilled liquor taps, seems well-suited to small private parties and after-work groups. Televised sports are the focal point of the 27 plasma TVs, while American favorites dominate the extensive menu.
www.publichousechicago.com

Next, 955 W. Fulton Market St.
For something completely different, Michelin three-star chef Grant Achatz and business partner Nick Kokonas of Alinea fame are serving up tasting menus sold in advance with nonrefundable tickets. Menus will change seasonally and may vary from classical French to Thai. Projected prices are between $45 and $75 for five to six courses, plus beverage pairings. Neighboring cocktail lounge Aviary offers cutting-edge libations.
www.nextrestaurant.com

Maude’s Liquor Bar, 840 W. Randolph St., 312-243-9712
More than a bar, Maude’s emulates an intimate Parisian hangout of bygone days. The two-level establishment serves rustic French food and specializes in interesting cocktails, which proprietor Brendan Sodikoff knows about from his first restaurant, Gilt Bar. This is a place for romance, conversation and joie de vivre.
www.maudesliquorbar.com

Reichlich fachliches und kulinarisches Vergnügen und vor allem Lernstoff zum Mit-nach-Hause-nehmen – das wünscht die Redaktion von food-service.

www.restaurant.org/show
www.restaurant-hospitality.com
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