It's going to be a delicious season. Check out the rest of our Spring Preview here.
Alinea is (almost) back, and Stephanie Izard is about to go ducky. Here's where you'll want to eat in Chicago this spring.
Smyth: Charlie Trotter alums Karen Urie and John Shields are planning two restaurants in one building. Upstairs, Smyth will play host to the high-end tasting menu restaurant, which will offer eight- and 16-course menu options, with much of the ingredients coming from a specific Illinois farm the pair has partnered with. Downstairs is the restaurant's casual bar and lounge counterpart, The Loyalist.
Roister + Alinea: Fresh from a stint in Miami, Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas will be mightily busy this spring opening their first "casual" restaurant, Roister, in what used to house Homaro Cantu's iNG. There will be an open kitchen, some communal seating, and both tasting and à la carte menus. No word on what will appear on the menus, but Aviary chef Andrew Brochu will be working on them. Later in the spring, or even in early summer, Achatz and Kokonas will relaunch their flagship Alinea (which is up for a James Beard Outstanding Restaurant award). The space was gutted this spring, so it's anyone's guess what Alinea 2.0 will look like.
Cruz Blanca: Rick Bayless's newest endeavor is all about beer. He's brewing his own in a 10-barrel system, drawing on American, European and Mexican styles and ingredients. He's also teamed up with other small breweries to test out some brews like one with Revolution Brewing made with cacao hunks. No word on the small food menu yet, but it will certainly pair with the beers.
Duck Duck Goat: Girl & the Goat owner Stephanie Izard's soon-to-open restaurant is a modern Chinese restaurant with, of course, duck. From the looks of Instagram, there will also be pork fried rice, hand-pulled "slap" noodles and lots of glistening whole Peking ducks. There is also a takeaway window, giving passersby an early taste.
Kitsune: With Bunny the Micro Bakery finally open, Elizabeth chef and owner Iliana Regan is focusing on her casual home-style Japanese restaurant and pub that's named for a mythical fox. A sample menu already up online touts dishes like ramen made with -fish broth broiled collar, scallions, pickled onion and nori; snacks like oysters with yuzu and brown butter; and a seasonal family style tasting menu at a very affordable $45 price point.
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