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What’s Open and What’s New in Chicago Dining This Week

Annemarie Sagoi leaves the Dawson, Alinea ascends, two Italian standbys depart, and HotChocolate pops up.

Canteen punch at the Dawson   Photo courtesy of the Dawson

Openings and News

  • Open now: Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar (3428 N. Southport Ave., Lake View) is the first Midwestern outpost of the Starbucks-owned café chain. These use teas from the popular shopping-center chain but aren’t so much retail outlets as drink bars.
  • Annemarie Sagoi has left the Dawson, where she’d headed up the cocktail program since the restaurant opened in October. General manager Clint Rogers (who’s worked behind the bar at Nightwood, Graham Elliot, and the Gage) will take over beverage direction duties in addition to his current role. He also broke the news that the bar’s planned and much-publicized mezcal popsicles will not be available on their patio this summer as that was a Sagoi original recipe. Instead, you’ll have to content yourself with frozen Mai Tais and a rotating series of shareable punches served out of camping canteens. 
  • Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park, 312-867-0110) cracked the top ten in this year’s World’s Best Restaurants rankings, up six spots to number 9 from number 15 last year. Grant Achatz and team have the second-highest ranking for an American restaurant in the poll of global industry experts, coming in a few digits behind New York’s Eleven Madison Park at number 4. Speaking of New York, Alinea will be headed there in October for a pop-up stint—more details on that to come.
  • While you wait for Mindy Segal to open up her HotChocolate Bakery in Logan Square later this year, you can grab a sneak taste of what she’ll be cooking up at a brunch pop-up at Ampersand, the tucked-away event space inside Kinmont (419 W. Superior St., River North, 312-915-0011), on May 4. $50 tickets are available here
  • In honor of the opening of their patio May 3, Bites Asian Tapas (3313 N. Clark St., Lake View, 773-270-5972) will offer up complimentary bites of their Asian tapas from 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Hyde Park lost a long-time resident this weekend when Edwardo’s Natural Pizza (1321 E. 57th St.) turned off its oven for good Sunday night. The spot had been serving up thin-crust pies near the University of Chicago campus since 1980.
  • And in other closure-of-decades-old-restaurant news, you have until 9 p.m. tonight to swing by Scoozi! (410 W. Huron St., River North, 312-943-5900) before the Italian icon of the Lettuce Entertain You empire closes after 28 years.

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