The former sports bar Market is reborn as Packing House (1113 W. Randolph St., West Loop, 312-929-4787). The place still, uh, “sports” four plasma screens over the bar for those who want to watch the game, but the dining room screens have images of rotating artwork, much more in sync with the Mediterranean-influenced American food conceived by Amanda Barnes (Moto, Purple Pig, Publican).
“This [is] an opening of a brand new restaurant,” Barnes says. The old burgers-pizzas-sandwiches menu will be replaced by items such as snapper seviche with chiles, herbs, feta, and olive oil; Burrata with Broccolini and roasted garlic dressing; and milk-braised lamb shoulder with buttermilk mashed potatoes and spring pea salsa verde. There’s still a burger, with aged cheddar and aïoli, and the pizzas are now hand-tossed, in combinations such as bacon-Gruyère-chives-egg.
“I like food that is approachable,” Barnes says. “I hate when a diner feels something is exclusionary, and they don’t know what to do. I do not want diners to feel stupid.” That’s nice of her, not to want anyone to feel stupid. We wish she’d been around that time we tried to eat eggs Benedict like a sandwich.