“You will be able to get a whole roast chicken cooked to order in 22 minutes,” says Tony Mantuano, a chef/partner with Levy Restaurants, about the forthcoming reconceptualization of Fulton’s on the River (315 N. LaSalle, River North, 312-822-0100). Levy, which manages Mantuano brainchildren Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, and Bar Toma, brought in the Italian-specialist chef to figure out a direction for the space now holding Fulton’s, a seafood-and-steak spot that will close in January.
Instead of going Italian, Mantuano is going roast. “We’re roasting whole chickens and roasting whole fish and big cuts of beef,” he says. The chickens will cook in an Alto-Shaam oven and come whole, on a plate with french fries sopping up the juices, propped up for either the diner or the server to carve. “The crispest, moistest chicken I ever had in my life,” Mantuano says.
The Fulton’s redo also entails a renovation that will bring an open kitchen with an open flame and make architectural changes to add natural light and play up the river frontage. Construction will begin in January, and Mantuano says they hope to open by patio season.
“Rustic” appears in the description of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant’s food, and they mean to take that farther than, say, presenting food on wood. “We’re thinking of offering chickens with feet on or off,” Mantuano says. “Not sure Chicago is ready to make this choice.”
A quick footnote: While the restaurant itself will be closed come January, its banquet space will remain open for rentals. You can call 312-527-1417 to book.