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What You Need to Know About the Chicago Dining Scene This Week

It’s a rough day in Pilsen.

Joe Cecchini
Joe Cecchini   Photo: Courtesy of Ballaro


The people who brought you BRGRBelly (formerly known as Leadbelly) are now getting into the Italian beef game with Beefbelly (4800 N. Central Ave., Jefferson Park, 773-283-5545). Their twists on the standard sandwich include sriracha, Carolina barbecue, and more.


It’s a sad day in Pilsen, as an early-morning fire gutted beloved Mexican spot Nuevo Leon (1515 W. 18th St.). According to the Tribune, the blaze broke out around 12:30 a.m. and took about three hours to put out, taking out with it next-door neighbor Tortilleria Sabinas. Owners Daniel and Maria Gutierrez say they plan to rebuild.

After about a year, Kokopelli (1324 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park) has closed. The seafood taqueria imported from Tijuana never quite met the lofty expectations of the tortilla-savvy public.

Joe Cecchini, the chef de cuisine at newly opened Ballaro (214 Green Bay Rd., Highwood, 847-780-3396), nabbed the top spot on last night’s episode of Chopped, the Food Network cooking competition show. He beat out competitors in a showdown focused on macaroni and cheese.


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