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Proxi Serves Up Late Night Snacks, Pegasus Closes, and More Dining News

Some big chef changes are afoot at Chicago restaurants.

Photo: Jeff Marini

Opening

If you like ice cream drinks, get excited: Pink Squirrel (2414 N. Milwaukee Ave.), a new bar inspired by the drink of the same name (and other ’50s and ’60s supper club classics) is now open. Owner and mixer Dustin Drankiewicz has put together a menu of takes on things like the Grasshopper, the Brandy Alexander, and more. Plus, there’s a bowling alley and a huge collection of vintage glassware. Throw on your fedora and get drinking.

Morsels

There have been some big chef changes at some prominent Chicago restaurants this week. First up, Chef Nicole Pederson ended her five-year run at Found/The Barn in Evanston. Both restaurants received good reviews and Pederson’s work was widely praised—and she doesn’t have a new job yet. Pederson wasn’t the only high-profile departure this week, as Jared Wentworth (formerly of Longman & Eagle) left Regards to Edith after just two months at the helm. Chef de Cuisine Eric Michael replaces him. Finally, Johnny Anderes, formerly of the Kitchen (and dear, departed Telegraph) has taken the reins at Honey’s as of this week.

If you’ve got a beer lover in your life, this is the perfect holiday gift. Beer Lover’s Chicago, a book by Karl Klockars (of GuysDrinkingBeer.com) just came out, and features more than 60 breweries and 70 bars/restaurants all around Chicago that know their brews. There are even homebrew recipes from some of Chicago’s greatest breweries, if you want to try to replicate their recipes at home.

Proxi has been the subject of near-universal enthusiasm (including from our own Jeff Ruby), and it just got easier to dine there. This week they launched a late-night menu, available from 10 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and till 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Some of the best dishes, including the to-die-for tempura elotes and the addictive Indonesian pork jerky, are available late, as well as classic cocktails and a “shot and a beer” special for $5. Perfect if you’re stuck downtown a bit late.

Greektown continues to slowly fade away, as Pegasus announced it was closing last week after a nearly 30-year run. Real estate prices are spiking, and the traditionally huge restaurants that used to be Greektown staples are worth more for their space than for their gyros, apparently. That brings us down to just four big restaurants left after The Parthenon closed earlier this year–Athena, Greek Islands, Roditys and Santorini. Which one is going next?

One of the sadder closings of 2017 was Sumi Robata Bar, which served some of the most pristine Japanese food in town. Fans have a chance to return to Sumi (sort of) for one night, as Chef Gene Kato is taking over the Izakaya at Momotaro. On December 11, Kato is bringing some of his signature dishes to the basement spot, including his tonkatsu chicken breast and his sizzling jidori chicken gyoza. No tickets are required and everything is a la carte, but make reservations to guarantee a seat.

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