As if there weren’t enough telegenic teeth in a Hearty Boys project, the Boys—Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh—are teaming up with the pastry chef, TV veteran, and cookbook author Gale Gand for SpritzBurger (3819 N. Broadway, Lake View, 773-868-9866), a casual spot replacing Hearty in the same space on Valentine’s Day, if all goes according to plan.
The name of the restaurant bifurcates into “spritz,” a reference to Gand’s homemade sodas, and “burger,” self-explanatory. In addition to her Gale’s Root Beer, already available around the Chicago area, Gand and the Hearty Boys will create new sodas, and the trio will put them to use in cocktails, includingsome in the pre-Prohibition categories of Rickeys, mules, and bucks.
Burgers, costing between about $11 and $15 with fries, will feature grass-fed beef and come in composed creations such as oxtail burgers with dried plum, pickled walnuts, English cheddar, arugula, and mushroom ketchup; and Gand’s poutine burger, with fries on the burger, cheese curds, and sage country gravy. The more-casual turn was dictated by the local market. “We feel that the neighborhood needs a more Wednesday-Thursday kind of place,” Smith says. He reassures the worriers that the signature fried chicken will survive the changeover.
Smith enumerates several desserts Gand has planned for SpritzBurger: butterscotch pudding with salt-and-pepper peanuts, chocolate devil dogs with marshmallow stuffing, blackout cake, lemon meringue pie with blackberry paint, and sticky toffee pudding with toasted almond ice cream. Options like that, tethered to Gand—a founding partner of the four-star Tru—will pull in a lot of sweet-loving sweeties.
In fact, the Hearty Boys’ website says SpritzBurger will be the only place in America to get Gand’s desserts. Other than Gand’s home kitchen, we suppose. Or your own, if you use one of her cookbooks. Okay, let’s say SpritzBurger is the most accessible, lowest-effort place in America to get Gand’s desserts.