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Topolobampo Is Renovating, and You Didn’t Even Know About It

The stealth redecorating and new menus will be finished February 4.

Rick Bayless   Photo: Jeff Maimon

Just like its four-star compatriot Spiaggia, the Mexican fine-dining bastion Topolobampo (445 N. Clark, River North, 312-661-1434) is reinventing itself.

Over the past nine months, chef/owner Rick Bayless has conducted a stealth renovation, taking place gradually during planned days off such as the Fourth of July or the restaurant’s vacation. On February 4, it receives its final touches—new Bernardaud china, handmade Colombian and Mexican pottery for the tabletops, and a reorganized menu.

Bayless says the new menu will sort food by an inventive method. “Not appetizers and entrées—by taste categories,” he says, such as “bold dishes, heartwarming dishes, really bright dishes. They are all linked within each category by a shared flavor perspective.” Cool idea. Diners might even learn something about their own tastes from the categories, sort of the way we didn’t realize our penchant for moody Scandinavian thrillers until Netflix told usabout it.

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