Steve Leviton acquired the twin businesses of Corner Cooks and Jerry’s in downtown Winnetka in November. He closed for renovations just after the new year, and he plans to reopen January 29 as Taste on Chestnut (507 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134).
Taste on Chestnut will combine the two spaces into one restaurant, as well as—Leviton hopes—combining the existing clientele with diners who know his work from the Exmoor and Briarwood Country Clubs. Leviton, who trained in French cuisine and worked with Jovan Trboyevic at the legendary Le Perroquet, plans a still-casual but more stylish restaurant than its predecessors. He cites tablecloths at dinner (but not the drapey kind) and a switch from colorful square plates to Bauscher china. “I waited a long time for the opportunity to get that china to show off the food we are going to do here,” Leviton says.
New Year’s Eve patrons glimpsed the style of the food to come. Leviton served baby New Zealand lamb chops with balsamic hollandaise, beef tenderloin carpaccio with a Parmesan crisp, Kona-crusted New York strip steak, red-wine-poached pear dipped in chocolate, and a s’mores tart.
“When we were trained, it was all about taste and flavor first,” Leviton says. Taste first—guess that’s why he didn’t call the place Chestnut on Taste.