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

The Portage says adieu, the Winchester gets a new chef, and more dining news

The Winchester will have a new chef when it reopens Friday   Photo: Andrea Donadio

Openings

Osteria Trulli (1510 E. Hintz Rd., Arlington Heights, 224-347-1010), a “passion project” compliments of chef Giovanni DeNigris (Macello, Trattoria Trullo), has officially fired up the wood-burning ovens and begun serving homestyle Pugliese fare.

Say hola to the Spanish Square (1358 W. Belmont Ave., Lake View, 773-717-7900), the just-opened restaurant-market hybrid specializing in all things Spain.

Humboldt Parkers now have a new option for dining morning, noon, and (starting next week!) night in Café Marie-Jeanne (1001 N. California Ave., 773-904-7660). There’s a bit of a French-Canadian influence on the a la carte menu, which has plenty of snacks and sandwiches.

Morsels

New Year’s Eve always brings with it a few major restaurant closures—take, for instance, last year’s loss of both Takashi and L2O. This year, January 1 saw the closure of the Portage (3938 N. Central Ave., Portage Park), but owner Quay Tao isn’t giving up the space. This spring, look for a taco place (working name: Cochinita) from him, with a huge, Big Star-esque patio and affordable bites. That’s not Tao’s only project in 2016—he’s got plans for a new place showcasing Community Tavern (4038 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park, 773-283-6080) comrades Joey Beato and Elissa Narrow, appropriately named Joey & Elissa, to open next door to Community Tavern in May or June.

The Winchester (1001 N. Winchester Ave., Ukrainian Village, 773-698-8703) is closed for a break through tomorrow, and when it reopens Friday, it’ll be without executive chef Greg Bastien. He’s left the cozy corner café to relocate to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for personal reasons. In his place, though, will be a familiar face: Duncan Biddulph, last seen at the seafood-centric Kinmont.

An update on Bunny (2928 N. Broadway, Lake View), the tiny baking operation from Elizabeth chef Iliana Regan: The opening is slated for January 22. Regan says the spot’s totally ready to go, with permits secured and the ideal canelé-making oven in place. Expect sweet and savory eats and just a handful of seats. And Regan’s got another big project for 2016—Kitsune (4229 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square), a Japanese restaurant heavy on the Midwestern ingredients and little bites.

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