Open now: For all those times you want pulled pork sandwiches on waffles during your lunch break, there’s now Porkchop Express (555 S. Dearborn St., South Loop, 312-583-9333), a to-go-friendly version of Porkchop near Printer’s Row.
Open now: Talk about a rapid expansion. Le Pain Quotidien has opened up its third location, this time in the Gold Coast (10 E. Delaware Pl., 312-380-6665), just a few months after its first foray into the Chicago market.
Friday, August 1: Wake up! Reverie (414 N. Orleans St., River North, 312-467-4141), an Asian-influenced regional American restaurant-slash-sports bar from Rodelio Aglibot (Earth+Ocean, Yum Cha), is no longer just a dream.
Oh, have you heard of that festival this weekend called Lollapalooza? If you’re intent on braving the crowds, you should at least eat well. Here’s our comestible agenda inside Lolla’s dining hub, Chow Town: plenty of cold-brew iced coffee from La Colombe ($5), a Thai chicken or tofu wrap with peanut sauce from Goddess and Grocer ($8), a double cheeseburger and fries from M Burger ($12), spicy black bean and corn tamales with salsa roja from Dia de los Tamales ($5), a chocolate-hazelnut ice cream sandwich (and one of our Best of Chicago picks) from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams ($6), and, for something “healthy,” some fresh strawberries with salted caramel dipping sauce from Gale’s Root Beer ($5).
Pretty drinking environment alert: Celeste (111 W. Hubbard St., River North, 312-828-9000) has opened its rooftop patio known as the Garden, and the special upstairs menu features punch bowls, frozen cocktails, and easy-drinking mixes perfect for summer lounging. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m.
Say farewell to Thomas Raquel, the Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave., South Loop, 312-360-9500) pastry chef who is off to New York to lead the dessert program at the three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin. Taking over for him is Ji Yoon, whose résumé includes stints at the Gage, Boka, and Blackbird.
Two restaurant shutters of note: over the weekend, Filipino-flavored fried chicken joint Pecking Order (4416 N. Clark St., Uptown) and seafood-and-absinthe spot the Savoy (1408 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park) both closed up after impressive runs.