Giant (3209 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square, 773-252-0997), the highly anticipated (and physically pint-sized) spot from Nightwood’s Jason Vincent, has begun serving seasonal Midwestern shared plates and pouring boutique wines and craft cocktails in the city’s hottest ’hood.
Mediterranean with a lighter, California influence, is the name of the game at Ema (74 W. Illinois St., River North, 312-527-5586), the newest Lettuce Entertain You spot that’s helmed by C.J. Jacobson. Ema shares its kitchen with Rotisserie Ema, an adjacent carryout eatery with Greek salads, rotisserie chicken, and house-made frozen yogurt.
Logan Square’s beloved Macanese restaurant, Fat Rice (2957 W. Diversey Pkwy.,773-661-9170), debuted its long-awaited Asian-inspired pastry shop, the Bakery (2951 W. Diversey Pwky., 773-661-9544), next door, which morphs into Pestico by night, a stand-up bar with Iberian-inspired small plates. Fat Rice got its own facelift, too—as the waiting room has been transformed into a tiny craft cocktail lounge called the Ladies’ Room.
Steadfast (120 W. Monroe St., Loop, 312-801-8899), the seventh concept from the Fifty/50 group is now open in the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Expect super-seasonal, Mediterranean- and Portuguese-influenced fare from executive chef Chris Davies (Homestead) and inventive desserts from executive pastry chef Chris Teixeira.
Art Smith opened Blue Door Kitchen (52 W. Elm St., Gold Coast, 312-573-4000), a farm-to-table, shared-plates restaurant, in his former Table Fifty-Two space. Don’t fret: The fried chicken remains—now made from free-range birds.
Iconic Brooklyn, N.Y. pizza chain Paulie Gee’s (2451 N. Milwaukee Ave., no phone yet) has brought its creatively topped, Neapolitan-style pies to Logan Square.
Building on four successful years in Wicker Park, Antique Taco opened a second location in Bridgeport (1000 W. 35th St., 773-823-9410), offering menu favorites like pork carnitas, plus a few new tacos and a massive outdoor patio.
Beloved Bridgeport royal pie shop Pleasant House Bakery, which closed in May, has reopened in the former Nightwood space with a new name and menu. Pleasant House Pub (2119 S. Halsted St., Pilsen, 773-523-7437) is initially serving dinner, brunch, sandwiches, as well as beer from Whiner Beer Co., an up-and-coming brewery from Brian Taylor (Goose Island Brewing Co.).
Get out those bibs: Popular BYOB seafood-by-the-pound joint the Angry Crab opened its second outpost in Wicker Park (1308 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-687-9929).
Pour one out for Analogue (2523 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square), the buzzed-about cocktail bar and Cajun eatery that, as of this week, is closed. A few months back, founders Robbie Haynes and Henry Prendergast departed the spot, and chef Alfredo Nogueira quickly followed. We already miss their biscuits.
If you’ve got a big lamb craving, Avec (615 W. Randolph St., West Loop, 312-377-2002) can hook you up. They’ve added a large-format lamb rôti feast to their menu, with a whole roasted shoulder with pitas, seasonal meze, and sauces for $250. There’s enough to feed up to six people, but you’ll need to plan ahead–there’s only one available each day, and the restaurant requires 24 hours of advance notice to prep it.Edit Module