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

It’s one of the biggest weeks for restaurant openings we’ve seen all year.

Breakfast sandwich at Arlen’s   Photo: Lindsey Becker

Openings

You probably already know Latinicity (Block 37, 108 N. State St., Loop, 312-795-4444) opened late last week, because the Latin-inspired take on a massive food hall was so swarmed in its debut weekend that it had to temporarily shut its doors Sunday. They’re back up and running with tortas aplenty now, though.

The North Shore gets in on the high-end Italian game with Ballaro (214 Green Bay Rd., Highwood, 847-780-3396), an effort from two childhood friends who grew up in Highland Park. The menu includes pastas, crab-topped risotto cakes, and pizzas.

The onetime home of Quince sits empty no longer, as replacement Hearth (1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400) is up and running. The menu keeps it simple, with lots of seasonal vegetables and meats.

Big week in Evanston: Arlen’s Chicken (815 Noyes St., Evanston, 847-424-8226) turned on the fryers today. The former DMK Burger & Fish space was reconcepted by its owners to focus on chicken nuggets and Tater Tots.

More classed-up Italian comes to the city, as after months of delays, La Storia (1154 N. Dearborn St., Gold Coast, 312-915-5950) has finally opened. Expect housemade pastas and other regional fare.

Morsels

There was a quick change in the kitchen at the embattled C Chicago (20 W. Kinzie St., River North, 312-280-8882), subject of a brutally honest Jeff Ruby review a few months back. Chef Bill Montagne has now been replaced by veteran Dean Zanella (Chicago Firehouse), who’d been working with the owners as a corporate chef for about a year. Zanella says he was moved into the position after Montagne didn’t show up for work Friday, and that the restaurant is doing fine but could have been performing better on weekends: “I’m going to help them turn this place around,” he added.

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