Grand Tour Is Next for Roger Herring of Socca

The Ravenswood place blends the cuisine of eight European countries, and the chef has been driving a cab and handing out cards to spread the word.

Pizzettes from Roger Herring of Socca and Grand Tour   PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER MCGAURAN

Putting an unexpected spin on the name of his next gig, Roger Herring has been driving his own car as a taxi for a few weeks through the app Uber, meeting people, handing out business cards, and talking up Grand Tour (2434 W. Montrose Ave., no phone yet).

“A chef told me once it’s hard to understand the food if you don’t understand the culture,” Herring says. “So driving around gives me an opportunity to try feel out what people want.”

Partnering with the team behind Quay, Red Ivy, and J Patrick’s as well as the Blackhawks’ boisterous national-anthem singer, Jim Cornelison, Herring is designing a menu reflecting the cuisines of eight European countries. He guesses the restaurant will feature a country of the month. “It’s not going to be just French and Italian,” he says. “We’ll do some fresh sausage, play the whole-animal thing a bit.”

Before Grand Tour and taxiing, Herring ran Socca, on Clark Street in Lake View. He closed at the end of his lease rather than renew for another 10 years. He’ll replay some of his greatest hits at Grand Tour. “Pizzettes built a little bit of a name for themselves,” he says, “and the rabbit risotto that we served for 10 years at Socca.”

Herring is still developing his menu, but he floated ideas about a braised lamb-shank take on a gyro, chicken schnitzel on a pretzel roll, and lobster–brown butter fries. The partners hope to open in mid-November. Expect about 150 seats, prices topping out at about $19, and international sports on the TVs.

But don’t expect a ride home.

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comments
9 months ago
Posted by @gourmandhaines

Go get em' Rog!

9 months ago
Posted by Lakeviewguy2

Congrats Roger !! A little further out of Lakeview but you'll do an amazing job in Ravenswood. Will be worth the travel !

9 months ago
Posted by Intheknowguy79

This guy is not a good chef! Unless you are looking for some food that should be served at a Phish show! I feel bad for the poor hippie! Karma is a bummer and unfortunately Roger is One toke over the line! Oh, and he isn't driving an Uber to promote anything. He is driving an Uber because he is broke!

Smoke another one, Roasted Rog!

9 months ago
Posted by Knowsbetter

We miss Socca and can't wait for the next Grand Tour!
Wishing you all the best as you deserve it. . .

9 months ago
Posted by lovesfoodlots

Congrats Roger! Can't wait to get a pizzette. They look amazing! We'll be there regularly!

9 months ago
Posted by Phishfoodrocks

In the know 79 your karma is about to bite you in your ass!!!
Soccas food killed that new place...

9 months ago
Posted by Sweetbread

Can't wait for Grand Tour - really miss Socca. Tried the new place and was not impressed. Doubt that place will last long without Chef Roger and all the wonderful people that left with him.

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