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

The Beards are sticking around a while, for one.

The late chef Homaro Cantu is featured in a new film playing next week at CIFF. Here, he’s pictured in 2012.   Photo: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune

Openings

Bad Hunter (802 W. Randolph St., West Loop) opened Wednesday next to its sibling tavern, Lone Wolf. As the tongue-in-cheek title suggests, there won’t be a whole lot of meat on the menu. While the restaurant sports a few carnivorous options, the focus skews decidedly vegetarian, with plenty of plants, roots, and grains prepared on a wood-fire grill.

Il Tavolino (101 E. Erie St., River North) recently arrived at the Conrad Chicago Hotel. The quaint Italian café draws inspiration from chef Richard Sandoval’s Italian travels as well as River North’s history as Chicago’s “Little Sicily.” Il Tavolino is open all day, slinging paninis and pastry in the morning, and pasta all afternoon.

As of Friday, the space that formerly housed Ani has a new life as Entente (3056 N. Lincoln Ave.), with Brian Fisher (Schwa) and Mari Katsumura (Grace, Acadia) in the Lake View kitchen. Expect dishes that mingle the familiar and the strange on a menu fine-tuned by restaurateur Ty Fujimura.

Morsels

They like us! They really like us! The James Beard Awards, the highest-profile awards ceremony for the culinary industry, will remain in the city through 2021, a four-year extension beyond the already-committed three-year residency. The food stars return May 1 to the Lyric Opera.

This year’s Chicago International Film Festival includes a title that’s of particular interest to regular restaurant-goers, Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story. Filmmaker Brett Schwartz will be on hand to talk about his portrait of Cantu, which he began filming prior to the Moto chef’s suicide in 2015. Tickets are available for both the screening and a reception afterwards on Monday.

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