This Month: Richard Sandoval. This innovator of modern mexican cuisine masterminded the menu for the Mexx Kitchen at the Whiskey Sutton Place Hotel, 1015 N. Rush St.; 312-475-0300
This Month: Natalie Zarzour Andersonville’s new pastry queen breathes life into cannoli at Pasticceria Natalina. 5406 N. Clark St.; 773-989-0662
Call them “underground,” “unofficial,” or “occasional.” Whatever the name, restaurants that don’t have a permanent address and that eschew traditional licensing are popping up all over town. Eating at one is the dining equivalent of choose-your-own adventure: diners, who exchange hushed e-mails to get on the list, show up where they’re told and eat whatever the chef feels like preparing. It’s fun, sure. But at $25 to $100 a pop, are they any good? Chicago checked out a few to find out.
This month, Nagrant sat down with Gabino Sotelino, whose 27-year-old Lincoln Park masterpiece, Ambria (2300 N. Lincoln Park West; 773-472-5959), will serve its last meal on June 30th.
Beginning with the September issue of Chicago magazine, each month food journalist Michael Nagrant will conduct an interview with either a well-known or emerging Chicago chef. This month, Nagrant chats with Andrew Zimmerman, the toque at the modern Spanish spot Del Toro (1520 N. Damen Ave.; 773-252-1500).
This month, Nagrant chats with Maneet Chauhan, a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) whose unlikely Latino-Indian fare continues to defy the odds at Vermilion (10 W. Hubbard St.; 312-527-4060)
This month Nagrant chats with Steve Chiappetti, who made his bones at Mango, Grapes, Rhapsody, and Café Le Coq. Now he’s breathing new life into Viand (Courtyard by Marriott, 155 E. Ontario St.; 312-255-8505), an American bistro that he’s patterning after Mango
For March, Nagrant chats with Rick Bayless, the king of regional Mexican throughout the United States, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Frontera Grill (445 N. Clark St.; 312-661-1434).
For April, Nagrant chats with Greg Hall, head brewmaster at the organically certified Goose Island Brewery.
This month, Nagrant sat down with Skokie native Barry Sorkin, a partner at Old Irving Park’s barbecue sensation, Smoque (3800 N. Pulaski Rd.; 773-545-7427).