Michael Sheerin Photo: Kevin Hartmann

The 12-year-old comfort food/cocktail/party standby saw a hefty facelift in 2015; now, Rockit (22 W. Hubbard St.) launches into a new culinary phase with big-time chef Michael Sheerin at the controls.

“I wanted something super-stable and comfortable and that was really going to let me be me,” says Sheerin, who has been on a rocky road of late: He opened Trenchermen with his brother, Patrick, in 2012 and departed six months later; shocked many by leaving Cicchetti after less than a year in 2014; shuttered his much-hyped dumpling concept Packed, which ended its short run in May; and Embeya, where he manned the kitchen for just over a year, closed up shop in June.

“Here’s the thinking,” Sheerin continues. “[Rockit is] rocking all the time. It’s a beast within itself. What they have done there is amazing. They want me to take my time and get to know the place. Then I will make some changes.” (The “they” he refers to is Rockit Ranch Productions partners Billy Dec, Brad Young, Arturo Gomez, Kevin Hickey, and Nicole Salerno.)

As for what he’s got cooking when he officially takes over the kitchen in late January, “I’m not going to divulge,” says Sheerin. “The menu needs to evolve and is going to change quite a bit in the upcoming months. There will always be Rockit classics—I’ll just rework some of them.” Here’s hoping the indulgent Rockit Burger maintains all of its date aïoli–topped, truffle fry–accented glory.