Master sommelier, restaurateur, and former Check, Please! host Alpana Singh is opening a restaurant in downtown Evanston in late summer. Terra & Vine (1701 Maple Ave., no phone yet) will bring rustic Mediterranean fare and an adjacent bar, dubbed Bar Terra, to the former Bravo! space in Church Street Plaza.
Singh, who owns two Chicago restaurants (the Boarding House, Seven Lions) but has spent a lot of time in Evanston, hopes to deliver a laidback neighborhood spot with a dose of city.
“We have a great, grooving scene in Chicago, but people also want to eat near where they live,” she says. “[Terra & Vine] will be rustic and comfortable, but still give people that vibe that they’re in the city.”
Singh hired Alinea Group vet Andrew Graves (Alma de Amón in Costa Rica) as executive chef, whose Italian-inflected menu will be cooked mostly over a 10-foot-long, open-hearth grill. Think roasted half chicken or salmon, plus a handful of pastas, pizzas, and apps such as polenta croquettes and artisanal ciabatta with spreads. The grill will anchor the open kitchen, visible from the 115-seat dining room accented in wood, tile, and brick. A spacious outdoor patio will fit an additional 70.
The 40-seat, full-service Bar Terra will lean classic American, with Graves’ focused menu featuring snacks, sandwiches, and burgers—ideal for the pre- or post-movie crowd. (The plaza also houses a theater.)
Self-diagnosed as “addicted to the controlled chaos” of restaurant ownership, Singh wants her third venture following the Boarding House and Seven Lions to represent who she is.
“I think it’s in every restaurateur’s veins that the restaurant reflects you,” she says. “What place would I want to go a couple of times a week? And of course have a great glass of wine.”