When it roars to life in another month or so, Seven Lions (130 S. Michigan Ave., Loop, no phone yet), Alpana Singh’s newest project, will feature the food of chef Chris Curren, who excelled at Blue 13, a now-gone River North fine-dining spot.
Curren and Singh summarize Seven Lions’ concept as “American clubhouse”—not the no-gurlz-allowed tree fort kind, but the club-sandwich sort of club, like RL or New York’s 21 Club. Curren plans to bring his own style to the clubhouse concept. “We’ll mix Midwestern farm-to-table with classic American clubhouse and see where we can go with it,” he says. For example, Seven Lions’ shrimp cocktail will spin Southern, with pickled shrimp and white grit cakes. He also mentions a roasted half chicken with spaetzle.
As seven lions would be, Seven Lions is large. The main-floor dining room holds 290, the private basement dining room 100, and a sidewalk patio 80 or so. Curren says he’ll have to build a new sourcing network to accommodate the amount of food running through the kitchen, as with the five steaks (some dry-aged) that will appear on the menu. “We are too big and too high-volume to work with some of the smaller farms I am used to, like Slagel [Family Farms],” he says. No pizza, but a burger makes the lunch and bar menu.
Karianne Soulsby (Tru, Zealous) will do pastries. Singh, the former host of Check, Please! and former sommelier for Lettuce Entertain You, has curated an Americocentric wine list.
The name Seven Lions derives from Singh’s family. Her grandmother had seven grandkids, whom she called her “seven lions,” because “Singh” derives from the Sanskrit word for lion.