The team behind Three Aces, the way-beyond-bar-food bar on Taylor Street, has been keeping another ace up its collective sleeve. Charlatan (1329 W. Chicago Ave., 312-818-2073), the new occupant of the space that long housed West Town Tavern, could open as soon as next week.
“Three Aces is a rock-and-roll bar with chef-driven food. This is going to be a proper restaurant,” says Anthony Potenzo, a partner. “We have a bar, a beautiful bar, but we are not a bar per se.” He describes the food as Italian countryside meets Midwestern farmhouse, which could also describe the work of an expatriate agricultural architect.
Charlatan’s chef is Matt Troost, who will split time between the new place and Three Aces. The appetizers on Troost’s menu will include crudos, Slagel Farm beef carpaccio, whipped mortadella, and the spreadable charcuterie 'nduja incorporated into arancini. Larger plates will cover Slagel Farm steak, guinea hen, skate wing, a whole oxtail, and pig’s head for two. At least eight types of house-made pasta are coming out of the extruder. “Matt’s got a machine and he’s going crazy with it,” Potenzo says.
Bryce Caron, the excellent pastry chef with time at Blackbird and Graham Elliot, is consulting on the dessert menu.
The owners stripped the space all the way down to the cement before redecorating. The new look juxtaposes wood tables with wrought iron bases, recycled water-pipe light fixtures, and stuffed animal heads—bison, elk, and boar. The boar reappears on the menu in a wild boar ragù. Presumably not the same boar.