Chris Pappas, who currently owns the Winchester and formerly served as general manager of Sepia, has teamed up with his friend and pastry pro Nancy Silver (Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s) to open Americano 2211 (2211 W. North Ave., Wicker Park, 773-360-8757). The Euro-inspired cafe is currently open for breakfast and lunch, and will soon add an evening/wine bar component.

Gino’s East has added a Pilsen location (1659 W. 21st St., 312-226-8770), offering some fan favorites from the chain’s year-old Mexico City restaurant: Specialty pies include a carnitas number with caramelized onions, avocado, salsa picante, and cilantro.

Edgar Vazquez, a former partner in the now-closed Wicker Park spot Moonshine, has opened his first solo venture—Taco Station (5300 S. Dorchester Ave., Hyde Park). The counter-service spot offers eight types of gourmet tacos, plus specialty drinks such as a rosemary-infused margarita.


You need no longer hope for the best when making lunch plans at Avec (615 W. Randolph St., West Loop, 312-377-2002). Starting April 18, you’ll be able to make reservations for midday eating Monday through Friday by calling the restaurant or visiting its website.

So you’ve already seen which spot Chicago’s critics dubbed the city’s best new restaurant. Now it’s your turn to pick. Tell us your favorite culinary debut and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to last year’s top selection, Momotaro.