As part of the Ritz-Carlton’s $100 million reno, the swank hotel replaces twelfth-floor tenant Deca Restaurant with Torali Italian – Steak (160 E. Pearson St., Magnificent Mile). On chef Gregory Elliot’s (Remington’s, W Chicago Lakeshore) menu: house-made pastas; prime and dry-aged meats; seafood; and reimagined Italian classics.
Joe Sukjam (Arun's) trades fine-dining Thai for a BYO seafood and small plates spot: He’s in the kitchen at Blu 57 (5701 N. Clark St., Andersonville), offering diners a taste of his globally inspired fare via either an à la carte menu or a six-course prix fixe ($85).
Boutique chocolatier Veruca Chocolates has relocated from Bucktown to a new, roomier space in Lincoln Park (1332 N. Halsted St.). Veruca devotees can still score all the bonbons, turtles, truffles, and caramels offered at the former location, but the new cafe features a small seating area, serves draft kombucha, and will soon host chocolate-making classes.
Honey 1 BBQ’s former Bucktown home (the restaurant now resides in Bronzeville) has yielded to a new barbecue joint: The Whistle Pig (2241 N. Western Ave.) offers smoked meat aplenty, plus seafood with Creole flair.
It’s a good time to be Elske (1350 W. Randolph St., West Loop): The Nordic-influenced restaurant has picked up some major accolades. Eater’s national restaurant critic, Bill Addison, named it one of the country’s 12 best new spots. It also landed on the longlist for Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants feature, alongside Giant, Mi Tocaya, and Smyth & the Loyalist. See our Best New Restaurants list this year as well.