Along with Chef Ken Carter, owner David Breo has grown Gather in Lincoln Square into a destination that is almost always packed. Now they’re about to try it again, as their second spot, the Warbler (4535 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square), will open in January.
Breo says his goal is to be the go-to place for the neighborhood: “My best nights are when I know every single person in the restaurant.”
The Warbler couldn’t be any closer to Gather, as the two restaurants literally share a wall. Located in the former Bad Dog Tavern/Mash space, The Warbler will take the neighborhood spirit that has always driven Gather and dramatically expand its scope, with a much larger menu, a huge outdoor patio, an informal feel, and a 25-seat bar. “If people want to come in and grab just some appetizers and drinks, that’s great,” says Breo. “Lincoln Square is filled with families, and we want families to feel comfortable coming in and out.”
Carter’s food is a combination of modern American cuisine and Asian influences, and those flavors will continue at The Warbler. “I have a passion for vegetables, and the majority of this menu will have a vegetable focus,” Carter says. “I love making pasta, and I’ll have multiple handmade pastas on the menu.” Expect dishes like tempura fried green beans with blackberry aioli, a freekeh salad with turnips and sherry, and a Japanese-inspired barley dish with bonito flakes. “The way I think about food is: I picture what I want to eat in my head and go from there,” he adds, describing the Warbler's menu as “much more relaxed and interesting and curious” than its next-door neighbor.
The space has been totally gutted and renovated to allow tons of light into the (formerly somewhat claustrophobic) dining room. The outdoor patio will be partly covered and also boast an indoor-outdoor private dining space. “You would not recognize it if you walk in today,” Breo says.