Thursday, February 27: Lincoln Square gets global with the opening of Grand Tour (2434 W. Montrose Ave., 872-208-7246). Roger Herring, former chef at Socca, put together a menu of international small and large plates—each dish lists its country of inspiration, like a Vietnamese pho salad or a plate of U.K.-favorite bangers and mash.


There’s a new chef in charge at the Publican (837 W. Fulton St., West Loop, 312-733-9555), and he’s got a big assignment in his first month. Cosmo Goss, the former head butcher at Publican Quality Meats, will be taking over kitchen duties for Brian Huston, who’s leaving to work on his own restaurant in Evanston called Boltwood. And on March 18, the Publican will play host to the announcement of the James Beard Award finalists—which means he’ll be cooking for a multitude of culinary celebrities. No pressure.

Because Brendan Sodikoff doesn’t have enough going on right now, earlier this week, he announced big plans for Dillman’s (354 W. Hubbard. Ave., River North, 312-988-0078). He told us the sprawling space is about to be divided in half: The current dining room will be converted into a sandwich-centric deli under the name Dillman's, with hand-cut pastrami, freshly baked bagels, and counter service. The lounge area will become an Italian steak bar called Cocello, with vegetable antipasti, pastas, grilled meats, northern Italian wines, and coffee and baked goods in the morning. No word yet on the opening timeline.

The Chipotle-ification of Manhattans is upon us. At Luxbar (18 E. Bellvue Pl., Gold Coast, 312-642-3400), bartender Matthew “Choo” Lipsky is handing out cards and letting drinkers check boxes for their favorite rye, vermouth, bitters, and ice to make a customized version of the drink. (Indecisive types can also just pick the Bartender’s Choice.) The personalized cocktail runs for $13.

Tucked inside the newly opened sustainable seafood spot Kinmont (419 W. Superior St., River North, 312-915-0011) is Ampersand, a hidden kitchen and event space for one-off dining events and test runs for restaurant concepts. Their line-up of chef events is worth checking out: “Brewing Like A Cook” with Jared Rouben of Moody Tongue Brewing Company, a preview of Mindy Segal’s forthcoming Logan Sqaure bakery, and a ramen birthday party for Michael Sheerin of Cicchetti. See all the events (and buy tickets) here.