Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Unlucky Rabbit

Paul Fehribach, the chef-owner of Andersonville’s upcoming Big Jones (5347 N. Clark St.), has a defined focus for his new restaurant, bowing in early April: “It’s contemporary coastal Southern—cuisine from low-country Carolinas—a little bit of Florida and Caribbean,” he says. “And a lot of Cajun and Creole, more of the urban Louisiana cuisines.” Fehribach, an Indiana native who created the recipes for the Hi Ricky noodle chain during his lengthy stint with the company—and learned to appreciate Southern food during five years in the kitchen at Harmony Grill (3159 N. Southport Ave.; 773-525-2508)—will bake his own bread, brew his own Worcestershire, and make some of his own cheeses. Also, look for a menu of classic prewar cocktails like pink ladies and mint juleps. Anything else? “The traditional meat for Brunswick stew is squirrel,” he says. “But we’ll probably use rabbit here.”


“Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.”
–Lin Yutang (1895-1976), Chinese writer and inventor

Name That Restaurant, Part Two

In last week’s Dish, Jerry Kleiner solicited name suggestions for his upcoming restaurant in Hyde Park’s Harper Court in exchange for Champagne and a free meal at his Room 21. You responded with a slew of clever possibilities, many of which Kleiner liked, and none of which he chose. He’s going with Park 52, explaining it thusly: “You got Lake Park Boulevard; you got Hyde Park; you got Washington Park, Jackson Park. It’s surrounded by parks. And it’s on 52nd street. It has that clubby university feel.” Kleiner says that people could still write in and see if they could beat it—in other words, don’t hold your breath. No bubbly, but we loved your suggestions so much that we decided to print our favorites here:

  • Ad Infinitum (“All restaurant owners would hope for as much . . . ”)
  • Aitchpe
  • Calico
  • Clean Food
  • Edyh (Hyde spelled backwards)
  • The 55 (“The 55 bus is the bus that most of Hyde Park uses to get to the Red and Green Lines . . . Of course, it’s incredibly unreliable, and Lord knows it will probably get screwed by CTA Doomsday, as will every other mode of public transportation on the South Side, but that will just make the name a bit more ironic, and as we all know, irony = ‘hip’.”)
  • Forge
  • Harper Social Club
  • High Blue
  • The Hyde (numerous folks suggested this, or some variation thereof)
  • Hyp K
  • Intersection
  • Jekyll’s  (“Can’t get more of a grip on the diverse community than a reference to the split personality of Stevenson’s novel.”)
  • Jerry’s Rekleiner
  • Maroon Blues
  • Mestizaje (“This also happens to be the name of a wine in my company’s portfolio. This name should secure me a lifelong placement.”)
  • Midway Grill
  • Mr. Hyde in the Park
  • Name
  • Patchwork Grill
  • Plaisance
  • Point
  • The Red Quill
  • Salmagundi
  • Salt Peanuts (“It evokes both sweet and savory and somehow salt is serious while peanuts imply, well, nuttiness. It is also the name of a Bud Powell album that was recorded in Normandy after he left a sanitarium.”)
  • Sear
  • World’s Fare
  • The Yard

He Said It

“I’m Vietnamese, adopted by an American family. When Saigon was falling and they were airlifting kids, I was one of two kids that came to the Chicago area. I was famous as a baby, on the Phil Donahue Show and Good Morning America in 1975. I was about a year old.” –Ryan McCaskey, the new exec chef charged with “revamping” south suburban Courtright’s (8989 Archer Ave., Willow Springs; 708-839-8000), which he says will compete with the most contemporary city spots

Who Knew?

Bridie McKenna’s (254 Green Bay Rd., Highwood; 847-432-3311), a 5,000-square-foot Irish pub and grill from a handful of blokes, has opened on the North Shore. The menu, by exec chef James Coffey, sounds pretty standard—fish and chips, Guinness stew, corned beef and cabbage—as does the live Celtic music on Tuesday and Saturday. Come to think of it, so do the English football and rugby games on Bridie’s many TVs. But Highwood? “Sure,” says the place’s consultant, Anto Mussell (Bar 3, Gracies). “Lake Forest, Libertyville, Highland Park. There’s quite a few [Irish here], actually.”

Things to Do

  1. Go to Drake Bros’ (Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton St.; 312-932-4626) on a Tuesday and order a steak, and they’ll bring you a second one for a penny. Great deal for prime beef.
  2. Buy tickets for Red/White, a January 31st winetasting at Lincoln Square’s Fine Wine Brokers (4621 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-989-8166) to benefit dogs, cats, and rabbits at Red Door, a Rogers Park no-kill animal shelter. Tickets $35, includes hors d’oeuvres.
  3. Be glad these guys aren’t in the car in front of you at the drive-thru.

Dot Dot Dot . . .

Johnny Rockets (901 N. Rush St.), the Gold Coast outpost of a national burger chain, has closed. . . . Garden Buffet (5347 N. Lincoln Ave.), a longtime northwest side Korean barbecue, appears to be closed, too. . . . Take a look at www.HotChefs.TV, a site that shows quick, flashy videos of many of your favorite Chicago restaurants. . . . Julius Meinl’s upcoming coffeehouse in Lincoln Square (4363 N. Lincoln Ave.) will have a six-foot bronze of the “Meinl coffee boy” atop the building: “In Vienna they have a statue of the Meinl coffee boy on top of one of the buildings,” says Natalie Berg, a company spokesperson. “A young lady climbed up there and cast the original statue in bronze.” . . . Harry Caray’s Tavern is scheduled to open across from Wrigley Field in the old Hi-Tops space (3551 N. Sheffield Ave.; 773-348-0009) this spring—by baseball season, of course.