photo: courtesy three dots and a dash
• Monday, 7/22: The list of Chipotle-style food service now includes a barbecue joint. Loopers have been, uh, queueing up for lunch at Blackwood BBQ (305 W. Lake St., 312-621-9663). Housemade Memphis-, Kansas City-, and North and South Carolina–style sauces are all on tap to slather on brisket, pulled pork, and chicken.
• Friday, 7/26: Craft cocktails and small plates take back seat to the decor at Fame (2015 W. Division St., 773-227-1110). HGTV’s Antonio Ballatore designed the interior, complete with a mural by street art star AIKO, and there are plans for rotating art exhibits. Chef SammyD created a menu of shareable snacks to munch on as you take in the scenery.
• Monday, 7/29: Belly up to the bar and order a glass of Middleton or pint of Guinness at Ariel’s Bar & Restaurant (18401 N. Creek Dr., 708-928-8080). The Tinley Park pub promises an extensive collection of Irish whiskeys and craft beer along with its menu of Irish-American fare.
• Wednesday, 7/31: Paul McGee’s highly anticipated tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash (435 N. Clark St., no phone available) is finally open and serving up tropical libations. Sip a cocktail out of a conch shell or dare to try his Aloha, Mexico, which is a mixture of tequila, genever, pineapple, mint, tamarind, and hellfire bitters. Here's McGee's take on his latest concoction:
"When Don the Beachcomber said, 'What one rum can't do, three rums can,' I took that to also mean, What one rum can’t do, three rums—and a gin and a whiskey and a brandy—can. The tiki tradition of splitting base spirits has certainly become part of my signature style, and it's evident in my original recipes, especially cocktails like Aloha, Mexico.”
• Wednesday, 7/31: July is over, and so is the remodeling process at MK (868 N. Franklin St., 312-482-9197). The upscale standby reopens with a new bar and bar menu, along with a minimal facelift to its fine dining area.
Russ Grant, the man behind popular watering holes Boiler Room, Simone’s and Northside Bar & Grill, is working on a burger bar concept. Parts and Labor is slated to open at 2700 North Milwaukee Avenue next spring. Decorated with the upcycled look of his other establishments, the food will be “high quality, but basic,” according to Grant. Clever specials akin to the Boiler Room’s PB&J offer (a slice of pizza, tallboy of PBR, and shot of Jameson all for $7) are also promised.
Michael Sheerin has left his position as co-executive chef/co-owner of Trenchermen (2039 W. North Ave., 773-661-1540). Here's what he has to say about his recent gig at Parson's Chicken & Fish (2952 W. Armitage Ave., 773-384-3333):
"For today, honestly it’s just a pleasure to be working with Hunter in the kitchen at Parson’s. His head, heart and soul are in the right place, talented young gentleman."
The Fashion Outlets of Chicago, set to open this week, will feature a new café by Prasino as one of its flagship restaurants. Go by Prasino will be the fourth location of the contemporary American restaurant.