Open now: Fig & Olive (104 E. Oak St., Gold Coast, 312-445-0060) does all olive oil everything—from oil tastings to paellas and pastas accented with the stuff—in the coastal chain’s first Midwestern location.
Monday, July 7: Some quick-change magic is underway. Little Market Brasserie suddenly shuttered, and starting Monday, the Talbott Hotel will now be home to Mercadito Fish (10 E. Delaware St., Gold Coast, 312-640-8141), a seafood-focused cousin of the River North restaurant. Expect twists on classic American fish dishes.
Monday: It’s schnitzel time. Bohemian House (11 W. Illinois St., River North) will celebrate hearty European plates such as pork chops and kolackys, all from executive chef Jim Papadopoulos.
We got a sneak peek at the menu at the forthcoming Owen + Alchemy (2355 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square), and here’s what to expect at the juice bar from Jared Van Camp (Nellcôte, Kinmont) and entrepreneur Anne Owen when it opens this month: 25 juices, 6 smoothies/shakes, and 5 power food bowls. We’re looking forward to an all-veggie juice with local heirloom tomatoes, carrots, and cilantro; another with a mix of pistachios, cashews, kaffir lime leaves, and honey; and a super-hearty bowl of banana, almond butter, coconut meat, maca, and raw granola.
Henry’s Swing Club (18 W. Hubbard St., River North, 312-955-8018), the DMK crew’s wallet-friendly bar in the former Lao 18 space, is now open at 11 a.m. on the weekends with a full menu of breakfast burritos. The brunch beasts run for $6 a pop and come in hangover-friendly varieties such as scrambled eggs with chorizo and green chili and fried eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, and cheese.
After you celebrate America on Friday, keep the party going for Dark Matter Coffee’s birthday. They’ll be having a big, free block party on North Maplewood Avenue between Chicago Avenue and Iowa Street (right across the street from Star Lounge) starting at 2 p.m. on July 5. You can get free beer, nachos, and adult snow cones. They’re hoping to get a head count before the event—RSVP here.
A change afoot at Blackbird (619 W. Randolph St., West Loop): longtime chef de cuisine David Posey will be leaving to strike out on his own. His last day leading the kitchen will be August 1, though he will spend a short time working on Blackbird’s private dining team before fully cutting the cord. In Posey’s stead, Avec chef Perry Hendrix will add the kitchen at Blackbird to his current role.
The Florentine (JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Loop, 312-660-8866) has some new to-go options on their menu: two massive picnic baskets stuffed with Italian-style treats for two. One for $40 includes chicken panini, spinach salad with walnuts, goat cheese, and grapes, homemade chips, and panna cotta; the other for $65 has all sorts of antipasti, grilled Cornish hen, biscotti, and a bottle of wine. Call the restaurant at least 6 hours in advance to reserve a basket.