Ty Fujimura, owner of Fujimura Hospitality (Arami, SmallBar) is teaming up with Schwa chef Brian Fisher for Entente (3065 N. Lincoln Ave., Lake View, 872-206-8553), a casual fine-dining spot with a highly collaborative menu. Slated for mid- or late-August, Entente replaces Fujimura’s Ani, which quietly closed in April.
The name Entente means “friendly understanding,” denoting the collaborative approach Fisher plans to take on the ever-evolving menu, alongside pastry chef Mari Katsumura (Grace, Acadia) and beverage director/general manager Angie Silberberg (Cochon Volant).
“The climate of Chicago diners [is that they are] now interested in trying different flavors and techniques and the full expression of a chef or team of chefs,” says owner/operator Fujimura. “Brian is heading the team, but we want a spirited kitchen where everyone feels a great deal of ownership on any given day.”
Fujimura is looking to create a unique experience with every visit; “nothing will stay forever” on the 12- to 15-item à la carte menu. But diners will likely see charcuterie and house-made bread, offal, game meats, fowl, and seafood. A reservation-only tasting menu will also be available, offering a mix of regular menu favorites and imaginative off-menu dishes.
The focused beverage program takes its lead from the kitchen, and will include seven or eight rotating craft cocktails, local beer, 20 or 30 wines and, of course, sake—in a nod to Fujimura’s Japanese concepts.
The airy yet intimate interior seats 50, with a design that pairs rich wood elements with industrial finishes like metal, leather, and concrete. The front room will seat 20 including an eight-seat bar. The more intimate back room will be anchored by a chef’s counter overlooking a long communal table.
Sounds as though there will be plenty of entente spirit to go around.