photo courtsey of 8,000 miles.

The dried chicken chili from 8,000 Miles promises to be as pleasing for the palate as is is on the eye. 


Thursday June 6: After a successful soft opening, The Avenue (1146 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847-920-5962) opened with a bang on Thursday. The restaurant is the newest project of owner Mitch Dulin (Central Street Café, The Chardonnay, Venice Cafe).

Friday June 7th/Sunday June 9th: It was a busy week for Stephanie Izard. On Friday, she rolled out Little Goat Bread in the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., 312-575-0306). This extension of her West Loop diner Little Goat (820 W. Randolph St., 312-492-6262) will serve the bakery’s artisan breads as well as a soup and sandwich lunch menu. Back at the diner, Izard launched Little Goat’s rooftop on Sunday. Open during the weekdays for extra seating, the patio will turn into a rooftop bar on weekend nights, serving craft beer and cocktails along with seasonal small plates.

Monday June 10: A second location of West Town Bakery & Diner (1916 W. Chicago Ave., 773-904-1414) is now in business inside the ACME Hotel Company (15 E. Ohio St., 312-894-0800). The West Town Bakery will serve the same menu items from executive chef Chris Curren and pastry chef Chris Teixeira as the original location and will feature a walk-up window along Ohio Street for added convenience.

Thursday June 13: DryHop Brewers (3155 N. Broadway, 773-857-3155) had a line around the corner when they held their first Growler Saturday this past week. Regular hours start Thursday with six house brews on tap. DryHop’s executive chef Pete Repak is a fan of the beer and bacon combo; his favorite dishes are the bacon-wrapped sea scallop and the buttermilk-brined southern fried chicken.

Tuesday June 18: Friends Shawn Li (TL’s Four Seasons), Ben Li, and Wan Cai Li (Double Li) traveled a long way to bring Roselle its new Chinese and Japanese restaurant 8,000 Miles (107 Main St., Roselle, 630-283-0053). The name is a nod to their beginnings in China, where Shawn and Ben first met. The trio has partnered with Ed Culleeney (Ben Pao, PL8) to create an entire sushi menu, Chinese and Japanese small plates, a Sichuan menu, and various veggie, noodle, and rice dishes.


For those overwhelmed by the whole-hog trend picking up this summer, Carnivale (702 W. Fulton Market St., 312-850-5005) now has $3 á la carte tacos every Thursday with meat from their weekly pig roast. The pan-Latin restaurant is also serving paella throughout June in honor of National Seafood Month.

Earl’s Kitchen + Bar and Mariano’s Fresh Market are among the first tenants confirmed for the mixed-use project in Old Town. The retail, entertainment, and residential complex at the intersection of North Clybourn Avenue and North Halsted Street will be called New City and is planned for completion in 2015.

After 13 years, N9NE Steakhouse (440 W. Randolph St., no phone) has closed, owner Michael Kornick said. The award-winning restaurant, known as a celebrity hangout, lost a co-founder when Scott DeGraff died in 2011. The Las Vegas location remains open.

Food & Wine’s 25th annual “Best New Chefs” award includes two Chicago names: Jason Vincent (Lula, Nightwood) and Sarah Jordan (Boka, GT Fish & Oyster). Vincent is recognized for his simple style, while Jordan is praised for her incorporation of savory flavors into her baking.

Chicago is getting into the spirit as the Blackhawks head to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Each game day, DMK Burger Bar (2954 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-360-8686) is serving a Patrick Kane burger (bleu cheese sour cream, buffalo sauce, onion strings) in honor of the Blackhawks center. Magnolia Bakery (108 N. State St., 312-346-7777) is bringing back Blackhawks cupcakes, available in-store on game days only for $3.25.