photo: courtesy endgrain

Endgrain opens June 4. The wait is finally over. 


Wednesday, 5/29: Continuing its spread through the Chicago area, Smashburger (2031 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-800-9010) has opened a location in Lincoln Park. This is the 11th in the area, but the first within the city limits.

Friday, 5/31: Also in Lincoln Park, Juno (2638 N. Lincoln Ave., 872-206-8662), the new collaboration between Jason Chan and B.K. Park, opens at 5 p.m., just in time for the weekend. The pair spent time in Korea and Japan researching dishes for the modern Japanese menu.

Tuesday, 6/4: The contemporary American restaurant Endgrain (1861 W. Addison St., 773-687-8191) launches with a seasonal menu including dishes such as trout with olive oil lemon polenta and fried chicken with biscuits.


Two Chicago bars, Aviary (955 W. Fulton Market, 312-266-0888) and Barrelhouse Flat (2624 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-857-0421) have earned spots among Esquire’s update to its Best Bars in America list in the magazine's June/July issue. The unranked list has grown to more than 200 over the past eight years and includes nine other Chicago bars.

The Neapolitan-style pizza at Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana (1443 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-281-6600) can now be enjoyed outdoors on the 100-seat patio that opened last week.

A limited presale for tickets to the sixth annual Chicago Gourmet 2013 begins Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Presold daily tickets are $119 ($159 after), weekend passes $199 ($265 after). The two-day food and wine celebration runs September 28 and 29 in Millennium Park.

Heisler Hospitality’s Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner have signed on to take over the historic neighborhood diner Ohio House Coffee Shop space. The unnamed Heisler project is planned for the fall with a limited biscuit- and sandwich-focused menu.

The Chicagoan and food writer Catherine De Orio was named the new host for Check, Please!, WTTW’s weekly restaurant review series. De Orio, a former lawyer, succeeds the sommelier Alpana Singh, who had been with the show since 2003.

Update: For the Do Division crowds, MAK (1924 W. Division St., 773-772-6251) is opening its doors early. The Chinese restaurant will be BYOB for now, with a full bar and menu coming in the next few weeks.