Like a meal at a … not-good hunter’s house, vegetables will take center stage at Bad Hunter (802 W. Randolph St., West Loop, no phone yet), opening in July on Randolph Row.
Bad Hunter is the latest concept from Heisler Hospitality (Pub Royale, Sportsman’s Club, Trenchermen). The group tapped Dan Snowden (Nico Osteria, Publican) as executive chef, and his menu will indeed feature meat, albeit in more of an exclamation-point role—punctuating the otherwise veg- and grain-heavy fare.
“We wanted to create a space that’s super sessionable, beverage-wise as well as food and dining, that you can come to several times a week and feel comfortable,” Snowden says. “We decided the only way to do that was to flip the plate a little bit.”
Most of the cooking will be done on a wood grill to coax out bold flavors from the seasonably rotating earthly delights. Think Korean-style dumplings with wrappers made from charred corn husk flour with fillings such as butter-sautéed corn, or potatoes roasted overnight in embers from the grill. On the sweet side, Snowden will work with pastry chef Emily Spurlin (Publican, Floriole) to make dessert “an extension of dinner,” he says.
Things will stay equally “sessionable” on the beverage side, with a lower-alcohol cocktail menu from bar manager Josh Fossitt (Queen Mary, NYC's NoMad), and wines curated by Heisler beverage manager Michael McAvena.
Kevin Heisner (the other half of Team Heisler, along with Matt Eisler) is designing the 2,600-square-foot space, which will seat about 85, including the bar. Bad Hunter will have an English garden feel, featuring paved-brick flooring and greenery throughout the interior.
The restaurant will open with dinner service, but be on the hunt for lunch and brunch soon thereafter.